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Hello Police?? This is Bucky...I've just been HIJACKED! Send help!!

Mortgage and Lending with Funky Quail Vintage

 I saw this picture and could not resist...sorry...if it is too disturbing for some..please turn away....

Recently, an ugly series of events have been occuring within Active Rain, and other blog sites...and I have heard ALOT of comments about this from agents using Zillow as well.  I have come to know this as "HIJACKING SOMEONES BLOG". 

Many of us here on AR blog to make ourselves feel better, to provide GREAT CONTENT to other people in our profession, to build relationships, to inform consumers, to get FACTUAL information out about recent events or changes in the industry, and some do it just to "lighten the mood".  However, I dont think I have met someone who BLOGS, with the specification intention of inviting people to "WALK ALL OVER THEM, or SOLICIT their business or trade within their blog!"




Folks, it's ONE THING if an outside consumer starts trying to take over a blog, EVEN THOUGH that blog was made PUBLIC....IT IS CERTAINLY another though when a long term Active Rainer, or experienced blogger does it to someone else within this community!  Personally, I think you should be ashamed of yourself for doing this!


 I have always been told that is is "better to beg for forgiveness, than ask for permission", but when it comes to blogging, I have decided that it is directly OPPOSITE of that!   There are many people on AR, and in other arenas, that could care LESS if you put a link to YOUR blog, YOUR website, or even to YOUR BUSINESS.

  HOWEVER, there are also people like myself, that would merely appreciate an email asking if it is cool!  Recently, I emailed Janet Guilbault and asked HER if I could add a link in my response on her blog, to one of MY blogs!  She was totally fine about it, and even stated that is was ok in her response to my comments..that way everyone could SEE that it was fine!  She, like many others, doesnt care if you put a link in your response! In fact, some people I have spoken to actually encourage it...!  Out of courtesy though, why not ask??




In the Military, they have a saying...."When in doubt, whip it out"....Obviously, this has to do with the question of superior command or not! 


 In other words, it is better to errr..on the side of caution!



Recently, I read a blog that was FEATURED, and had been Hijacked to the EXTREME by a fellow rainer!  Wow, was that disappointing. I cannot even imagine what a newbie might think, or for that matter, someone who FINALLY got a feature, and then wasnt even given a chance to respond...before someone else took it over!!

That leads me to two other small issues:

1.  If you have a blog that is highly contraversial, or very popular, PLEASE do what you can to respond or answer the questions posed within the comments!  I believe, that much of the learning comes not from the blog, but from the comments & answers!

2.  If you ARE going to comment, ( and I always encourage EVERYONE TO COMMENT) and you have a product or service to sell that might help,aid,fix, or solve a situation...come RIGHT OUT AND SAY IT!  Dont be shy!  It may NOT be hijacking... Honesty IS the best policy!  Dont re-direct, link, or say how much better YOU ARE than the blog author...not cool!



 UPDATE 6/26/09-  PLease visit TLW's BLOG by clicking HERE.  She did a nice job on her "redux" of defining, and setting out the basic rules!


 Okay, now I realize, there are no TRUE RULES regarding blogging, but are there rules for being polite?  How about rules about being courteous, respectful, and professional?  Unfortunately, the "POWERS THAT BE" at Active Rain spend alot of time being referees, fireman, and psychologists!!!  Why is this? They should NOT be forced by our actions, to "police" our blogs!   

I do understand that there are HEATED BATTLES to come, and when you are dealing with this many TYPE A personalities all in one forum, you are going to have a fair share of arguements....but that does NOT mean we can't have a little forsight, and try to eliminate these issues before they become problems!  Our industry is under alot of stress right now, and I believe professionalism might be the only thing still holding it together.  Soooo....the next time you type a comment, and you think to yourself...."self", could this be perceived as hijacking.. and the answer comes back I dont know....send an email...!


My two quick solutions to make all the nay sayers happy:

1.  Add a comment to the bottom of every blog that says..."I welcome all links"


2.  "Please email me prior to linking or soliciting a product or service on my blog"

Or, we could leave it up to Active Rain to set rules? Do you really want that??

Thanks for reading & Keep selling!


As always, I welcome your concerns,comments,issues and suggestions!  Darin@Osmwi.com

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"Please email me prior to linking or soliciting a product or service on my blog"

Proudly serving the entire State of Wisconsin since 2003!

Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Hi Darin - I haven't written posts here on AR in some time, however I think we should all use common sense when it comes to putting links in someone else's post.  Unless you got their permission to do so, don't do it.  Simple as that - I don't understand why so many either don't get it or refuse to get it, and they go on and leave their links and all their promotional junk all over the posts they comment on.

