blogging: Support for video and multimedia on ActiveRain - 02/28/07 07:14 AM
As of this morning we've made some adjustments to our platform that should allow members to more easily include, video, podcasts and other multimedia in their blog posts.  This had been one of the common complaints with our platform and we are working to solve it as we work towards the upcoming release of additional blog customization. 
We currently don't provide a hosting service for video or podcasts, they will have to be hosted on another site, but we will explore this option in the future.  To add an externally hosted video or podcast to your blog use the "HTML" button … (34 comments)

blogging: In the works - Customizing Your ActiveRain Blog - 02/18/07 09:40 AM
One of the most commonly mentioned shortcomings of blogging on ActiveRain has been the lack of customizability of the platform of members blogs.  We work to create a very easy to use platform for the real estate industry and never intend or do intend to compete with the feature sets of other blogging platforms such as Wordpress or Moveable Type.  But based on feedback we feel it's important to give members more branding optons to create a sense of ownership over their blogs without affecting the community.
Currently under development is a more customizable blogging platform for ActiveRain members to get both the benefits … (47 comments)

blogging: Posting To Localism - 01/17/07 10:54 AM
True to its name, Localism is about location and it's about consumers. To post to localism you've got to include both types of designation. Write out your post. When you're done be sure to categorize it correctly.
Be sure to mark the post visibility as public.
Check the box "For Consumers."

The box will then expand into other options.

Each option labeled with "(Region required)" will designated for that same heading in localism. These are your options for posting on Localism. They will show up on as seen below.

Where It Shows
The clip above was taken … (118 comments)

blogging: Points, dashboard changes and other stuff... - 01/02/07 06:48 AM
Some of you (ok, many of you) already noticed some changes to the Blog Dashboard this morning and have noticed some changes to how blog posts are scored recently.  This is all part of our continuous evolution to try to keep things fair to members, both new and old.  Handing out points is our way or rewarding those who help built the ActiveRain Real Estate Network.  Having lots of points will result in lots of additional exposure on and both to consumers and your peers.
While points result in a lot of complaints have also been one of biggest contributors to … (73 comments)

blogging: Carnival of Real Estate - 22nd edition - 12/12/06 04:31 AM
It appears as though the carnival has finally come to town on the ActiveRain Real Estate Network.  On Wednesday the post submissions started with a trickle, and I started thinking to myself, "this isn't going to be that bad".  Boy was I wrong, Saturday hit and it seemed as though everytime I looked at my inbox there were two or three new submissions. 
A few hours ago, I started reading posts and making a list of ones I thought were worthy of the weekly top ten.  By the time I had finished reading I had narrowed the list down to about sixteen and … (26 comments)

blogging: Reminder: ActiveRain is hosting the Carnival of Real Estate - 12/09/06 11:35 AM
Just a reminder to everybody, ActiveRain will be hosting the carnival of real estate next monday on this blog.  This means that I'll be spending most of my Sunday reading through real estate related blog posts.  So, I'm expecting a lot of good posts from all the "rainers" to give those "outside bloggers" a run for their money :) 
Submissions are due by noon on Sunday...
How to submit to the Carnival of Real EstateUpdate:
For those of you have never heard of the Carnival of Real Estate here is some more information. 
What's a Blog Carnival? What's the Carnival of Real Estate? Complete FAQ … (23 comments)

blogging: ActiveRain week in review #3 - 11/20/06 08:17 AM
This is the third edition of the ActiveRain week in review where we'll highlight some of the most discussed topics and blog posts made during the last week.  You can find an archive of the past week in reviews here.  Feel free to repost the ActiveRain week in review on your non ActiveRain blog. 
Reminder: If you want to get some additional exposure, submit your best blog post to the weekly Carnival of Real Estate today.
Mortgage Blog Wars:
This week saw a major "blog war" among a number of ActiveRain members in the mortgage industry.  Blogging is a great way to share dissenting opinions … (35 comments)

blogging: ActiveRain week in review #2 - 11/14/06 09:38 AM
Last week we did the first ActiveRain week in review to highlight particular events and posts during the previous week on ActiveRain.  I was so busy at the NAR conference I didn't have a chance to do one for this last week but I noticed that Bryant Tutas was kind enough to write one up.
So check out:
ActiveRain-The Good the Bad and the Ugly. 
Now that I'm back from NAR I will be doing many posts on both the ActiveRain blog and my personal blog over the next several days.
-Matt Heaton (ActiveRain CEO)

blogging: ActiveRain week in review #1 - 11/06/06 04:36 AM
I thought that it would be kinda cool to do a little recap of different things that happened on ActiveRain and blog themes that seemed to be running through the week.  With so many posts getting made and 10-20 being featured each day A LOT of great posts get missed.  I'll try to do a "week in review" for the next couple weeks and then like a blog carnival maybe someone else can do it for a week or two.
The week started out on a pretty scary note, when we had a serious hardware failure on our database server very early … (38 comments)

blogging: Reaching Out - 10/23/06 10:11 AM
For some time now ActiveRain has been working toward bettering your experience on The Network and helping you connect with each other.  Through your suggestions we have made a very large list of updates and changes.  We continually work on this and as we see it this is a never ending process.Helping You Connect With Buyers and Sellers.We are however taking a slight curve away from that focus.  In the spirit of enabling you to do your business we are creating channels to help you target the public in your local markets.  These changes will mostly benefit those of you that … (25 comments)

