Grandfathered RainMaker Accounts: Rewarding Members Who Continue to Participate

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with ActiveRain
https://activerain.com/droplet/Bv

Thank you to everyone who has helped build ActiveRain into the network it is today. In our continued effort to reward our members who have spent time, energy and heart growing our network and contributing on a regular basis, we are implementing a new policy regarding grandfathered RainMaker accounts:

Grandfathered Rainmakers who have contributed one blog post in the previous 90 days will keep their grandfathered RainMaker account. Grandfathered RainMaker members who have NOT contributed one public blog post in the previous 90 days, will lose their grandfathered RainMaker account.

This change is about:

  • Allowing ActiveRain to focus its resources and the search engine presence of our members on those members who continue to contribute great content.
  • Encouraging the members who haven't blogged on ActiveRain recently to leverage ActiveRain to reach out to the over 2,000,000 consumer visitors we get every month to the site and utilize the search engine presence of ActiveRain to increase the visibility of their personal blogs and websites.
  • Rewarding members who continue to educate consumers with relevant real estate information about their markets and who engage their peers with relevant information about the business of helping people buy and sell homes.
  • Striking a balance between rewarding our long term contributors and giving them a reason to continue to engage the community with their talents and expertise.


For a little background: In February of 2009, ActiveRain changed our policy regarding our member's ability to post their content for public consumption. At that point, we grandfathered any member who had ever written at least one blog post prior to February 16th, 2009. Those members were given free RainMaker accounts as a thank you for the effort they had put into helping ActiveRain achieve a thriving community.


From that date forward, any member who wanted to publish content for public consumption (who had not written one post prior to February 16th, 2009) would have to pay in order to have their content be made public, and indexed by the search engines.

So in order to keep your Grandfathered status, you simply need to post one public blog post every 90 days. For most of you reading this, who have grandfathered RainMaker accounts, this will not impact you at all. You have integrated ActiveRain into your daily and weekly routines. If you haven't posted to ActiveRain on a regular basis, now is your chance to re-engage the community and leverage the vast amount of knowledge present in the form of tens of thousands of experienced real estate professional on ActiveRain.

Starting June 24th, grandfathered RainMakers who have not posted a public blog post in the previous 90 days will lose their grandfathered RainMaker status.

Posted by

Bob Stewart
ActiveRain Ambassador

 

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Re-Blogged 13 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Wallace S. Gibson, CPM 05/25/2010 06:52 AM
  2. June Piper-Brandon 05/25/2010 08:28 AM
  3. Broker Nick 05/25/2010 09:53 AM
  4. Hannah Williams 05/25/2010 02:31 PM
  5. Kevin Muhlestein 05/25/2010 04:45 PM
  6. Josef Katz 05/26/2010 01:27 AM
  7. Robert Hammerstein 05/26/2010 05:05 AM
  8. Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS 05/26/2010 06:13 PM
  9. Kathy Clulow 06/01/2010 07:13 AM
  10. Maureen McCabe 06/05/2010 03:40 AM
  11. Shanna Hall 06/20/2010 07:10 PM
  12. Stephen Garner 07/07/2010 04:39 PM
  13. Nancy Lohman 07/09/2010 01:05 AM

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Rainmaker
161,942
Satar Naghshineh
Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp. - Irvine, CA

Hi Bob and Brad - Now that the dust has settled. Can you guys explain to me what was the logic behind this decision to remove the rainmaker account from people you promised it to? Also, why do you consider contribution to be a public blog when members contribute through other means, such as comments and member's only blogs?

I don't see it being a data, performance or content issue as the data is still there. Exactly, how does this benefit the company?

I know I am not someone that needs to be explained to you nor do I kiss anyone's butt and give them cute nicknames, but if you don't mind, I would like to know what you were trying to accomplish here. I ask as I contribute by participating in discussions on my area of expertise in real estate. This usually means leaving comments and forcing the author to support their stance. Out of that discussion, people are able to see both sides of the debate. God knows I have gotten a lot of referrals from Activerain for what I said on other people's blogs versus what I have said on my own blogs.  Although I like to keep my ability to post publicly, I don't see how forcing me to write every 90 days is going to help you any! ;)

Thanks!

Sep 03, 2010 10:10 PM #216
Rainmaker
1,004,473
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Satar:  As every coin has two sides, here is my take on this. 

You consider the fact that you comment on other people's posts... and make an effort to make that comment meaningful.  And, that is your contribution.  But... you do not create blog posts for OTHER people to have the opportunity to comment on... just as you comment on their posts.

What if... the person on whose post YOU commented on... didn't post ?  That would obviously mean that YOU would not have your chance to comment... which you say forces the author to support their stance.  And yes, as a result, people, you claim, are able to "see both sides."

Active Rain is a Two Way Street.  Everyone write posts... according to their ability to write them.  They contain the ORIGINAL CONTENT that makes up a large part of what Active Rain IS.