I have emailed people directly when they've done it to my posts, and if they don't delete the link, I delete the comment.  I do give them time and I explain why in my email directly to them.  Some members here on AR have signatures that are far longer than many posts, and to see those in the comments on posts all over AR clearly shows a thumbing of their nose at the community guidelines here that they agreed to abide by when they became a member.

If a competitor comes onto one of my posts and puts their links in the comments - they either remove the link or their comment is gone, AFTER having given them ample opportunity to remove the link themselves.  I don't walk into a competitor's office advertising my services, etc., doing so on someone's post is the same thing - don't do it.


Jun 28, 2009 01:13 AM
Pam Dent
Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc. - Charlottesville, VA
REALTOR® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse

Your post has started an interesting discussion.  I enjoyed reading all of the comments and your responses.  I had never really understood the difference between hijackingand rainjacking.  However we really don't need a lot of rules.  It still comes down to that old life staple - do unto others.  If you wouldn't want it done to you; don't do it.

Jun 28, 2009 01:22 AM
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

I don't nor would do it, I guess by reading this long blog that Lenn told me what Hi jacking was in the first sentence of here reply. The thing about rules as with laws is the explanation is so long that with my small brain I can't figure out what the was. Why make anything complicated.

Hijacking is advertising and or linking to another site or yourself, end of post. I don't really care if people hi jack mine I am just not that into it or that important sorry. When I start getting paid for it I will probably feel different.

If Short all you Hi Jackers just come to my post and knock your self out.

Jun 28, 2009 02:00 AM
Sandra White
John L Scott Real Estate - Port Townsend, WA
Experienced Residential Resale Broker

Wow!  That was a lot of information.  Could you please tell me what comment spam is?

Jun 28, 2009 02:22 AM
C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Sandra, here are the ActiveRain Community Rules.

Here's a short set of fave ActiveRain quotes that I spend a lot of time writing and chatting about when I'm not playing in the Rain:

"Being a part of any community requires a certain level of trust. Don't abuse the site or your fellow members. By joining the ActiveRain community you are given a platform to present your ideas and opinions to a large number of people. We trust you to be responsible with that platform; thousands of other ActiveRain members are also counting on your trustworthiness.

* The ActiveRain community and real estate industry as a whole will only be respected to the degree of character represented by the actions of it's professionals. Do not conduct yourself in a way that disgraces your fellow member's on this network.

* Do not take malicious action against the network.

* Do not advertise yourself or your services in the comment section of another members blog post.

* Do not personally attack another person.

* Do not slander another person.

* Do not send unsolicited emails, or faxes, or make unsolicited phone calls to another member."

Group Founders, Administrators and Moderators who are serious about their responsibilities and active in their groups take the community rules of the network very seriously. We love ActiveRain and when we form groups and work across the blogosphere together to advance our concerns and causes, we spend a lot of time recreational reading to monitor where our group dynamics are going. Comment spam is always annoying to deal with... Sometimes it is accidental and people don't understand what it is, so they put their spin on why it is okay when it is not and we have to work twice as hard to educate them why it's wrong.

If the owner of the post gives permission for a link to be there, or if the link is to further enhance the conversation, it is not the same as people who run around blatantly advertising their stuff at the expense of another writer. All links are not comment spam and randomly accusing writers of it is always offensive to the writer who is not engaging in the practice. I say practice because a lot of people do this and will immediately point to someone else doing it as an example as to why it is okay.

Members need to read the community guidelines and the examples and explanations given by ActiveRain rather than make up their own definitions. Just because I trade links with my friends doesn't mean I trade links with everyone. The relationships people cultivate here will determine the permissive will of the writers. Some people like links and will actually ask for them (like I do at times) and others wont tolerate a single one, even if it is to help explain the answer to a question, because they feel it takes traffic away from their post. Their post is about advertising their business and ideology.

Each writer must moderate their blog and determine what is best for them. Each founder must moderate their group and determine its purpose and membership criteria. I hope this explanation has been useful to you. Regards, C. :-)

Jun 28, 2009 02:48 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Good post. Timely as the issue does not go anywhere. There are always some Members who have their own agenda. I found myself a few times, when I would comment on those comments, openly saying that they were hijacking.

Only once this was an innocent mistake, and the blogger turned out to be a very nice gentleman. Others were defensive trying to impose themselves as the saviors of the nation.

What a petty BS.