blogging: Blog categories - Where should I put my post? - 10/21/06 07:33 AM
Here's a description of the various categories blog posts can be put assist others in finding them.  There is no requirement to add a post to a category, or sub category.  If you don't feel you post fits in one of the categories don't add it, people can still view your post.  Many posts may fit in more than one sub category, but choose the one that fits best. 
For Real Estate Professionals: Posts who's target audience is others in the real estate industry such as agents, loan officer, title, etc.  Do NOT add posts that are indended for buyers and sellers … (38 comments)

blogging: New blog categories and regional blog display - 10/21/06 06:50 AM
About 3:00 am PST the proposed blog category changes went into effect.  Instead of the previous 5 categories there are two main categories, "For Real Estate Professionals" and "For Consumers" each with a set of sub categories.  This new category system is to help people efficiently find the posts they want to read as the amount of posts made by our members grow. 
For real estate professionals and sub categories:
For Consumers and sub categories:
It's important to note that you do NOT have to add a post to a category or a sub category for it to be publicly visible on the … (21 comments)

blogging: Changes Coming To Blog Limits. - 10/16/06 01:28 PM
Trying to keep up?
There will be an update to our blogging engine coming down the pipe.  Starting Sunday post point limits will be set at 10 posts per week scored at 200 points each.  We welcome you posting more, automated scoring will be limited to 10 per week.  The scheduled week will be Sunday through Saturday Central Standard Time.  Additional posts may still receive points manually per current practices.
It should be noted that the number of points awarded based on quality will be increased to offset the reduced number of scored posts.
We will still be selecting featured posts. … (67 comments)

blogging: Changing blog titles and other ActiveRain settings - 09/11/06 02:37 PM
I'm not sure if many people are aware but it is easy to change the title of your personal blog on ActiveRain.  When a user account is created the default title for the blog is "firstname's blog".  Even many of the frequent posters still have their title set to the default, such as "Scott's Blog", "Sara's Blog", etc.
To change the title of your blog, simply login to ActiveRain and open up "Settings" on the left hand side of the screen. 
There are three settings that are relavent to blogs:
Blog title Blog short description Allow non-member comments You can also … (10 comments)

blogging: Tribute to September 11th on ActiveRain - 09/11/06 06:18 AM
If you haven't noticed yet, we've decided to feature blog postings by our members about the memories, thoughts and life changes caused by September 11th.  We thought that it would be a fitting tribute to the victims of this tragedy.
-Matt Heaton

blogging: Carnival of Real Estate - Reminder - 09/08/06 02:41 PM
Just a reminder this weeks Carnival of Real Estate is being held over at the Real Estate Tomato Blog.  The deadline to submit your best post for possible inclusion is midnight on Saturday.  I hope to see lots of good material from bloggers on AR submitted as it's a great way to get more exposure in the real estate world.
For more information on what is the carnival of real estate you can visit
I think from here on out we'll also give some bonus points to any ActiveRain members who have posts selected to the weekly Carnival of Real Estate.

blogging: How do we choose featured blog posts - 09/07/06 12:19 AM
I got posed this question.  How do we decide which blog posts to give that little gold star and make featured.  First off what is a featured blog post? 
Featured blog posts appear prominently on the "Blog Dashboard" and we try to rotate the list, so that we display a full new set of posts every two or three days.  This way someone that visits the site every couple days but just wants a quick snapshot can see what people are writing about.  We recently increased the number of posts shown on that page from 10 to 20 because there were so … (27 comments)

blogging: Rate this blog post - 08/31/06 05:34 AM
Roberta Murphy mentioned in a blog post this morning that she just noticed a new control at the bottom of each blog post (when logged in) titled "Rate this blog".
It's not actually new, it's been there all along, we just renamed it from "Do you find this post interesting?"  It gives us another way to order posts based off of member response.  Is it directly tied to scoring of blog posts?  No, not directly, rating a post higher won't automatically give/deduct someone points.  But it is an influencing factor in our new blog scoring scheme.  It also helps us to quickly identify … (13 comments)

blogging: Blog scoring updates - 08/31/06 04:59 AM
Ok, so we tried it and we heard from you, a lot.  We tried going to a system of manually scoring every blog post in an attempt to stop to people posting garbage for points, and to control spam.  It actually seemed to work fairly well in that respect, but it opened up a pandora's box of other problems.  Often times it took us several hours to score the next batch of posts and ocassionally posts slipped through the cracks and weren't scored at all.
So we're going back to the old system, sort of...  All posts that meet a set of criteria (over … (10 comments)

blogging: Blog carnival for AR Members - 08/29/06 05:14 AM
A couple days ago, Jim Cronin the blogger behind the Real Estate Tomato made a post outlining a blog carnival of sorts he is running for ActiveRain members only.  The basic idea is that he wants ActiveRain members to write an article about successes they've had through blogging and he'll highlight the best examples on his blog.  This article may reside on either you ActiveRain blog or your personal blog.  It's a great way to get some additional exposure for yourself, ActiveRain and real estate blogging in general.
We've also agreed to award points 400 points to members for entries that make it on … (0 comments)

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