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