This will not be the last time you see changes here at ActiveRain. In fact, because we are fresh off a major overhaul to the underlying technology upon which ActiveRain is built, you should expect to see changes and updates more frequently.
That's very exciting for us. But we don't want it to come as a shock each time something new is introduced, so Nikesh (click that link and subscribe to his blog) will often give you a chance to test it out and give us feedback before it goes live.
In fact, last Monday Nikesh introduced a new look and feel for ActiveRain. For the last week our members have had a chance to play with the upgraded ActiveRain on our testing server, beta.activerain.com. We are really excited today to be releasing the first upgrade to the layout of the site in quite some time.
What all comes along with this new design? As Nikesh previously mentioned, here are some of the highlights:
1) New Logo & Design:
We have updated the design and header of ActiveRain to bring us into 2012. We also made some tweaks to the logo to modernize it and make it ring with the promise of ActiveRain as an aspirational community that is looking to connect, share and learn from each other. We have moved the clouds & the sky to be part of the logo to represent the idealism that ActiveRain represents.
2) Search Bar: The search bar is now present across ALL pages on ActiveRain, since search is such a core part of using the Internet. We will be making more changes to search on ActiveRain in the near future.
This is where you will see the majority of the changes. MyHome on ActiveRain has consistently been the single most visited page on ActiveRain, but was the least optimized for the core activities that we want members to engage it. From an ActiveRain perspective, we want members to CONNECT with other members, WRITE/COMMENT,
We also have made the "Activity Feed" the core content of the MyHome tab. Over time, we will move blog post content and group posts into your activity feed as well, so you can see them all in one area.
Making MyHome cleaner and more focused required us to move links around. We have moved links up in the navigation that promote managing your profile, writing a blog post, viewing the traffic to your blog, and seeing your points. All the links that were on the left side of MyHome should still be on MyHome. Some of links which were used less frequently have been moved to "Blog," "Setting" or "Other." You can click on the arrow to see all the links.
4) Settings: In the upper right now, you will see your name (or part of your name that are including your city & state in your name field). When you click on your name, it will show your settings and billing information. Only YOU will be able to see your billing information. Some members have added more text to their first name and last name in the upper right. For example, if you made your first name in the system, "Bellevue's Home Buying Expert" and your last Name "Bob Stewart, Specialist at Keller Williams Bellevue," the system will only show the first 20 characters. Again, ONLY YOU see this. Consumers do not see the name in the upper right.
Listening to Feedback:
For the last week, since the release of the update to our Beta server, we have been listening to the feedback of members who have been using the new version of the site. Have we made some adjustments? You bet we have. We've found that the collective brain power of a community like ActiveRain is always capable of making improvements. If you have ideas on making ActiveRain better based on this new upgrade, or just based on anything you've thought up, we would love to hear that feedback.