The ActiveRain Featured Blog Post

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Zillow - Nat'l Outreach Mgr & Dir. of Zillow Academy

The ActiveRain Featured Blog Post -

I get asked everyday about the ActiveRain Featured Blog post.  The wide variety of questions range from "Who Is Featuring The Posts" to "Why Are The Same Members Featured over and over again?"  Well, it's taken me 2 1/2 years working here to finally write a post about the infamous "Featured Blog Post!" 

Now some of you will agree, and some may disagree, (I wouldn't have it any other way) but at the end of the day, what really matters most is that you understand the process, the system, and have some compassion for the thankless position of those responsible for keeping that feature board going day in and day out.

So who, what, when, where, why, and how does this all work?

 The ActiveRain Feature Board

Are you kidding?  You really thought I was going to give up the secret?  Share the coveted recipe to KFC's Chicken?  Unveil the ancient Chinese secret that all proverbs were built upon?  Are you nuts?  You really thought it would be that easy to just come along and read a post and all of a sudden be the "all knowing" understander of the ActiveRain Featured Blog Post?  Sorry folks, I've held back this long, I'm not about to lay it all out there now and take the fun, the mystery, and all the guess work out of it.  Haha, had ya goin there for a sec eh?

The ActiveRain Feature Board is a living, breathing, ever-changing, powerful, and exciting AR feature.  It could possibly be one of the most important and exciting things about the entire ActiveRain RE Network.  Acquiring that sought after gold star and having your picture on the main AR page has been compared by some to being as exciting as having your picture on the cover of the "Rolling Stone!" 

Why is the "Feature" such a coveted "CRAZE" here on ActiveRain?  For those with an ego, it's the recognition, for others it's the potential traffic, and the added exposure.  The opportunities a featured post can create are unbelievable.  The thought and potential of getting a featured post has created some pretty crazy frenzy's.  It's also stirred up some pretty wild and crazy far-fetched ideas and posts from some of our more "voicy" ActiveRain members. One thing is for sure, this will always be a sensative and even contraversial topic.

So how do we feature posts and are the same people getting featured too often?

First off, I want to thank you (the community) for helping us refine this delicate process of selecting posts for featured status. Since the inception of the feature board, we continually strive to refine the process in which featured posts are selected. The recent addition of the 'suggest' button is our second shot at trying to put the feature board in the hands of our members.

The first shot was over two years ago and it failed as we were unable to control it from being manipulated by folks banding together and suggesting each other for features. We believe that the newest incarnation will be more successful as the shear numbers of people suggesting posts for feature has grown significantly and the ease with which someone can manipulate it has diminished.

Add in a few additional administrative controls, now we can determine who may be trying to manipulate the system, and we believe we are getting much closer to a true community decision of what merits a feature worthy post on ActiveRain.  That being said, we still have the ultimate decision on what gets featured and all posts that are suggested for feature are reviewed by our staff prior to being featured. 

(The AR Staff Moderators names will not be disclosed in this post for obvious reasons)

This sentiment has been echoed in the past, and I believe it still holds true today. There are certain members that are excellent writers. For whatever reason, and it's not because they have overtly recruited people to suggest their posts for feature, their posts get suggested for feature at a higher rate than others.  Much of it has to do with the large followings they have amassed because of the balance they have achieved in writing to consumers and also focusing on writing posts that help the community.

We have a hard time justifying penalizing these folks by keeping them off the feature board or restricting the amount of features they can have. However, I am in agreement with all members that having the same person on the feature board more than once at the same time is not the best representation of the depth of writing talent here on ActiveRain.  For this reason, we have asked our staff to be mindful of who is already on the feature board as they review the posts that have been suggested for feature.

We have also asked that they look deeper in the pool of suggested posts for members that have had very few (or no) featured posts in the past. This will help us develop the new talent on the site and allow them to amass followings that can benefit from their writing skills. We truly appreciate all our members for taking the time to voice their concerns to us, it's because of these members that ActiveRain will continue to grow and get better.

