Meet the Staff! An Interview with Robin Edmondson

In addition to being head of education at HubPages, Robin Edmondson is a very successful Hubber. Having been on HubPages.com for over six years (and seen a very impressive amount of readers and earnings over this period), you know this HubPages expert educator knows what she is talking about.

Of course, there is more to Robin than education and a very successful HubPages career (did you know, for example, that Robin is a beekeeper, or that she happens to be married to HubPages CEO Paul Edmondson?). Check out her answers to your interview questions below to become better acquainted with this fantastic member of the HubPages team.

Has HubPages ever held a Hubber conference/convention? -TravelAbout

When I first started officially working for HubPages two years ago, we had HubCamps. We went around the country teaching Hubbers how to write for an online audience. That program has now evolved into the Apprenticeship Program. While I’m incredibly proud of the Apprenticeship Program and its success, I do miss HubCamps because we were able to meet Hubbers face to face. For example, I met JSMathew, PeggyW, LuisEGonzalez, MightyMom, KCCBigCountry, Mutiny92, wavegirl22, TinaatHome, Thranax, ahostagesituation, AmyJane, BrieHoffman, Sophia Angelique, Carolyn2008, ChrisLincoln, DebbieCook, Dohn121, DocSnow, Dorsi, fastfreta, Kristine Manley, HowardS, and Ms Dee – plus many, many more!

For those of you that would like to meet other Hubbers, you can organize your own HubMeets, or HubPages Meetups. GlennStok has organized a few HubMeets in Long Island, NJ. Here’s his Hub on his experience with HubMeets.

If you want to start your own HubPages Meetup, stop by our Meetup Everywhere page.

Does Paul E have barbeques at his house? -wordscribe43

As of right now, Paul E has two barbeques at our house. One is a gas grill and the other is a Kamado oak grill (a ceramic-tiled grill that is egg shaped weighing around 900lbs). He tends to prefer to cook on the Kamado grill and barbecues around 4 nights a week – especially on the weekends. For New Year’s Eve, he rents a large commercial grade rotisserie to cook a whole pig. While this is a highlight for him, I still can’t get myself to try a bite. Seeing a whole pig on a spit is just too much for me!

What sports do each one of you like to watch and play?- prettydarkhorse

Our house has either Sportscenter or a game on every day. We are big Giants, 49ers, and Lakers fans (we’ve never been Golden State Warrior fans, but they are moving to SF soon, so maybe we’ll start going to some of their games and becoming fans). We love to play basketball, tennis, softball, and four square with our girls. We have a four square court painted in our cul de sac and a hoop at the end of the street, which is really convenient. Both Paul and I played a lot of sports growing up, so it’s one of our favorite things to do with our girls.

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

It helps that Paul and I get to work together! We share a desk (luckily it’s a big desk) and get to have lunch together on the days that I’m in the office.

Do employees’ kids come in for “bring your child to work day?” – wordscribe43

Since it’s summertime, we have had our two older girls in the office quite a few times. They bring their “work” and have sat in on a few meetings. They love coming in, and I think it’s great for them to see what we do and why it’s important. I believe our girls are the only ones in the office that are old enough to stay for an extended period of time. During the holiday party we get to see all of the younger kids though, and it’s a lot of fun.

Describe your ideal Hubber -Marcy Goodfleisch

The great thing about HubPages is there are many different types of Hubbers and our platform allows you to put a bit of yourself into each of your Hubs. I have been so incredibly lucky to get to know the Hubbers in the Apprenticeship Program really well. I’m in awe of their writing abilities and how they have adapted to become better online writers. They are so positive and helpful to one another and are so committed to their writing. Many of them have the qualities of my ideal Hubber.

Being a Social Writer

Online Writing InsiderThough the world of online writing is full of interaction- through comments, likes, shares, tweets, and more- there is still something to be said for getting one-on-one feedback on your work, either in the digital space or IRL.

