"So, What's the Point?" The Genius and Curse of the ActiveRain Points System

By
Real Estate Broker with Keller Williams West Sound Realty

It's time once again to play our game, "Name That Guideline!" And I'm your Host, ActiveRain Community Builder Rich Jacobson!...

We've been re-acquainting ourselves with the ActiveRain Community Guidelines and dissecting each one in sequential order. This week, we come to the following guideline:http://www.activerain.com/garaughty

  • The point system is intended to recognize the top professionals in our industry. Do not try to game the system. Points for blogging will only be awarded for majority original content.

Since the very beginning of our Network, the point system has been the source of constant debate and criticism. Take a stroll with me down AR Memory Lane to help illustrate my point:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/Let-s-Start-a-Discussion?3716

http://activerain.com/blogsview/Points-What-s-the-point-?5646

http://activerain.com/blogsview/Blogging-For-the-Sake-of-Points-?7768

http://activerain.com/blogsview/Points?8701

http://activerain.com/blogsview/Why-all-the-manipulation-?11422

Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, you have to admit the Points idea was a stroke of genius by ActiveRain Co-Founders, Jonathan Washburn and Matt Heaton. Put a bunch of competitive Type-A Real Estate Professionals into a public forum, award them points for their activities, and establish ranking by the number of points earned. Brilliant!

Unfortunately, just like anything else in life, there are those who will deliberately set out to 'game' the system, and take unfair advantage of those who legitimately 'earn' their points the right/honorable way.

In addition, there will always be those who attempt to take shortcuts towards achieving success. These members are under the misguided delusion that racking up a boatload of cheap points by posting 'crap' is somehow going to help them gain higher ranking with the search engines, translating into more potential leads. But what they'll eventually discover is that today's sophisticated consumer isn't attracted to their cheaply contrived and hollow articles. They'll quickly move on to other member posts that contain more substance and relevant content. And all they're left with is loads of points and lots of crap! (Carnac would be so proud of me!)

But I digress...

"The Points System was originally intended to recognize the Top Professionals in our industry."

Gee, what a novel thought, huh? The Point System was designed to reward our 'professional' members for contributing/participating in meaningful ways that bring value to our community....

(I feel like the guy in the Geico commercials: "I've heard they were also quite beneficent and magnanimous")

And just what are those meaningful ways? Here's a few...

  • Writing good, quality real estate-related content articles 
  • Engaging in meaningful dialog (commenting) on other member's posts
  • Sharing our professional expertise/knowledge/experiences for the collective benefit of our Network.

Quite naturally, it would bear out that those with the highest scores would be those who had made the most significant contributions, and participated most consistently. As I look back through the ActiveRain members who have amassed over 200,000 points, with only a few minor exceptions, this certainly appears to be the case.

So what is YOUR legacy here in the Rain? What nature of blog archive have you labored to assemble? Are the points you've earned thus far reflected in the quality of your writing?

"It depends on what your definition of IS is"

Okay, so what exactly is 'Majority Original Content?' Tell me exactly how many of my own words I need to include so I can qualify for the 200 points. If every one of my articles contains the same 50 word self-promotional ad, along with all my pertinent contact info, that should qualify for the 200 points, right? What if I simply copy some statistical data from our local MLS, and paste it onto my blog. 200 points, right? How about if I post all the same content, but change the titles around? Better be worth those 200 points! At least it's MY content! If I post the same listing more than once, I should get more points, right?

Broker Byrant has a blogging mantra he refers to quite often: "ALL ORIGINAL, ALL THE TIME!"

The best way to stay out of Copyright Jail and to earn your points honestly & ethically is by posting your own original content, all the time.

Good, effective, and successful blogging takes time and energy. It requires consistent commitment. There are NO shortcuts. Dumping garbage into your blog just for the sake of garnering some quick points is....well,.....pointless.

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Rainmaker
1,385,650
Maureen McCabe
Columbus Ohio Real Estate
HER Realtors

I was waiting for someone... like Rich or anyone else to answer  #148 "why I need to acquire more points!"

Or

"Will it increase my SEO or will it just make me 'the best' blogger in my area?!"

The number of points don't necessarily make you 'the best" blogger, it just makes you the member with the most points, in the area.

The points have encouraged participation for some (not all) members.  Points don't give SEO.   ActiveRain has excellent SEO though.    A member can have lots of AR points though and not  have their content show up at all in the search engines.

Some members use the points to gauge their progress until they can measure their progress in another way.

October 25, 2010 01:19 PM
Ambassador
526,946
Rich Jacobson
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
Keller Williams West Sound Realty

Points were initially implemented to stir up good, fun competitive effort. And obviously, it was a stroke of genius! However, there are some legitimate SEO benefits to be high up in the pecking order. At least, that's what I was told by Bob Stewart. It's something in the way the platform is constructed, and how content is crawled by the search engines...Plus, just by virtue of being one of the top members in your respective market area, does benefit you when people search by State, County, City, etc..

Regardless, if you're blogging consistently, using key search terms for your target market niche, the collective google juice of ActiveRain will help you to be found in organic searches!

October 25, 2010 03:04 PM
Rainer
96,100
Dave Leiderman
ABR, SFR - Realtor - DE & MD Beaches
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Rich I love the point system!  In fact, a peer and I are in the midst of trying to best the other for AR positioning in our market.  My only question is how to accumulate more points other than blog posting/responding and signing in?  I'm still surfing through AR to figure out all the bells and whistles.  Hopefully I'll figure it out soon!

 

January 22, 2011 02:07 PM
Rainmaker
1,385,650
Maureen McCabe
Columbus Ohio Real Estate
HER Realtors

pssst Dave Leiderman invite points are great.... did you see the featured post by Bob Stewart (?)  a couple of weeks ago about how to invite members and get points.   Invite using the AR site, send an email using your link to people you know.

I just saw a guy do his invite link within the NAR group on Linkedin, will be interesting to see if the group leaders allow that. It was done tastefully but they have lots of rules in the group, are pretty strict.  Other groups on Linkedin, Facebook, etc. might work for invite points.

January 22, 2011 05:08 PM
Rainer
61,847
Ed Williamson
Homes in Louisville, KY. RE/MAX Realtor & Broker, CRS,GRI,SFR
REMAX Properties East (RPE) #1 in LOUISVILLE, KY.
 

I see the pros & cons of points....but I also see many out of business agents with a gazillion points (that continue on autopilot, due to previous AR member recruitments)

May 26, 2011 11:31 PM
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Providing Knowledgeable Empowerment and Relentless Representation of Real Estate Clients throughtout the Western Puget Sound, including all of Kitsap County WA, and portions of Mason, Pierce, and Jefferson Counties.

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