Groups are smaller communities within the larger ActiveRain. Join groups created by others. or start your own and
get others to join
This is the place to view the past and present contests put on by ActiveRain and its members. Everyone can join the
group and help encourage each other. Current contest will be highlighted posts so it's easy for you all to see. Let it
Curious as to what others in your profession think about a certain product or tool?
AR's community takes the time to leave honest and transparent reviews of their experiences
so you can be a bit wiser about your purchase.
Broken down by categories and subcategories for easy finds
Get an unfiltered look at what real users are saying
Leave a review yourself for others to benefit from
Add new products as you use them and gain points for doing so
ActiveRain University (ARU) provides free on-line training. We coach, consult and support real estate professionals about real estate trends, technology and social media.
ARU Calendar provides class types and registration links
Watch short tutorials on updating your photo, inserting a hyperlink and much more
Sign up for the Daily Drop so you don't miss out on AR's daily happenings
Find answers to most FAQ's
Whatever it is you're into and wherever you are, AR surely has a group for you to join.
Brand, off the wall, specific subject matters…whatever it is you're looking for.
Each time you write a post you can syndicate your post to 5 groups.
And if by chance you don't find what you're looking for, start a new group today!
Get your content in front of more eyes
Search by location or type
Feel free to start your own group
Find some that are close to home and close to heart
Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
that will boost their business and increase their visibility in the community and beyond.
Earn points by partaking in these contest and climb the leaderboard
Do what's good for you and your business by participating
If you have an idea for a contest, just let us know
Stay motivated and on track with new contests popping up each month
Ask a Real Estate Question
Here's another avenue for you to build relationships with others. Share your expertise with someone searching for answers.
Play the teacher role and help someone out today
Your Homepage will alert you of new questions in your state
A wonderful way to open a door to a possible new client
Ask a question yourself to get help
These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
State, County, City and Neighborhood pages make it easy for consumers to find what they're looking for.
Post your listings, school information, local events, market reports and more
Consumers peruse these pages for information
Farm your niche market and cover all the happenings in your neighborhood
You may or may not have seen some recent articles mentioning Zune's that seem to be malfunctioning at an alarming rate. So far there doesn't seem to be a clear answer as to why this is happening but there is some speculation that it is caused by a recent firmware update. There is no fix either at this moment.
Top Social Media Websites of 2008 - 12/31/08 01:05 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate The results are interesting. Blogger.com ranks number one in overall traffic with Facebook and Myspace in 2nd and 3rd. The numbers don't include December of course since that month isn't over yet... almost! You can check that stuff out here with all sorts of charts.
Another interesting thing to look at is how the search engines themselves ranked and you can see that here.
If you have something to say please leave a comment. I will try to comment on your blog as well.
If you like what I say subscribe (3 comments)
SEO For The New Year: A What if Disaster? - 12/31/08 11:28 AM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate I am sure many of you have noticed that Google recently updated the page ranks. For many of us this saw a higher page rank and in some cases a much higher PR! But what does PR really matter anyways, what we are really after is results right? Check out this forum entry here if you want to see what I mean because PR isn't always what its cracked up to be. From what I have read its more or less a way to get a sense of if your SEO efforts are working or (5 comments)
Decatur Georgia: Virtual World? - 12/27/08 04:25 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate “the City of Decatur, Georgia is evaluating the use of a virtual world interface to "encourage community networking, improve civic engagement, and promote economic development””
You can read the entire article here.
I don't want to be the one saying this wont work but this wont work. People don't just go online and spend their free time walking a virtual world for no reason. The reason WoW and games like that work is because not only are they interactive, they are competitive as well. You have to have a reason (1 comments)
Is Your Financial Information All Over the Net? Yes - 12/27/08 04:14 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Some security researchers have been examining just how big of a deal hacking financial information has become. You can check out this article for more information. It might be too technical for most people to understand because of the terminology involved. I will sum up some of the more important aspects here.