In this episode of the Online Writing Insider (Being a Social Writer), Robin Edmondson and Simone Smith discuss the benefits of meeting with other people to discuss your online writing.  They also discuss the use of Meetup as a great means of meeting with likeminded authors- HubPages, for example, offers HubCamps and HubMeets to help its writers connect and trade tips and feedback in person.

Are you interested in getting involved with HubCamps or HubMeets?  Check out the official meetup pages at http://www.meetup.com/hubcamp/ and http://www.meetup.com/hubpages/.  And if you’re near London, be sure to stop by HubCamp London!  It’s TOMORROW at 3:00pm!

HubCamp Boston In Review

HubCamp Boston took place yesterday, and we all had a blast!

Robin and I met up with Boston area Hubbers including thranax, J.S.Matthew, and Carolyn2008 at the Back Bay Hotel to swap insider HubPages tips and just shoot the breeze.  It was a blast meeting Hubbers in person and we hope that everyone had as much fun as we did!

Major topics discussed in the meeting included…

  • Hub creation
  • Choosing good topics
  • Researching good topics and competition
  • The HubHopper
  • Timing and changes in traffic
  • HubPages Elite programs

Sad you missed HubCamp Boston?  Not to worry! More HubCamps are in store, and we’re also working on developing ways in which we can make HubCamp more accessible to everyone, since our community spans across such a wide area.

If you’re in the London area, be sure to stop by HubCamp London, which is just about a week and a half away.  We’ll be meeting at the Fleet River Bakery in London on Thursday, May 26th at 3:00pm, and shall be making it more of a HubMeet style format to ensure that everyone has plenty of time for socializing- plus to have any HubPages or online writing-related questions answered.  For more information on HubCamp London- and to RSVP – visit the official Meetup page.

Speaking of HubMeets (HubPages’ social meetups), we encourage you to start your own, and check out our HubMeets Meetup Everywhere page to see if any Hubbers are staging HubPages Social Meetups in your area.

Thanks to those of you who made it out to HubCamp Boston.  It was a pleasure to meet you!

 

Boston, Ho!

For those who live near Boston, here’s a big heads up – HubCamp Boston is this Sunday, from 3:00 to 6:00pm at the Back Bay Hotel.  The hotel is quite the lovely place, and we’ll have plenty of cookies and coffee to keep us going as we chat!

Robin Edmondson and I shall be present, and we’re very excited to help you up your online writing game, plus answer any questions you might have.  HubCamp Boston will be good for new and veteran Hubbers alike, and we hope to engage in as much fun socializing as productive collaboration.

If you are interested in attending, be sure to stop by the Meetup Everywhere page and RSVP.  If Boston is too far away, you can always follow in Glenn Stock’s footsteps and create a HubMeet or HubCamp of your own.  And if you’re within reach of London, be sure to go to HubCamp London on Thursday, May 26th!

HubMeets & Glenn Stok

HubMeetsWhile we have two official HubCamps coming up (one in Boston, the other in London), Hubbers all over the place are organizing awesome HubPages Social Meetups (aka HubMeets) of their own.

One such Hubber is Glenn Stok.  He hosted his first HubMeet this March and has another planned for July 9th in Long Island, NY.  If you have any questions about the event, check out Glenn’s forum thread, and if you can make it, don’t forget to RSVP on Meetup by clicking the “I’m Going” button 🙂

Even if you don’t live near Long Island, you ought to check out the interview below. Glenn was kind enough to share a bit more about his experience with HubPages Social Meetups, and he shares some great insights that might help you launch a HubMeet of your own!

HubPages: What inspired you to start a HubPages Social Meetup?

Glenn Stok: Several things inspired me. When I first read about it in the forum I immediately recognized meetup.com since I’ve been using it for eight years. I once organized a meetup group myself, so I know how they work. But now I’m also in a few groups that other organizers handle very well…A hiking group, a dinner social group, and a museum lovers group.

I have a tendency to like to organize things. Even as a teenager I organized a group of friends to help the local police and ambulance service by relaying emergency requests that we picked up on CB radio. CB stood for Citizen’s Band and was used in the 60’s and 70’s, long before cell phones.

