Though relatively new to HubPages, Head of Product Micki Seibel has been making big and splendid changes to our site. When chatting in the Forums, Micki is usually fielding questions about design changes and tests, but there is much more to this HubPages staff member (and impressive food Hubber) than new Hub designs! Check out Micki’s answers to Hubber questions to learn more about her background, motivation, and philosophy.
Do you ever feel bad when after a hard job you do not receive the recognition and praise that you deserve from Hubbers? -ngureco
No. In most cases, hearing no feedback is a sign of a job well done because the Hubbers that don’t like something will always say so!
On a more serious note, I do read comments and posts from Hubbers to look for indications that you are happy and to get feedback. For me, I know I’ve done a good job when the data says so…even if the Hubbers don’t. However, if you want to praise me for a job well done, I’ll gladly accept it. 😉
What motivates you to do the things you do for HubPages?
My professional mission in life is to use technology to improve the lives of millions of people. It’s why I came to Silicon Valley in 1996. It’s why I worked for Netscape on the web browser back in the day (bringing the Internet to the masses). It’s why I ran Product Management at eBay in its early days (democratizing the exchange of goods), and why I’ve done the start-up companies that I have. HubPages is a continuation of that mission: using the internet to enable writers to find an audience, and enabling readers to find and engage with what you write (democratizing the exchange of knowledge).
Ryan H. used to bring in his dog. Do you have any office dogs now? -wordscribe43
I can’t thank you enough for asking this question and giving me the chance to show you Kisha-pups. 🙂 Although Norah and Ari sometimes bring their dogs to work, our most regular office dog is Kisha. She’s my 11 year old Belgian Sheepdog/Chow mix. She and I walk to the office (30 minutes one way) 3 or 4 days a week to keep her fit. I adopted her from the Humane Society when she was 5 months old. In fact, here’s a picture of Kisha under my desk at HubPages HQ.
What are your goals for site in the future (one year, five years, etc.)? – Marcy Goodfleisch
Excellent question. The goal at HubPages is to provide a platform for you to write and find an audience. That’s always been our goal and it’s not going to change. What changes from 1 year to 5 years (or even from 5 years ago when we started) is *how* to fulfill that.
The key themes for the next year (and you probably already see these happening on the site):
- Traffic growth. Search engine optimization is always an ongoing part of that, but also looking at other methods such as social media and mobile optimization.
- Redesign of the site. This is to better communicate our brand (especially to readers) and to update our site design
- Content Growth. How to keep you engaged in writing, working on features to make the site easier, and looking at ways to give you inspiration to write content where we are lacking in it.
Are you strictly a 9-5 outfit? Or do you have workaholics that work into the night, holidays and weekends? – Arlene V. Poma
Actually, we are neither. Let me explain.
We don’t have set hours that everyone works. Our company culture is very supportive of letting employees create their own work schedules, and we are allowed to work from home when we need. We’re definitely not a culture of late night workaholics. A lot of people have families, and everyone seems to have interesting extracurricular activities and interests.
It works well for us because…and I really do mean this honestly when I say it…we have a great team that is very good at what they do, passionate about it, and that makes them effective. I’ve worked at several high profile Internet companies over the years, and I definitely think that the team here at HubPages is one of the best with which I’ve ever worked. Everything gets done that needs to get done…and quickly. At the same time, I can still cook dinner, play tennis, and travel: my passions.
Do you read Hubs for enjoyment? – rebekahELLE
Every day. I don’t always get to comment on what I read, but I at least leave a Hub Feedback on good ones. I follow the Food & Cooking, Tennis, Travel & Places, and Dogs Topics, specifically.
Where are HubPages’ growth opportunities? -GinnyLee
These are very related to the question earlier about our 1 year and 5 year goals. There are three inter-related opportunities:
- Traffic Growth. This is continued work on search engine optimization as well as better integration with social media.
- Brand and engaging readers. Updating our brand and site design to better engage readers. If they start to remember who we are, they will pick us in search and that help traffic growth. This is why you are seeing the design of the site change: the header, the new slideshow player, the new Hub design testing. Coming later this year are the User Profile and Topics pages.
- Content Growth. Engaging writers such as yourselves to create more, great content–especially in areas where we are lacking in it. This helps more readers find us, choose HubPages in search, share the content with their networks, and remember to come back to HubPages–all of which supports traffic growth.
- And traffic growth = audience for your content.
What sports does each one of you like to watch and play? -prettydarkhorse
Tennis. I’ve been an athlete my whole life, but tennis is my primary passion. I’ve been playing since I was 12, played a bit in college, and now play competitive USTA league tennis. I’ve written a couple of Tennis Hubs. I’ve even attended each of the 4 Grand Slams of Tennis (some of them, like the Australian Open, more than once).
Did I mention tennis?
Does HP have any Friday traditions? Things like casual day, big box of donuts next to the coffee machine, group lunch at TGIF, etc. -paradigmsearch
We have several traditions. They aren’t specific to Fridays, though. We always have team lunch on Thursdays. That’s been great because it’s the one day that everyone who works for HubPages is sure to be in the office! We have fresh coffee from Peet’s made every morning. Sometimes we do Wednesday dinners.
Casual day? Ha! That’s every day.
I notice employees on the forums late at night sometimes. Are you “on the clock” for these late hours, or what? -wordscribe43
I’ll let others answer for themselves. For me, I’m on the forums late at night working sometimes for several different reasons:
- Sometimes it’s because I’m working on something that needs fast turnaround and there’s a lot of feedback coming from Hubbers (for example, the Hub redesigns in Fashion and Technology).
- Sometimes it’s because I left work early to play tennis. Ok, truth be told, it’s often it’s because I split up my work day and head out early to play tennis then work again after dinner.