“stolen identities, bank accounts and credit card numbers are sold in bulk every day in shadowy online forums, often for pennies on the dollar. In its analysis, Symantec found in 2007 that the going rate for the keys to assuming someone else's (2 comments)
Is Your Phone System Secure? - 12/27/08 03:58 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate That question is probably something that you don't normally ask yourself when you own a business. But in the age of technology and computers this is something to seriously consider. According to this story a man in Winnipeg had $52,000 added to his bill after a hacker(s) gained control of his voice mail. While this seems out of the norm it actually seems very easy to do and it doesn't look like most phone systems have any sort of prevention for this sort of thing. With only a 4 digit code protecting you how safe can (7 comments)
Yes you heard me right. Some ass in Dubai decided to further wreak havoc on the planet and install pipes under the sand that contain a refrigerant. Frankly the story makes me so angry that it was difficult to even read it.
One thing to note is that if you can actually get through the article there are some good quotes by someone who apparently thinks this is ridiculous as well.
““Dubai is like a bubble world where the things that are worrying the rest of (10 comments)
I know everyone gets freaked out when it comes to genetics. I frankly don't see why. Yes we can manipulate genes and it works great. There are ethical issues involved such as creating monsters, super human soldiers, and countless other scenarios that people have been dreaming up since work first began in this field. But I think most people can see the practical applications that are involved.
In the case of this story it is rather urgent that something be done about breast cancer. “Women in three generations of her husband's family (0 comments)
A Canadian student at Carleton University in Canada has developed a very revolutionary prototype that significantly increases battery life in popular phones and I would think could see its way into other devices as well. The problem with these devices is a significant portion of energy is wasted transferring through wires. So what did he do different? Got rid of the wires! By putting a wireless transmitter in the device it seems to save a tremendous amount of energy and works great so far.
You can read the article here.
New York's Lights Getting Even Brighter and Cheaper and Greener! - 12/27/08 03:19 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate I came across this article and thought it was pretty interesting. I think changing out city lights for LED lights makes perfect sense. Not only will it pay for itself it will save the environment by using less energy. The bulbs also last longer. Now if we could only swap them out for solar lights maybe I would be even more enthusiastic. Maybe they can be converted later once the technology gets better?
If you have something to say please leave a comment. I will try to comment on your blog as well.
Mozilla (Firefox) Having Issues With Google Chrome - 12/27/08 03:12 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate The problem Mozilla is having with Google specifically is competition with it's new browser, Chrome. You see, “Mozilla is dependent on Google for the vast majority of its revenue and has previously worked closely with the search king's engineers on the development of Firefox.” With Firefox taking 1/5 of the world's browser users things could really heat up. With no financial backing the company would seem doomed. It will be interesting to see what happens but I really wouldn't want to see anything happen to Firefox.
You can read the rest of the article here. (4 comments)
Students Prank Teachers Big Time - 12/27/08 03:01 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate I came across this article the other day. Apparently high school students in Maryland are faking out traffic cameras using their teachers' license plate information on the cars and purposely speeding past the cameras. What this does is automatically send a ticket to the offending plate owner and the cameras cant seem to tell the difference between a real plate and the faked ones. All it takes is some glossy paper.
To me this not only shows traffic cameras do little or nothing to actually enforce laws, they seem more harm than good. Personally (7 comments)
Police Catch a Criminal by Using DNA Found in a Mosquito - 12/27/08 02:54 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate I came across this article the other day and found it interesting. I realize this has little to do with real estate other than to say the usual, times are changing. As often as people say that I wonder how different things really are than they were not so long ago. Sure technology has evolved but are we really any different than a generation ago? What's funny is how people get nostalgic about times past and often insist that somehow people were nicer and that things were better. Often people refer to the 50's as a (0 comments)
If You Ain't Youtubin' You Might be Out of Luck! - 12/19/08 02:26 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate In case you haven't heard, video is not just the next big thing, its here and its huge! According to this story, “Video search on YouTube accounts for a quarter of all Google search queries in the U.S., according to the latest search engine numbers from comScore.” This is simply staggering news. What started as a rather strange phenomena has grown into a very powerful business tool, that is if you are using it! To put this into perspective, “If it were a standalone site, YouTube would be the second largest search engine after Google. More (11 comments)
A Must for Your Website: Issuu Smart Look - 12/19/08 01:55 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate No more downloaded .pdf files or any other readable document. Issuu Smart Look eliminates the download and simply lets you look at the document directly. Not only is this feature simply better, it looks really dang cool too!
You can check it out here.