When I read Robin’s post in the forum about HubPages using the Meetup platform for local HubMeets, I thought it would be a great way to meet other Hubbers who live near me. So, knowing about meetup, enjoying organizing events, and the desire to get local Hubbers together in a productive way, all led me to jump in and give it a try.

How did the first one go?

Well, the platform meetup created for this is new and still has some bugs. It’s called “Meetup Everywhere” and there are other organizations beta testing it, not only HubPages. When I tried to create the local group it was forced into a different geographic location. I noticed some other Hubbers have had the same problem. But Robin was very helpful with reporting these problems and meetup made a quick fix to allow us to edit the name of the location. That didn’t stop it from created invalid groups, but at least it let us correct an active one. So I was on my way.

I decided to plan the date far ahead to give it time for the news to spread. The “Meetup Everywhere” platform is not tied in with the rest of meetup.com, so people who had meetup accounts were having trouble signing up. I also noticed I can’t see my HubPages groups under my list of groups. So I have to use a direct link to the HubPages Community under meetup. I think this has caused us to lose some people who may have tried to sign up.

I’m not saying this to complain. I’m mentioning this because I realize it’s a new platform and it needs to get through its growing pains. For that reason I feel the first meetup was a great success even though we only had four out of six people. The way I look at it…it’s a start. Two other Hubbers who signed up but didn’t attend really missed a fun evening. I hope they come to the next one.

We all had a tremendous amount of energy so the conversation just kept flowing. Each one of us shared individual thoughts on writing.

I talked about what I had learned in my 18 months of studying the forums and from reading other Hubbers Hubs. I also tried to make it clear how important I felt it was to keep up with the news and discussions in the forums and with other Hubbers who are known to provide tons of useful information.

Everyone else was full of energy and gave a lot of helpful ideas. One fellow had a unique way of firing off constant questions for the purpose of giving us ideas to write about. It was like rapid-fire brainstorming! We all kept notes so we’d have something to elaborate on later for a possible future Hub. A lot of useful stuff was coming up!

Did you learn anything from other Hubbers at the Meetup that helped you improve your online writing?

You bet! Bob was giving a lengthy explanation about something. Then I said, “You just wrote a Hub! You must have spoken about 1000 words and well organized too. Now if you only had typed it you could publish it without any further effort.” Rich came up with a solution. He told us about his idea of using a voice recorder while talking so you have something to transcribe later. It’s a lot easier than trying to come up with all those thoughts again while in front of the keyboard.

So what I learned was that we find it easier to explain things verbally than to type it up. Sometimes when one explains things, it comes out perfect and needs little modification.

Why not leave a voice recorder on while talking on the phone? Some of my Hubs come from conversations I’ve had when I help a friend on the phone. Then I later write about it. Recording, even just my side of the conversation, can be quite useful. So many times I feel I said it better the first time around. Then when I sit down at the computer I wonder, ‘Now what was that what I said?’ I feel like I’ve got to create it from scratch again.

So I think a voice recorder can be a useful tool for a writer. Great idea I had learned at this HubMeet.

Could you tell us a bit about the next one you have planned?

I feel that since six people signed up and four of them came to the first meeting, we had a good start. It needs to be given a chance to grow. Hopefully all six will come next time. Maybe even some new ones.

A lot has happened since our first HubMeet that we can discuss at the next one. I have an agenda planed but of course I’ll welcome input from everyone.

My plan is to review the Panda Update and how things changed. I want to discuss what we were doing wrong and what we did right. I also want to examine what Google is looking for to give better search results. I think it will make for good conversation at the next HubMeet and maybe give us some ideas for new things to write about.

 

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Glenn Stok’s next HubMeet is definitely going to be interesting and a great opportunity for all attending to up their game- and have a good time, too!  Be sure to check out Glenn’s review of his first meeting, and here’s hoping you can make it to the second one!

If you’d like to start a HubMeet of your own, check out the HubMeets forum and drop Robin Edmondson a line.