Trying to "force" you to write one post every 90 days... is simply an effort... even though it appears to be coerced effort... to get you to where you contribute original content... rather than just attach yourself... and ride along on someone else's efforts.  Writing your own posts benefits AR, but it also benefits our AR members as well.

Does that make sense ?  Two-way streets usually go somewhere.  One-way streets often end up a dead-end.

Sep 04, 2010 05:06 PM #217
Rainmaker
1,004,473
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Satar:  As every coin has two sides, here is my take on this. 

You consider the fact that you comment on other people's posts... and make an effort to make that comment meaningful.  And, that is your contribution.  But... you do not create blog posts for OTHER people to have the opportunity to comment on... just as you comment on their posts.

What if... the person on whose post YOU commented on... didn't post ?  That would obviously mean that YOU would not have your chance to comment... which you say forces the author to support their stance.  And yes, as a result, people, you claim, are able to "see both sides."

Active Rain is a Two Way Street.  Everyone write posts... according to their ability to write them.  They contain the ORIGINAL CONTENT that makes up a large part of what Active Rain IS.

Trying to "force" you to write one post every 90 days... is simply an effort... even though it appears to be coerced effort... to get you to where you contribute original content... rather than just attach yourself... and ride along on someone else's efforts.  Writing your own posts benefits AR, but it also benefits our AR members as well.

Does that make sense ?  Two-way streets usually go somewhere.  One-way streets often end up a dead-end.

Sep 04, 2010 05:06 PM #218
Rainmaker
161,942
Satar Naghshineh
Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp. - Irvine, CA

Thanks Karen. yes, it makes sense. However, have you seen my God awful public blogs?? ;)

I am still trying to learn how people have such nice blogs and what software, if any, they use.

Sep 04, 2010 06:09 PM #219
Rainmaker
1,004,473
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Satar:  I don't know if you like any of my posts or not, but I just write them.  I do NOT use any special kind of software.  I guess mine could also look better than they do, but it works for me. 

I write them in the Active Rain boxes, I add pictures, I add links to stuff, and once in awhile, I add a video.  That is all I do.  I am NOT a techie... and I suffer for it, but I just bump my way through it, and it works.

I will take a look at your public blog posts, and tell you what I think.

Sep 04, 2010 08:51 PM #220
Ambassador
686,639
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Seattle, WA
ActiveRain Ambassador

Satar,

Thank you for the question. I emailed you privately with a short explanation. I believe the phrase I could have used in my email but didn't is opportunity costs.

Sep 07, 2010 09:33 AM #221
Rainmaker
110,308
Howard Goff
Keller Williams Realty - Vancouver, WA

Hi Bob,

Thanks for letting me know what happened (ie. That I got put out with the trash). I have 45,000+ points, attended two RainCamps and been a member since the real early days have purchased advertising from Active Rain on several occasions and rank 11th in our county.

AR grandfathered us in to thank us for helping AR become what it is today. Then you do this which effectively pulls the rug out from under our feet. Our team has struggled like almost every other agent and over the past several months our social networking has taken a back seat to other urgent priorities.

Maybe you sent one or more emails out along the way but I am sure you can guess how many emails I get a day and since I get at least one a day from Active Rain I have been conditioned that if time does not permit that those emails are not critical. Some of the AR email ends up in my outlook junk folder or maybe AR didn't send a warning at all. Even if we take as agreed that one blog post every three months isn't much to ask there is no way you can make sure that the charter members find out about that policy before getting dumped and although I don't have time to read all 200+ comments tonight, a quick scan seems to indicate that I was not the only one who was trashed without notice.

I went to post a blog post today and was "invited" to pay $300-something a year so I could continue supporting Active Rain.

If you don't remember, you guys built your empire on the backs of early members like me and I can't believe that we wake up today and find out that a week or so ago our AR blogs now and forever became invisible unless we pay for what we were told was our thanks for helping AR.

The first AR camp was awesome. The second was Okay. The difference, you guys replaced valuable content with ways of monitarizing the captive audience who had paid to be there through sponsorships. Still good content but there was significant content which had been dropped in your ever increasing focus on making $$$ as opposed to helping Realtors.

Frankly, I don't care if AR has value or not I doubt we will pay due to the perceived inequity. Nor, do I think we will probably purchase any further advertising from AR and don't count on any more recommendations.

I am guessing the rest of our team who had had "grandfathered accounts" lost those as well as none of them told me they had discovered what AR is doing. Bad policy resulting in a lose-lose if you ask me.

Sorry to find out that you feel this way about us,
-Howard

Sep 30, 2010 08:05 PM #222
Ambassador
686,639
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Seattle, WA
ActiveRain Ambassador

Howard,

We are very open to reinstating the accounts of members who put in a significant investment in helping ActiveRain get off the ground. Please email me directly. Thank you for assuming the absolute worst and acting as if we are total jerks with no appreciation for anything. Nothing could be further from reality as we fully understand the value of our early contributors.