My personal ancient secret recipe for finding features

The ActiveRain Featured Blog post, just one more great example of how ActiveRain has and will continue to evolve.

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Re-Blogged 15 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Todd & Devona - Garrigus Real Estate 08/05/2010 01:58 AM
  2. Holly Weatherwax 08/05/2010 01:23 PM
  3. Kyle Jan 08/05/2010 01:28 PM
  4. Joe Jackson 08/06/2010 09:41 AM
  5. Ginger Foust 08/08/2010 08:59 PM
  6. Janice Ankrett 08/09/2010 03:43 PM
  7. Fred Carver-Top Realtor Victoria, BC 08/09/2010 09:49 PM
  8. Roy Kelley 08/09/2010 09:54 PM
  9. Robert (Vegas Bob) Swetz 08/09/2010 09:57 PM
  10. Wallace S. Gibson, CPM 08/11/2010 01:44 AM
  11. Susan Gaieski 08/12/2010 04:21 PM
  12. Lori Bowers 09/04/2010 12:53 PM
  13. Ryan Case 09/09/2010 06:34 PM
  14. Elizabeth Arduain 09/24/2010 12:02 PM
  15. Donna Foerster 12/23/2010 10:26 PM
Topic:
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Show All Comments
Rainer
19,214
Bruce Brown
Bennett Property Shop Realty - Ottawa, ON

Hi Karen,

No no!  I manually deleted all of my posts earlier this week and blanked out my profile yesterday...

I wasn't "upset" by any means, just aware that the activerain community runs much like any other ad hoc community and I'm ok with that.  But it just isn't for me.

Brad,

Ha ha!  The joke is on me!  You mean I could have received a feature as a bribe?  Sheesh - it's true what they say - we often give up just before we reach the prize :)

No worries - I was not particularly concerned that I, specifically, had not been featured yet. I'm a decent enough writer and may have eventually caught the "right" person's attention.  Actually, Canada's #1 ActiveRain blogger (by points) recommended one of my posts just last week, for which I was greatly appreciative.  I re-read that post after his generous comment, and while I believe it held within it the seeds of something great, I had not spent sufficient time refining it to meet even my own standards, let alone those of the feature Gods, so I would not have anticipated a feature.

The reality is, though, that the numbers don't wash here.  You become one of the clique and will be featured frequently almost regardless of what you write, or you write and write and may eventually be noticed. It's human nature and there really is nothing wrong with it.  However, representing oneself in an environment where 1% (very rough estimate :)) of the participating agents have all the air time, diminishes the stature of those not in this minority, in the eyes of the readers of one's blog - ultimately one's paying clients.

I felt it made sense to move to platforms that do not actively illustrate to my clients that I am explicitly NOT one of the "anointed elite".  Publicly demonstrating on a daily basis that my thoughts are never amongst "the best" is counter-productive.  On top of that, my identical blog posts on other platforms get me higher in Google results than my activerain posts, and those platforms are free... kind of a no-brainer. Not sure if some of this is due to differences in the Canadian web-o-sphere. I noticed that some of the top Toronto activerainers, for example, also do not rank high on google searches that I would think they would be targetting.

I think activerain is cool  It reminds me of a photography forum I have participated on for years - supportive community and all that jazz.  But photography is my hobby - doesn't matter if I don't appear to be among "the best."  With Real Estate, it does.

All the best to each of you!

Cheers,

Bruce

 

September 16, 2010 05:16 PM #163
Ambassador
710,365
Brad Andersohn
Zillow - Nat'l Outreach Mgr & Dir. of Zillow Academy - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad 707.646.1876

Hey Bruce, thanks for responding and for your thoughts and comment.  It's a shame we can't feature comments too, I'd love to hear how others would respond? 

There is one correction I can try to make or address from your comment above which is a common mis-belief, but the clique's on AR or any network for that matter are the same as in the real world, company's and websites etc have no control over what cliques evolve, and who is involved in them.

