The ONLY problem I have EVER had about Active Rain was it is UGLY. YUP UGLY and I have not been afraid to let the Rain Gods (Matt Heaton and Johnathon Washburn) know how I felt.
But there is a saying, "you only get to complain if you are willing to provide a solution." So not only did I register a complaint, I also tried my best to get them over to the "pretty side". I sent them mock-up ideas JUST to get this site LOOKING better.
But the AR guys could only move so fast on all the improvements they were providing us. I could no longer wait. To be honest, the reason I went OUTSIDE Active Rain to start my second blog (Home Staging; Rants & Ravings) is because I am in the "first Impression" business. Much like an advertising agency or an architectural firm or landscaper... I knew that HOW I looked in my blogging media was as important as what I had to say.
But I did not give up on Acitve Rain I knew that when they finally did work on the "pretty," they would do it right, as they have done with so much here. VICTORY! You guys did it.
Active Rain has given us all a FREE and very easy tool to make our blogs look great. Now it does have a few quirks and glitches that need to be addressed. But I did play with it this morning... and I just wanted to say that it only took me about 3 1/2 hours time to do what you see. You might say I now "staged" my blog.
Which leads me RIGHT into the real reason I am writing this post. For all of you who think your blogs can compete soley on what you have to say... then you really need NOT to alter ANY anything visual about your blog here. BUT if you want your "property" to stand out a little bit more, because let's face it... WHAT you have to say isn't the only think that is important when you are selling your message to your readers, then I am sure you will take the time to visually "package" your message.
I don't care if you are "staging" a blog or staging a property that is for sale... visual impressions matter! I hope you all have as much fun purdy-ing up your puddle in the Rain, as I did mine.
Thanks again to the AR guys!
PS: For more information check out this post by Brad Carroll. ActiveRain gives the "Green Light" on Customizing - ActiveRainCustomizer.com His company devevloped the tool that gives us this purdy ability.