Adding the code to an existing site is really easy. Its pretty much a cut and paste job that anyone could do. I would love to demonstrate this on my site but I dont have any .pdf files or any other documents to download like that :(
“Drop.io, a service that offers hosted file sharing, conference calling, fax receiving, blogging, collaboration, and media presentation features, has released a major new version of its Firefox add-on.”
It also features Facebook connectivity.
“Upload new files to share, write a blog post, share a link via the aforementioned shortcut, or do something else clever with your own API app, and it can quickly be published to your Facebook news (1 comments)
I came across this article and at first I didn't really think much about it. The company Spranq has developed a new font dubbed Ecofont that uses less ink by basically punching holes in the font. You can read more about it here. How much of a difference can a simple font make? I guess I was just thinking of this in the simplest of terms, yes a font could save ink, but is 20% less ink really going to save the environment? But you see this is much more than that. According (8 comments)
In part 3 I was pointing out insecurities?? in the Safari Browser and showed how the password manager is most likely inadequate and a potential issue. In the same article I cited they also pointed out that Chrome didnt fair too well either. You can read that article here. To be fair Opera did the best but still failed 14 of the tests! So maybe the question is this:
Is anyone safe?
Well the thing about security and the difference between (2 comments)
Earlier this week it was announced “News broke in the security world earlier this week that a critical vulnerability had been found in Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7. The vulnerability could be used to take over computers and is known to be currently being used to steal passwords.” Now if you are a Internet Explorer user or 70%ish of the current market or you were a past IE user (99% likely) then you are familiar with these sorts of announcements. But if Microsoft had a defcon (2 comments)
You or Your Browser is Insecure... Firefox: Very Risky Part 1 - 12/17/08 02:31 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Firefox has been gaining quite a reputation and quite a following. Recently it was reported that Firefox is taking a 20% market share for browsers. What this means in terms of security is that “This gives it a high profile and leaves it a desirable target to be exploited by hackers and malware writers. Worse yet, it has less money to fund security efforts that Microsoft, and according to some experts, less focus as well.”
This might mean a risk to your computer. But really how can you know? I guess the point is (3 comments)
Blogging World Turning Upside Down Overnight? This is BIG! - 12/17/08 01:52 PM
I recently reported that Facebook was adding a new feature called Facebook Connect and Google was adding Friend Connect. When I wrote those articles I didn't realize one very big feature staring me in the face. In addition to all of the other interconnectivity that “Connect” will offer they basically act to universally identify you wherever you are in the world.
“People may have IDs for the various blogging platforms or commenting systems, but most don’t identify with them. It is a necessary inconvenience. They identify with Facebook or their email because that is where they (4 comments)
The Consumer Adapted: Did You? - 12/15/08 01:37 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Realtor® If you haven't heard we are in a recession. Is that news? I think you would probably have to be living in a hole not to know that. What should we know about the recession?
When did things change?
Knowing when something is happening is important. Being on top of every change is vital because the thing about change is that its always changing!
How does it affect the consumer?
With every major market shift people make changes. If their level of income drops off they are forced to (7 comments)
Recession to Trigger Boom in BlackHat and Malware? - 12/15/08 01:16 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Eau Claire Wisconsin Realtor® Everyone knows, or should know, there is a direct correlation between poverty levels and crime. Basically the answer to crime is to raise up income levels and we would see a drastic decline in most crimes. That probably won't stop the crimes going on in our government, wall street or white collar crimes in general but since when does our society treat those types of crimes as crimes? After all, you don't see anyone in jail after all the recent criminal activity on wall street.
Anyways, to get back (1 comments)
US Homes Lose $2 Billion in Value and why Headlines Like These are Misleading - 12/15/08 12:34 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Eau Claire Wisconsin Realtor® According to this article, the website Zillow, has reported that US homes have lost about $2 Billion in value. That certainly does make a great headline and probably scares enough people into reading the story. But take a good look at that story for a moment and then lets analyze this together.
Whenever I am presented with an opinion and this article is certainly opinion, I want some basic facts to be presented alongside that opinion. This is just basically supporting your argument or at least documenting where you got your (0 comments)
Squidoo FaceBook Connect: Better Hurry to get This! - 12/14/08 03:07 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Agent Not sure how many Real Estate people use Squidoo but I would guess its a smaller number in comparison with FaceBook. Anyways I just noticed that when you login to Squidoo they are offering the chance to participate in what must be a Beta program using the new FaceBook connect feature that I announced in my blog just a bit ago. I am assuming this will interconnect Squidoo and FaceBook and will definitely spice up both.