For the record, there is no "featured" cliques here on AR, only members who contribute content that gets suggested for feature by other members, or gets picked up by one of our staff or moderators for a feature.  The site is constantly growing and we're always looking for better and more efficient ways to refine the "featuring" process.

Good luck in all your endeavors my friend, I sincerely wish you all the best of luck in whatever you choose to do and wherever you choose to go to participate.

September 17, 2010 11:32 AM #164
Rainer
19,214
Bruce Brown
Bennett Property Shop Realty - Ottawa, ON

Really appreciate your comment too, Brad, thank you.

I'm currently re-architecting my online presence (sheesh, such churn - but this time I think I've learned just enough to at least get the right organization so I can just focus on content) and I do believe activerain will factor into it - just not the way I thought it would originally.

Thanks again for the considered thoughts on this issue. I agree with your comment about how communities work, which is what I intended to say at the outset of my original post.

Cheers & "see" you around...

September 21, 2010 07:47 AM #165
Ambassador
710,365
Brad Andersohn
Zillow - Nat'l Outreach Mgr & Dir. of Zillow Academy - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad 707.646.1876

Thanks Bruce - my door is always open to you should there be a need for an ear or an opinion, God knows we all have those in stock! :-)  Looking forward to hearing about your successes in the future, cheers to you my friend, and yes, I hope to see you around...

September 21, 2010 12:47 PM #166
Rainmaker
261,430
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Some people, no matter what they write, seem to get featured. I always chalked it up to them having helped create the "Active Rain Brand" in the early years, and they deserve some props, and I am OK with that. However, the new members may think there is an elite group and that spells trouble for the long haul. I'm glad AR is trying to become more democratic. It's time to spread the sugar around!

September 25, 2010 12:08 AM #167
Rainer
28,445
Jayson Holland
RE/MAX - Denver, CO
Jay Holland

I have read some phenomenal comments from a few of the members, and should they every be inclined to write a blog, I hope it will be instantly featured. Not sure what the process is to achieve the "featured" blog selection, but Mike Morrison (Will & Will Real Estate Brokers) is incredibly articulate, thoughtful, and intelligent, especially on current topics. His comments are amazing, and I'm sure his blogs would be outstanding. 

 

September 28, 2010 07:31 PM #168
Ambassador
710,365
Brad Andersohn
Zillow - Nat'l Outreach Mgr & Dir. of Zillow Academy - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad 707.646.1876

Jayson - there are hundreds... no wait... thousands of great writers here and ALL deserve to be featured,
hopefully at some point they will be! :)

September 28, 2010 11:26 PM #169
Rainmaker
312,770
Jean-Paul Peron
The Outer Banks Real Estate Copmpany - Corolla, NC
Carova Beach - Living & Working in 4-Wheel Drive

OK so my question is "When we notice that we have posts that have been featured, how do we find out which posts they are?"

November 28, 2010 03:38 PM #170
Rainmaker
996,038
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Jean-Paul in #170:  When you have a post that gets featured... and scrolling over your gold star says you have three Featured Posts... there IS no notice sent to you by Active Rain.  You will know it gets featured by seeing the Gold Star Star that will appear under the bottom left corner of your Featured Post.

So, you have to scroll down through them... in order to find them.

Another way would be for you to click on the link along the left side of your profile page that is labeled Points Summary.  Scroll down, and your three featured posts will each be labeled "Featured."

November 28, 2010 05:08 PM #171
Ambassador
710,365
Brad Andersohn
Zillow - Nat'l Outreach Mgr & Dir. of Zillow Academy - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad 707.646.1876

Man Karen, you are good... and FAST TOO!  :-)  Thanks. 

Listen to Karen Jean-Paul, she's correct.  Happy Holidays!!

November 28, 2010 08:38 PM #172
Rainmaker
138,689
Tre Pryor
REMAX Champions - Louisville, KY
Realtor, e-PRO - Louisville

So you're saying, "There is no man behind the curtain!" ?

