Meet the Staff! An Interview with Maddie Ruud

In addition to being an invaluable member of the HubPages team, our Community Manager Maddie Ruud is a very successful Hubber, having been a member of our community well before joining the HubPages staff. Didn’t know that? That fun fact is just the tip of the iceberg! Read Maddie’s responses to Hubbers’ questions below to get to know one of HubPages’ coolest team members (and Hubbers in general).

How does HubPages handle negativity written about them on the Internet from outside sources? -AEvans

Our users are the best source of feedback we have! As a representatives of HubPages, I try to set aside whatever personal defensiveness or frustration I feel, and focus on validating people’s concerns. It’s very important to respond to valid complaints and constructive criticism, but there is also some judgement involved.

Sometimes, a Hubber or former Hubber will post a rant against us that doesn’t contain a concrete, actionable issue. In these cases, responding often sparks further anger. It can be hard to tell which way the conversation will go, so I tend to give the author the benefit of the doubt until it’s abundantly clear that there is nothing more to be gained from the interaction.

How do you squeeze your lovelife into such demanding and hectic HubPages? -prettydarkhorse

It can be difficult! I know I really struggled with work-life balance for a long time, working late into the night and often far beyond full-time. A serious health issue that completely took me out of commission completely for several weeks recently forced me to take a step back and re-evaluate. In the end, I’m much more productive for HubPages if I’m healthy and happy in my personal life!

I am blessed to have a wonderful partner who supports me every step of the way. Our favorite ways of spending time together are simple household chores like tending our organic vegetable garden, or cooking up the fruits of our labor in the kitchen. We also enjoy going to baseball games to root on our San Francisco Giants and cheering on our local league at women’s flat track roller derby bouts.

What’s your favorite thing about San Francisco? – wordscribe43

My favorite thing about San Francisco (and the Bay Area in general) is the incredible diversity, in terms of backgrounds, cultures, interests, cuisines, and lifestyles. I’ve moved away several times, but I always come back. We’re spoiled here! On any given weekend, I can take in spectacular opera and scream myself hoarse at a roller derby bout. I can cheer on the SF Gay Pride Parade in the morning and dance at an underground hip-hop show in Oakland that night. I can go up into the Berkeley hills for a scenic trek with great views of the Bay, or enjoy an urban hike through the windy streets of San Francisco. Everybody fits in here, so it’s an incredible place to live, especially for anyone as “out there” as I am.

Have you ever wanted to smack a Hubber on the nose with a rolled up newspaper? -paradigmsearch

Never! About six years ago, I adopted a severely traumatized rescue dog, so I know the damage such abuse can cause. 😉 I wouldn’t usually liken Hubbers to dogs (as much as I love them both), but since you invited the comparison, I believe in positive reinforcement over punishment, as a teaching tool. Of course, there are instances where it’s necessary to point out a mistake, such as when a Hub violates a rule and is moderated to allow for revision, but we’re constantly working to improve our messaging in an attempt to be more encouraging and feel less like a virtual slap on the wrist.

Are there Hubbers that you would like to meet in person? -ripplemaker

Are there any I wouldn’t? Honestly, I would love to meet each and every Hubber in person, if that were possible. It’s great to put a live, moving, speaking face to a username. Even those who make no secret of their personal dislike for me… or perhaps, especially those. I find that on the internet, people feel protected by relative anonymity and by distance, which can cause a lot of angst and conflict. I’m sure that the people who don’t get along with me on the forums would be much more civil and friendly in person… especially once they were satisfied that I’m actually human.

5 thoughts on “Meet the Staff! An Interview with Maddie Ruud

  1. What a great interview with Maddie! Maddie has been a great help and support to me on HubPages. I enjoyed talking with Maddie Ruud on a HubPages Video Hangout and I appreciate her support in the HubGreeter’s Program. Maddie, you make HubPages a great place. Thanks for everything you do!

    JSMatthew~

  2. Maddie encouraged me to write my first article on Hubpages. Thanks, Maddie! I so enjoyed reading some of the details about your life. It sounds like you live in a lovely spot.

  3. Hi Maddie, I knew you as a Hubpges Author before you joined the team and always looked up to your writing.
    You have also proved yourself as an excellent addition to the team with your fairness in all disputes and moderation skills.
    you are fantastic keep it up…..jimmy

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