You can check out one of my lenses here: http://www.squidoo.com/EauClaireWisconsinRealEstate
Sick of Junk Faxes? Check This out! - 12/12/08 01:44 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Eau Claire Wisconsin Realtor® If you are in a profession that requires you to stick your personal information out there, like my job does for instance, then you probably get pretty tired of all the phone calls from telemarketers. Then pretty much anyone with an Inbox has probably been tired of ridiculous scam emails as long as they can remember. On top of all that you have the problem of ridiculous faxes coming in with offers from all over the place. Not only do these tie up your phone line they waste time, paper and money. (12 comments)
Google Chrome: It's Official! 1.0 is Here - 12/12/08 01:28 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Realtor® Not too long ago Google announced the release of their browser called Chrome. It has been in the beta stage for a bit and from what I have seen most people have been happy with it. Well now its official and no longer in the beta stages. Now if only my MLS would stop having to use Internet Explorer I could officially switch to something else. I think I would go the Firefox route myself simply because of the addons and it being around longer. Anyways links:
Rates are Down!! Buy Buy Buy!!! Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Altoona Chippewa Falls - 12/12/08 01:04 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Eau Claire Wisconsin Realtor® Rates have dropped to seldom seen levels and its time to buy! If you have been on the fence about investing in Real Estate in Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls or Altoona Wisconsin or wondering whether its a good time to buy, there is no time like the present. Talk to your lender about how to “lock in” these really low rates. Give me a call today and we can find the perfect home. You cant beat the prices and you cant beat the rates. Its a win win.
Major Word Press Update—2.7—New Features and More! - 12/12/08 11:09 AM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Realtor® I originally posted this in my Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Blog. If you have a Word Press blog, as always, you need to stay on top of the new releases for security issues. This new release does offer new security features but it also offers some other features that pretty cool as well.
If you haven't had a chance to install this I suggest doing so by going here.
By the way this will most likely be the last time you have to worry about updates because one of the new (2 comments)
So no one Believes we are Destroying the Planet? - 12/10/08 01:48 PM
I am pretty saddened reading a recent blog about evidence for climate change. Especially when the entire argument was based on a common misconception of what climate change even is. I am not going to get into extensive scientific explanations but if you think climate change is whether its cold out one day or not then you don't even understand the most basic concepts of climate change and definitely cant make an informed opinion one way or the other.
Can they prove there is a 100% positive connection between rising CO2 levels and climate change?
Hit by the “Storm” but Feel Like it was Hailing? - 12/10/08 12:56 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Agent Ok maybe that title doesn't make much sense. But after all the anticipation surrounding the release of the Blackberry Storm and then the uproar over the number of bugs, it probably did feel like some crappy weather for you. Even more so considering the price you paid to be one of the first to own this new toy.
Well there might be help and hope for you with a new upgrade to the OS(operating system) According to this story the phone “now behaves more responsively, quickly and smoothly with an operating system (0 comments)
Office Depot Closing Stores - 12/10/08 12:40 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Agent I just came across an article and thought it might have an impact on you or your business. Apparently “Office Depot Inc. will close about 9 percent of its North American stores and cut 2,200 jobs over the next three months while planning to open fewer locations next year in an effort to cut costs.”
You can take a look at the rest of the story here.
It certainly doesn't look good for the company in general. I think they are trying to head off bankruptcy but I don't know (2 comments)
I don't know which one did it but all the sudden I saw an my Outlook inbox explode with people from Twitter. Out of nowhere like 10 different people have started following me today. Its one thing in the blogging world to see how many people have viewed your articles and then hopefully to see a number of people to subscribe to (12 comments)
Major Google Webmaster Tools Updates - 12/06/08 11:01 AM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Agent If you are interested in more traffic to your website and I don't know who wouldn't be then staying on top of every single new update is important. This is a difficult task indeed because it seems like there are so many sources for information and new things to try.
Well for now check out the official announcement from Google here.
