Active Rain came at the wrong time
Active Rain came into my life at precisely the wrong time. I already had committed to writing my own blog, at that time on the RealTown platform, and couldn’t find a way to keep two blogs active simultaneously. (Times have changed a bit, given how thin I’ve become stretched the past year.)
Some have called Active Rain the real estate professionals’ water cooler. Maybe it still is to some degree. But as AR has grown over time, there seemed to be too many voices yelling over each other for attention. There were minor spats involving the points system – how the points were earned, how bonus points were distributed, who was on the front page – all of the kinds of things you normally move past in high school if not earlier.
As AR broached the 40,000-member mark, I came to believe it had jumped the shark.
Throw in the adoption of Google Reader and RSS feeds, and Active Rain eventually fell by the wayside in my own daily routine. Even it’s offspring, Localism, held little sway.
Active Rain’s SEO power
Here’s one of the many dilemmas I’ve had over time – many use Active Rain as more of an industry blog and keep their local content on their own blog. But one of AR’s primary lures is its SEO power. Consumers can find these blogs fairly easily (not necessarily more easily than our own blogs, but I digress) and are they going to be attracted by the industry discussion? What happens when the public sees your Members Only post because they too have signed up?
Who owns the content?
There also was the flap when Move nearly purchased AR. The content on our own blogs was our own, we were told, but if so then what exactly was Move buying? If they were purchasing content we owned, when were our checks going to be cut? To my mind, anything I write there becomes the property of AR in reality if not in theory.
Yet here’s the thing … I’ve never completely written off the AR concept. I don’t log in more than once a month or so, but I still log in. I still debate whether to jump back in and write some Members Only posts, dispense some advice to the multitudes who don’t seem to know there’s a larger blogging world outside Active Rain’s borders.
And yeah, I’ll take some points. I’ll never get to the top of the ranks in Arizona – wiser folks than I figured out how to game the system to a degree I never can match. But still, there’s no harm in points, right?
Not yet convinced
I’m convinced of Active Rain’s decreased utility yet open to persuasion. Tell me why you still are there, what keeps you going there that you can’t find in a 100 other places. Tell me why you remained after the Move fiasco and if you believe the advice being dispensed is as good as it once was.
Maybe you’ll manage to bring me back into the Rain.