The cure is in our response to that. If it is our post, delete them, and not comment, not engage, as that is exactly what the need. Just not notice them.


Jun 28, 2009 03:41 AM
Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

C- Tann-  Thank you for the highly detailed and lengthly explanations!  One nice thing is that it will forever be IN my blog...so you, or any commentor, or ME, can cut & paste it RIGHT INTO anybody eles's retort!  No worries!  Thanks...

I do have one quick thing tho...TLW might have copywrighted and patented the RAINJACK ICON, but my suggestion would be for her to also do the words/wording!  I searched it as part of my normal INVESTIGATIVE WORK, and there hasn't even been an application applied for!  I didn't search the ICON because I personally have no need to!  I look at the ICON as almost an "award" like you!  It is TLW's to present!

Im sure she appreciates your loyal defense!!!  :)  - Bucky

Jun 28, 2009 05:21 AM
Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

Ann-Remax-  Well said, and very thoughtful!  I appreciate it..and like you..I do almost the exact same things!!!  I will take this opportunity tho for a "shameless" plug!  I did a blog on Condos some time ago..and I noticed in your profile you have CONDO"s as one of your main focus benefits!  I would def read my blog on this!  We have had MANY changes in this arena, and I will be doing a new blog this week on other changes, and detailing a situation that is "REAL" and happend to one of my customers!   again, well put, and thank you very much!  Please come back often!-   I appreciate you!-  D

Pam-  THANK YOU BIG TIME for what you just said!  YOU GOT IT!!  What i mean is that you read the comments, and it was VERY NICE of you for stating you read MY COMMENTS!  Thank you again!  This is very important to me personally, because as I have said...much of the learning (which goes both ways) comes thru the thread!  Questions & answers are REALLY important in the learning process!  Please visit again, or subscribe!  I appreciate your reading!  -  Darin

Jun 28, 2009 05:27 AM
C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Service Marks and Trade Marks aren't the same as Registered Trade Marks, Bucky. (LOL).

SM, TM, and R are three different things belonging to different databases and different levels of protection in the law. SM and TM are usually copyrighted and people who want to go one step further will patent and register their SM and TM into R (Registered Trade Mark).

It is up to the service mark holder to decide how and when to use their intellectual rights and when to establish more rights or restrictions for their holdings. That is why if there is a question we always tell people to consult with their attorney or contact the owners directly for permission or clarification.

That is also why when people sometimes interchange the use of a phrase (as if it is universal when it is not) that people who know the difference take a step back and say whoa there. Hold up a minute. We are crossing a line into the intellectual rights of others while playing in the digital divide. :-)

It is important that we all be very careful. We don't get a free pass for violating another person's copyright. I  own quite a few SMs an TMs and am quite serious about defending them. So I try to be respectful of other people's intellectual rights as well and always keep an eye out for my friends because they keep an eye out for me and my intellectual collection of stuff. I'm glad you found the explanations useful. Happy to be of help. :-)

I hope she edits it into a registered mark. That would be lovely. I'm with you 100% on that one. ;-)

Jun 28, 2009 05:41 AM
Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

C TANN-  THANK YOU!@!!   Sorry, I NEVER CLAIMED EVER to be an expert on this!! LOL  One thing to know about me...is that sometimes I will play the fool, in order for someone like YOU to place the explanation!!!  It is my secret evil plan!! :) 

Oh, and we are diverting now from the point of my bloody blog!  Hold the line!!!! :)

I know Lenn Harley and others have actually had MATERIAL stolen, reblogged, and used....and they SUED!!!  I think that is awesome actually...I went to a small college that kicked people out for plagarism!  I was an english major in college, so I do take MY writing VERY seriously!

Stay on subject matter tho!!!   Thanks!!!  - Your new pal...Bucky

Jun 28, 2009 06:00 AM
Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

Charles Stallions-  I absolutely get the gist of what you are saying...and agree with you...Some people are just making too much out of it...when in the end it is pretty basic!  I continue to be surprised at the lack of understanding that there ARE rules to follow!  You know, most websites...etc...have something you sign that says something like...."I AGREE" etc...most people dont read that, but should...they just click it!  AR I think should take on a more proactive role regarding the RULES and plagarism, as well as Hijacking!  I have suggested two things to Bob already and received a couple of VERY NICE EMAILS in return!  1.  Main page message board for Members  2.  An active Rain CHAT ROOM....

