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:
- 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:
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.