My goal on ActiveRain is to have the highest number of quality posts without ever having a Featured Blog Post. And I'm well on my way with 110... don't screw this up for me Brad. ;^)

December 07, 2010 01:54 PM #173
Ambassador
710,365
Brad Andersohn
Zillow - Nat'l Outreach Mgr & Dir. of Zillow Academy - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad 707.646.1876

Did I say that?  :-?  Failure should never be an option....

If I could still feature on AR, I'd ruin your entire day with a gold star right now! lol~

December 07, 2010 02:04 PM #174
Rainmaker
566,690
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Brad, I too, am waiting on the secret recipe... where can I find it ;-)

December 23, 2010 10:50 PM #175
Ambassador
710,365
Brad Andersohn
Zillow - Nat'l Outreach Mgr & Dir. of Zillow Academy - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad 707.646.1876

Chris - the secret is simple...  content, content, content. 

It's like being on the first page of Google, what's really more important, being on the first page, or getting business because of your great content?  Content wins hands down, featured or not.  :-)

December 24, 2010 06:21 PM #176
Rainer
234,262
Doug Bullwinkel
Vitek Mortgage Group - Roseville, CA
NMLS #281609

Being a NewBe, (did I even spell that correctly?) I didn't even know what a featured blog was until last week.  I do enjoy reading those as they seem to be more upbeat and hold my interest.  Maybe that's the key to getting featured.  I tend not to comment as much on these featured blogs as it takes so long to go through all the comments, but that's part of the total experience of reading these.  By the time I get to the end of the comments, whatever I had to say was most likely already said. Whatever you are doing seems to be working.  While the Featured section is your crown jewel, the other blogs and groups have a tremendous amount of great information to offer as well.

March 24, 2011 01:41 AM #177
Ambassador
409,476
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Well this post will just keep getting circulated ! HA.. And well it should because we all ask... all the freakin time! HA.. We know you choose the features and you need a mix of different topics and ideas to make a cohesive homepage. It is what it is.. those that get featured a lot. Blog a lot.... A LOT! and that will just happen! Thanks Brad.

June 02, 2011 12:28 PM #178
Rainmaker
50,922
Suzanne Martin
Beachstone Properties, Inc. - Dana Point, CA
Your Orange County Real Estate Broker!

Thanks for your post.  I've been making an effort to get more involved in AR.  It seems to pay off if you put the time in.

June 21, 2011 11:28 PM #179
Rainer
102,310
Tim Krueger
Keller Williams Newport Estates - Newport Coast, CA
KW Short Sales Specialist

I better step my blogging game up so I can have more feature posts! 

August 05, 2011 03:00 PM #180
Rainer
151,125
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836
Just interested in the current 2013 thoughts on the almighty FEATURED on AR, and Brad, this 2010 post came up. Still interesting and curious how BRUCE is doing in Canada?! He seemed to be a good writer - good strong comments. Liked your responses, also.
November 19, 2013 05:38 AM #181
Ambassador
710,365
Brad Andersohn
Zillow - Nat'l Outreach Mgr & Dir. of Zillow Academy - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad 707.646.1876

Jane - thanks for reading and commenting. This post was written over 3 years ago, I think much has changed since then IE: ownership of AR, staffing, the culture here etc. You'll notice even this post was not "Featured" but it's not because I was banned or bounced from the featurable members here, it's really the choice of the moderation team and members and the current staff who select which posts they like for the feature board.

If you want to know how the process works today, you'll have to contact one of the AR moderators or staff members who carry's the "golden clicker" for featuring articles. Not sure who is on that list anymore but there use to be quite a few key members here on AR that had this ability.  My suggestion is to focus on your content always whether it's here on AR, your outside Blog or website, and even on social media. :-)

November 19, 2013 09:05 AM #182
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Brad Andersohn

ActiveBrad 707.646.1876
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