Both would be awesome ...and solve a few of the issues we continute to see pop up on a daily basis!  I had to laugh at your last sentence, because soliciting hijackers to come to your blog could be considered hijacking hijackers!  :)


Jun 28, 2009 06:04 AM
Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

Sandra-    If you have any further questions, email me privately to Darin@osmwi.com

C TANN ...thank you for the link for Sandra!  I THINK we all should insert this link at the bottom of ALL of our blogs!   GOOD SUGGESTION HUH??  :)

Thanks Sandra for reading..as always, I appreciate you!  - D

Jun 28, 2009 06:08 AM
Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

Jon Z-  Couldnt agree more...You bring up another good point...When we email a person, it is then up to THEM how they handle it!  The guy in question in your situation, maybe didnt understand the rule!  Please paste the link listed above by C TANN  into all your blogs!  That might help!  I am now suggesting it to eveyrone!  Take care, and THANK YOU FOR VISITING!  Please come back! -  Darin

Jun 28, 2009 06:13 AM
Todd Clark - Retired
eXp Realty LLC - Tigard, OR
Principle Broker Oregon

I see the TLW has already been here and most of the time it is not bothered by the person who posted the blog and we have always asked permission prior to doing so. I can see what you are saying, but half the time, the poster is involved in the hijacking. I've been hijacked a few times by TLW and I always welcome her.

Todd Clark - www.LivingBeaverton.com

Jul 13, 2009 06:43 AM
Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

Hey there Todd!

Thanks for stopping by!  You know, I think the whole HIJACK thing is a little misunderstood!  It is one thing if it is for the learning, but simply another if they are "hocking their wares" amongst your developed followers!

Also, I hadnt heard the phrase, RAIN JACK...so that has been interesting too!  I do think it is VERY IMPORTANT TO MENTION that if the blog author doesnt bother to address the commentors, they are just as much at fault at getting hijacked!  I actually THOUGHT i had hijacked a guy once, because he was NOT comemnting back...and he had brought up a VERY serious issue!  I emailed him, and begged him to comment..until, I couldnt take it anymore!  TOO MUCH BAD INFO!  Had to quell it...later, he okay'd me, which was cool!  -  Thanks again!-  Darin

Jul 13, 2009 06:49 AM
Christianne O'Malley
Dickson Realty - Reno, NV
Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno!

Darin - I really like your idea of asking for permission first before adding a link in a blog comment. Someone did that to me not too long ago and I thought it was very low class...

Jul 28, 2009 06:30 AM
Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

Hey there Christianne!

Thanks..I agree.  Odd thing, and the challenge is that EVERYONE seems to have just a little different opinion on this!

Some people, even LENN HARLEy, allow anyone to link at any time...obviously unless you are selling Nike Shoes, or one of our other illustrious SPAM LINKERS!!! -   Glad you enjoyed it!


Jul 28, 2009 06:42 AM
Jim Hale
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website


Posting a link is verboten.

Hawking your wares is, too.

But don't you think the rest of this is a little like "beauty" (or maybe "ugly") -- i.e. It's all in the eye of the beholder.

Or maybe it's like "pornography":  The High Court can't define it...they just know it when they see it.

Or do I have to get your permission before I disagree with you.

Oops...I just did...and didn't.  Shame on me.


Aug 04, 2009 09:06 PM
Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

Jim-  GREAT COMMENTS!  VERBOTEN...i just burst out laughing because you couldnt be more right>.>and yes, I do agree with you to SOME DEGREE that the rest is open to interpetation! 

Most eductated, quality bloggers, LIKE IT WHEN PEOPLE DISAGREE!!!  HOWEVER, what we talk about alot in my personal "group" here on Active Rain is that when someone disagrees with you...they need to make their point strongly and based on fact.  And MOST IMPORTANTLY give us all the facts!  you never know, you might sway ME, and have ME change my opinion...but not unless you base YOURS on FACT today!  You know what they say about opinions....  LOL

We enjoy quality debates!  One problem lies though when someone like you, takes TIME out of their day...(which I appreciate) to leave a comment, and then the BLOG AUTHOR doesnt retort??  It is a thread killer, and kind of in a way ruins the string of the blog!  I think commentors who dont go back to see the response are just as guilty as the AUTHORS that dont retort! 

Thanks...and please, come back often!  -  Darin






Aug 05, 2009 03:14 AM
Susan Brown
Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too) - Kingwood, TX

Darin, I came here via Sara Woodford & Steve Golson's blog on hijacking blogs.  I hadn't experienced this yet (hope I don't) but I find it very fascinating.  And I'm amazed at what people think is acceptable online that hopefully they wouldn't do in person.

Jan 04, 2010 03:27 AM