2016 was a transformative year for HubPages. We went from one site to a network of over two dozen unique properties. For us, it was an all-in year. The net result has been very successful.
As I look back at the time from 2011 to where we are today, I can see many of the things we got right as well as the things we tried that didn’t turn out as fruitful as we hoped. Here are a few of the important things we got right:
- We increased the standards for writing on HubPages, which many from the community demanded.
- We built robust systems to clamp down on spam and poorly written content.
- We introduced innovative services like HubPro and hired teams of editors and curators to improve content.
- We created topical sites.
I believe these initiatives have played a significant role in the success of 2016, but they have also reshaped our community. It’s a smaller, but in many ways stronger collection of people that have created incredible articles with tons of depth. Many of the most successful Hubbers are once again earning hundreds every payout and for a small number, they are earning thousands. Our hope for the future is that folks see the benefits of our community and new members that are passionate on topics from tactical flashlights to hand raising cockatiels are attracted to the HubPages Network as well.
In the next month, we will remove the option of opting-out of HubPro Premium. Editing is a significant piece of the quality improvement process, and we believe it’s in the best interest of our community, readers, and our future to have one set of options with the intent of creating the best content we can together.
Today, many of the most influential communities have forms of editing. I looked around at various successful sites, and I see a strong sense of purpose. The best communities are made from great people with interesting, useful ideas and information that they share generously. Like us, StackExchange is one of those communities.
StackExchange is a large diverse community built around QnA. I’ve admired them for years. Many of their pages are deep with rich, thick answers. They provide fantastic content that harnesses the talents of their community to create a great reader experience. Many of their most popular QnAs are improved regularly via editing.
I believe editing is a critical part of a healthy community that provides an enhanced reading experience and ensures the quality of our network for years to come. While I’m not ready to announce community editing—maybe someday, I am happy to announce that we will be investing more in editing in 2017!
Here is to a fantastic 2017.
Does this mean my articles may be edited when the change goes into effect even if I previously opted out?
Yes. All articles, both old and new, will be eligible for every type of edit when this change is made.
Will Editors be able to edit all of my content?
Currently, Premium Editing is the only type of editing we offer the option to opt out of, which means all articles on HubPages are already eligible for Basic Edits (quick spelling and grammar fixes) and Snip Edits (removal of problematic elements like links and products). All of your content will be eligible to be Premium Edited as well when this change is implemented, but we encourage writers to think of Premium Editing as a collaborative process. If selected for a Premium Edit, you will receive advance notice of any edits that will be made and have the ability to communicate directly with your Editor.
I still don’t want my content edited or changed whatsoever. What should I do?
If you are firmly against having your work professionally edited, HubPages is likely no longer the best home for that content. We recommend removing your articles and republishing on a website or blog you own. However, our Editors are highly-qualified, consummate professionals. They have been successfully editing articles on HubPages for over two years. We sincerely hope you will give the editing process a chance before saying goodbye to the HubPages community.
We know this is a big departure from the level of autonomy we’ve offered when we launched in 2006 (which is why we want to give you plenty of time to think things through before we remove the opt out), but it is increasingly clear to us that the best way to provide a phenomenal experience both for readers and writers is to incorporate the kind of professional editing typical of most high-quality magazines and community websites going forward. We are also delighted and deeply appreciative that so many of you are on board and have had great experiences with editing. Thanks and keep up the great writing!