I have mentioned a few times that Google has been tweaking both Webmaster Tools and Analytics lately. Moving stuff around doesn't seem to be that big of an announcement but (9 comments)
As I recently announced in my last post there have been some major updates to social networking. So Facebook drops a bomb on us all with their new release Google, not wanting to be outdone, starts dropping some bombshells of their own. Also I promise to lay off the violent overtones in the rest of this post! :)
Maybe it seems like I have been reporting on viruses and security issues a lot lately but it also seems like a lot of people have been having troubles. Anyone in the security field knows that the best solution is being proactive. So thats why when I hear about some new potential threat I like to get the word out as quickly as possible, especially when it is a particularly nasty threat.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it seems some unnamed company has made a significant boo boo. This “mistake” is basically a rootkit that potentially opens up a huge backdoor. This is very bad news indeed. At this point no one is saying who but it is hinted that it is an “an unnamed Enterprise Information Security (EIS) suite.” Basically Enterprise refers to, well straight from the article, “Who are the lucky (4 comments)
Macs Have Viruses too—Yes it is True - 12/03/08 01:43 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Agent I have seen countless posts and conversations with people that make the claim that somehow Mac's are more secure than a PC and are immune to viruses. Nothing could be further from the truth. Now the current Mac OS is built upon Unix and thus possibly more secure in a roundabout way that is far too complicated to explain here but through Apple's own advertising they have continued to mislead the public on this subject. I don't want to get into security vulnerabilities as a whole because the topic is so vast and so subjective (8 comments)
Just for fun –The 11 Lamest Blogs on the Internet - 12/03/08 12:29 PM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Agent I saw this article yesterday and thought it was pretty funny. It certainly makes my blog seem like art or something in comparison and my blog is by no means that great. I thought it would be at least worth a good chuckle because some of these blogs are so bad it is just amazing.
Anyways its funny and I am sure you can agree there are few blogs that could be as bad as these.
As always if you like what I have to say please subscribe to my (4 comments)
SEO—How to use the Channels Feature for Maximum SERP Exposure-Google Juice! - 12/03/08 11:16 AM
Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Agent This wont have to be a long entry to explain how valuable the channels feature is. You might have read my other article about channels and if you haven't take a look and I apologize for the length but its very in depth. Brad Andersohn wrote a great introductory article on the new channels feature here. In that article he wrote “Should I Channel my previous posts? Yes, at least the ones you want to show up in specific Channels” but he didn't really explain how this might have a huge benefit for you, (2 comments)
According to this story mortgage applications have been reported at record rates as mortgage rates have fallen to very low levels. “Potential borrowers were lured by enticing mortgage rates, which dropped dramatically after the Federal Reserve unveiled a plan last week to buy up to $500 billion of mortgage securities backed by government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae <FNM.P>, Freddie Mac <FRE.P>, and Ginnie Mae.”
What does this mean for people in our area? I would hope (1 comments)
I came across this article today and found it interesting. The basic premise of the article is this:
One of the persistent fears regarding Internet content is that the nature of web popularity will create a "rich get richer" situation, in which a limited number of sites wind up attracting the vast majority of web traffic and links. This position of dominance would then attract inbound links to create a "Googlearchy," in which their popularity starts a self-reinforcing cycle.
After reading Brad's article on how his family's network of pcs was infected over the weekend I found it highly coincidental but extremely pertinent. What I have noticed after repairing, fixing and working on around well over 100 family members and friends computers over the years and I having done this professionally, is that the majority of computer issues stem from a few basic problems.
Windows is hardly ever updated. Most people do (3 comments)
I saw this article and am sort of scratching my head because to me this just doesn't seem like a good idea. “He is helping homeless people illegally move into foreclosed homes.” I suggest reading the article quick to get a feel for it.
Here are some other things to note:
“He also breaks into the homes he shows.”
“Pierre herself could be charged with trespassing, vandalism or breaking and entering.”
Probably everyone living in the United States is well aware of Black Friday and all its glory or lack there of. Fewer still are aware of the deals available on Cyber Monday. What is it anyways? Well its basically a Hallmark Holiday in that its entirely invented but I guess what isn't? Its a way for online e-tailers to market their goods and hopefully sell a whole bunch of something to someone! Gimmicks aside it certainly is a great way to save some money (4 comments)
Eau Claire Real Estate and The Real State of Real Estate in the Chippewa Valley. A blog created for the people of Eau Claire and the greater Chippewa Valley to extensively cover real estate matters as they pertain to the people who matter most to me. Local real estate issues for local people. Buy or Sell, I'll Treat You Well!
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.