Oct 01, 2010 07:21 AM #223
Rainmaker
110,308
Howard Goff
Keller Williams Realty - Vancouver, WA

I was wrong. First of all to not ask questions before making assumptions and second for assuming the worst. I did email you and despite my lack of tact you did reinstate my account. Thank you for doing that even in light of my initial reaction and please accept my apology.

Active Rain and us members have traveled a long way together and I my response was totally inappropriate. For that I appologize. Thank you for your understanding and I am glad to have been given the chance to continue being part of ActiveRain.

I hope that down the road at some point we can both look back and be happy with the results.

Oct 01, 2010 09:05 AM #224
Rainmaker
537,158
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

Well the OBVIOUS solution to this dilemma is to NOT automatically disable grandfathered Rainmaker accounts.

Seriously.

Oct 01, 2010 02:01 PM #225
Ambassador
686,639
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Seattle, WA
ActiveRain Ambassador

Yes Karen, you are probably right. We are working on unwinding this poorly executed decision. Stay tuned, I'm pretty sure we'll be announcing something about this soon.

Sometimes what's obvious to an outside observer isn't always obvious to the people in the middle of something. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time for something to become obvious. It took us some time for that to become obvious. We now realize this may not have been the best decision and are trying to determine how to unwind it and restore Grandfathered accounts for those that were promised them.

Oct 04, 2010 12:32 PM #226
Rainmaker
161,942
Satar Naghshineh
Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp. - Irvine, CA

Hi Bob, it should be an easy thing to reverse. You simply need to do a simple query to find out what accounts were created before disabling the rain maker account. Then you check to see if those accounts have the rain maker account (this can be a single query). You then can create a simple update script to re-enable those accounts. Worst case scenario, you can restore a backup from a period in time before you disabled the rain maker accounts and use a DB link to compare the data.

 

 

Oct 04, 2010 04:46 PM #233
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Watching to see how  ActiveRain handles this.  What about those who deleted their content?

With members who took the approach of taking down their content based on not wanting to participate, shouldn't they come off?   Or should they?   They helped build ActiveRain...  but have no content.

Why in a county where #1's or #2's mug is showing as number 1 or #2 in the county but clicking on their blog shows:

Member took down their content

I would think for those currently contributing content it would be a turn off to participation.

 

Oct 08, 2010 03:37 AM #234
Rainmaker
34,438
Stephanie Davis
The Boulevard Company - Charleston, SC
Broker Associate and REALTOR®

Bob I've wondered for several months now why I can't publish public content through my activerain account. One of my colleagues explained the changes you've made and said he thought I should be grandfathered in since I'm a long-time member. Have you made any progress in "unwinding" the grandfather clause debacle? The least several posts I've made would have been made public if I had the capability. Thanks for your help.

Oct 26, 2010 05:57 AM #235
Rainmaker
93,146
Raj Dhaliwal
Century 21 Coastal Realty Ltd. - Abbotsford, BC
Personal Real Estate Corporation

My status was taken away too. No alert sent. I am even under the 60 day window.. I guess I can quit A|R too like Jay and many others.

Nov 17, 2010 11:03 AM #236
Rainmaker
92,229
Kerry Jenkins
Prime Properties - Crestline, CA

Well I did comply with this new rule by accident (NEVER saw this post)last year, but since I gave birth July 22 and have been on maternity leave since then and just last week learned of this after wanting to rev up my new year with blogging much much more, I believe that I should be grandfathered still.  I've been with you guys since 2007...I will call tomorrow.

Jan 18, 2011 05:28 PM #237
Rainer
15,950
Stephanie Lim
Lim Team with Keller Williams Realty Jacksonville - Jacksonville, FL

Same here.  Pregnancy/maternity leave and taking care of my buyers and sellers put my blogging on the back burner.  Once I returned to start actively posting  I'd been scrubbed.  No notice received.  I'll just be blogging on my own sites now.

Mar 29, 2011 08:24 AM #238
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Hey are Ambassadors still automatically grandfathered?  Or did I imagine that?  I thought it was here I saw a conversation where TLW said she never posts public and she was assured that was OK, she would not be unGrandfathered because she was an Ambassador? 

Still true in 2011?

Jun 06, 2011 04:42 AM #239
Ambassador
686,639
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Seattle, WA
ActiveRain Ambassador

If TLW ever wanted to post something public, I would grandfather her account at that point. Since she never posts anything public, her account doesn't need to be a grandfathered account. At this point, her account is an Ambassador account.

so yes, still true in 2011

Jun 06, 2011 02:55 PM #240
Rainmaker
37,671
Sharon Curtiss
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty - Ocean City, MD
Search for Ocean City Maryland Area Homes for Sale

So I guess it is not worth it to post on here anymore if you lost your grandfathered status.  See ya, it's been nice, but guess I will take up a relationship with someone else now.

Jan 30, 2012 07:26 AM #241
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