Thanks To You HubPages Made It To Round Two: Vote Again (daily) And Help Us Win Our Category!

Oh. My. Goodness. We did it. Thanks to all of you awesomely-super-fantastic-radical Hubbers out there who voted for us last week, HubPages have officially been chosen as a finalist in The 2008 Mashable Open Web Awards. But, just because we made it into the final round doesn’t mean that we can slack off now and let this award slip through our fingers – we need to get to voting again and this time we need to do it every day(that you can, of course).

Yeah, I know that voting every day could get pretty overwhelming, but I’ll try to remind you each day over in the Forums and I’ll be sure to mention it in the newsletter each week as well. This is a great opportunity for all of us Hubbers to show the rest of the web world just how awesome HubPages really is and I hope that you’re all up for the challenge!

All you need to do is add in your email below, click the Vote Now button and you’re good to go. Just remember that you can vote once every 24 hours, so be sure to remember to stop by this blog every day that you can until December 15th so that you can get your vote on. Me and the rest of the HubPages team appreciate all of your help with this and we’re super excited that we have the chance to win this award. Thanks SO much for your votes and for being part of the HubPages community.

http://mashable.polldaddy.com/widget/x2.aspx?f=f&c=26&cn=293 Mashable Open Web Awards

HubPages: 8 million visitors looking at 200,000 hubs!

Ryan Hupfer recently announced that HubPages reached its 200,000th hub on October 30th.  At the time that I am writing this, HubPages has over 208,000 published hubs.  At HubPages, we are very excited about these numbers but if you do the math, this also represents a very interesting opportunity for hub authors.

According to Quantcast, HubPages gets over 8 million unique visitors each month.   That’s a ratio of 8 million/200,000 = a ratio of 40 viewers per hub.  That’s an incredible ratio for a newbie author who is trying to attract a following or even for an established writer who is seeking to showcase his or her work.

Let’s compare this ratio to other popular sites.  If we take a look at Blogger.Com, Quantcast estimates that Blogspot.com gets 43.4 million unique visitors each month.  Well, in 2005, according to the Blog Herald, Blogger had over 14 million blogs.  So, assuming that Blogger has more blogs now, the Blogger ratio is is less than 43.4/14 = 3.1.   WordPress gets 117.7 million unique visitors each month and its has more than 4.7 million blogs so that’s a ratio of 117.7/4.7 = about 25.  Squidoo.com has 8.5 million unique visitors each month and has over 700,000 lenses so that’s 8.5/.7 = about 12.2 visitors per lens.

This ratio is not a guarantee of traffic to your hub.  Still, I think that it is very interesting to think about.  Will this ratio of 40 visitors per hub last?   We at HubPages like to believe that our policies discouraging spam and encouraging high quality content are the reasons behind this ratio.  Time will tell.

Bike Time Trials In The Office

Last week we decided to fire up a little competition in the office and held some bike time trials to see who could ride around the office the fastest without killing someone else (I almost ran over Larry) or killing ourselves (I ate it pretty hard during a run) in the process. Check out the video below to see who came away with the fastest time of them all. Hint: it was me. 🙂

Nominate HubPages for Mashable’s Open Web Awards (please)

I have been seeing some major buzz about the 2008 Mashable Open Web Awards that is now calling for nominations. I’m not usually a huge fan of these types of competitions and awards, but I love the Mashable blog and it would generate some great chatter for HubPages if we would be picked as a finalist in our category(and especially if we won!).

Speaking of category, I wasn’t exactly sure what category to put us under since there’s really nothing listed that would cover revenue-sharing, publishing or anything even remotely similar. So, I decided to nominate us under Niche and Miscellaneous Social Networks, which I guess will work.

If you get a chance, please fill out the nomination form below and let Mashable know that you’d like to see HubPages added to the ballot. Thanks for helping us out and I’ll keep you all updated on everything as the awards process moves along. The call for nominations stops on Nov. 16 and we should know if we’re nominated sometime early next week.

http://mashable.polldaddy.com/widget/?f=f&c=26&cn=HubPages.com Mashable Open Web Awards

SF NewTech, Here We Come

One week from now on November 18th I’ll be giving yet another demo of HubPages to hundreds of early-adopting, cocktail-drinking and uber-socializing San Franciscans at SF NewTech. I’m looking forward to getting a chance to preach the HubPages gospel once again, all while better refining my live demo skills. My last two demo opportunities at Snap Summit^3 and SiliconValley NewTech turned out to be great experiences, but believe me, there’s always plenty of room for improvement.

Oh, and I wanted to send out a huge thanks to Myles Weissleder, the official SF NewTech organizer of awesome. Sweet ‘stache.

If you’d like more info on how to join the technology-filled fun, head on over here when you get a chance.

New and Improved User Guide Coming Soon

new_and_improvedWhen I went to the Snap Summit^3 a few weeks ago I walked away with a few precious nuggets of information that I will be trying to implement in the upcoming months. From an events and conferences standpoint if I can walk away with a few solid things that I can actually put into action(and meet some interesting people), then I would call it a success.

So, one of the things that really hit home with me after sitting through a few panels was thinking about the differences between the experiences of a brand new user who has no idea what they’re doing(newbie) and a veteran user that has been around a while and who knows your system practically as much as you do(expert). A guy who works at hi5 said that on his network it’s very important to ensure that these experiences are vastly different, which a focus on making sure that a new user gets additional attention, hand-holding and interaction because if someone has taken the effort to be a part of what you’re doing, but doesn’t understand it, they’ll leave just as quickly as they showed up. A veteran on the other hand has already somehow already plugged in and learned how to be successful without any additional help, which means that they should have an entirely different experience as well.

After thinking about this more and more it has led me to rethinking the documentation, information and tools that we arm newbies with when they join HubPages and how we can continue to improve them so that more newbies eventually turn into experts. There’s no doubt in my mind that everyone wants to be successful, it just takes different approaches for different types of people. This brings me to my main point(and why I wrote this post), which is that I’m going to be spending some time on these things so that it can become even easier for newbies to get up and running and in-the-loop.

The first thing that I’m tackling is the HubPages getting started guide, which up until now has been a PDF that’s emailed out to newbies once they officially join up with us. This guide has a lot of great information, but with all of the new improvements that we’ve been adding lately some of it has become a little outdated and although a PDF is handy for most, we’d like to move the entire thing online as well. This project is scheduled to be done within a week or so and will hopefully be just the beginning of helping our newest members of HubPages get up and Hubbing better and faster than they ever have before. If you have anything that should definitely be included in this new user guide, please let us know in the comments below and we’ll see if we can implement them as well.

Some Interesting HubMob Stats, Facts and Figures

For a little over 2 months now I’ve been running an idea that I came up with called the Weekly HubMob. Basically what the HubMob consists of is one single topic area that I choose each week that every Hubber can answer by publishing a Hub based upon their own take on the topic area. Wow, that sounded way more confusing than it really is…maybe a step-by-step list will help?

A HubMob works something like this:

  1. I come up with a ‘traffic-friendly’ topic that is posted each week as a Request. For example, this week I posted this Request about ways to save money and find deals on stuff.
  2. After I create the Request, I then post links to the Request and some other instructions on what the HubMob is, how to join it and why you should even care about it inside of the Hubber’s Hangout Forum. It’s always listed at the top of the Forum so that everyone can hopefully notice it. Here is what this week’s HubMob Forum post looks like.
  3. Once a Hubber gets a chance to take a look at the weekly topic and decides what they’d like to write about, then they click on the Request, write their Hub and publish it once it’s ready for the world to see. The Hubber is also asked to include a HubMob image and an RSS Capsule for the rest of the HubMob Hubs inside of their Hub. This provides some great cross-promotion and reading among the group of HubMob Hubs.
  4. After the Hub is published, the Hubber that wrote it is asked to post a link to their HubMob Hub in the Forums along with a brief description of what they wrote about and why. This helps the rest of the HubMobsters understand exactly why each HubMob Hub was written and how it applies to the overall HubMob Topic.

This week marks the 9th official HubMob and for a few weeks I’ve been meaning to put together some statistics, facts and figures from these first couple months of HubMobbing and today I officially got around to it. Here are some of the crunched numbers that I came up with after taking a look at the Hubs, HubMobsters and Topics that have been part of these first 9 HubMobs:

  • There have been 9 official weekly HubMobs, with the first one, ‘Hairstyles, their history and how to create them‘, being created a little over 2 months ago
  • 129 different Hubbers have become HubMobsters by contributing a Hub to a HubMob. That’s means that on average, 38 HubMobsters join in on the fun of the HubMob each week.
  • 480 Hubs have been written specifically for the first 9 HubMobs, meaning that on average there are 53 HubMob Hubs written each week.
  • The 480 HubMob Hubs have been viewed a combined 103,939 times over the past 9 weeks. This means that each HubMob on average has received a little over 11,500 views and that each HubMob Hub has received right around 215 views.
  • The HubMobster with the most published HubMob Hubs is Julie-Ann Amos with 24 total.
  • The HubMobster with the most HubMob Hub views is Anna Marie Bowman with 10,315 views total on 7 HubMob Hubs. Her single most popular HubMob Hub is Halloween Hairstyles.

As you can see, in just 9 short weeks the HubMobs are already showing some amazing stats, not to mention that we’re all having a ton of fun joining in on each one. If you ever want to join in on a HubMob you can always go to www.HubPages.com/info/hubmob and you’ll be directed to the most recently created HubMob so that you can jump right on in and become a HubMobster with no problems. If you have any questions, comment or ideas about the Weekly HubMob, please let me know.

The True Power Of Linking

Chris Brogan, a super-blogger that I had the chance to meet out at BlogWorld Expo a couple months back, posted a great blog a few days ago about the vital importance of links and the basics that we all should know about them. The hyperlink is and always has been the building block if the web and it’s important to realize what actually happens when and how you link to the websites, especially when you are looking at it from a search(Google) standpoint.

Something that Chris stresses in his post is the importance of the words that you use when linking off to another site that you are directing traffic to. He breaks it down like this:

The important point I’m making here is this: the words you highlight as the linked text matter to how people find resources on the Web. Google knows when you’re trying to game this system, or do something devious, but for the most part, they also understand that enough pointers from lots of sites saying similar things probably means it’s accurate.

This is something that every author on HubPages should think about when publishing a Hub because one of the most consistent and time-tested ways to get search traffic is by getting backlinks from other trusted websites that would like to pass on your content to their audience. But, as Chris said, not only is it important to create content that is likely to get linked to, but it is also very important to have them link to you via keywords that will increase the overall trust level of your linked content.

SiliconValley NewTech Demo Tomorrow Night

After doing a pretty solid demo at last week’s Snap Summit^3, it’s time to do it all over again at the SiliconValley NewTech Meetup in Palo Alto tomorrow night at 7pm. So get out there and get your vote on early so that you can come see first hand what HubPages is all about. If you need any more information on this Meetup, just leave me a comment and I’ll take care of you.

Update: The organizer of the SV Meetup, Vincent Lauria, just posted a rundown of the event tomorrow night.