We'll see

By
Real Estate Agent
https://activerain.com/droplet/4BLJ

I was just writing a comment in response to some input on our recent Local Pages change on ActiveRain and I was reminded of a fable I read on one of my favorite blogger's blog. The fable goes like this:

A farmer had only one horse. One day, his horse ran away.

All the neighbors came by saying, “I'm so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.” The man just said, “We'll see.”

A few days later, his horse came back with twenty wild horses. The man and his son corraled all 21 horses.

All the neighbors came by saying, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!” The man just said, “We'll see.”

One of the wild horses kicked the man's only son, breaking both his legs.

All the neighbors came by saying, “I'm so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.” The man just said, “We'll see.”

The country went to war, and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight. The war was terrible and killed every young man, but the farmer's son was spared, since his broken legs prevented him from being drafted.

All the neighbors came by saying, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!” The man just said, “We'll see.”

Successfully running ActiveRain requires us to constantly push and redefine ourselves. Sometimes the changes we make and the risks we take are clear winners; other times, not so much.  Because of this belief, we've done our best to create a corporate culture that is comfortable with trying new things, knowing that mistakes are okay. A failed execution does not equal a failed employee.

In the case of the recent changes to the Local Pages, I encourage everyone to continue to provide us with your insights and suggestions on how we can do better, while at the same time, also taking a step back and assuming a "We'll see" position knowing that you may not be privy to knowing the complete strategy and vision behind the changes.

*Photo courtesy of Stuck in Customs via Creative Commons license.

 

 

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Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 07/20/2010 04:35 AM
  2. LINDA SABO 07/20/2010 05:16 AM
  3. Todd & Devona Garrigus 07/20/2010 08:57 PM
  4. Roy Kelley 07/27/2010 10:44 PM

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Rainmaker
101,820
Robert T. Boyer
FHA Loan, VA Loan, Jumbo Loan,FHA Loans,VA Loans,Jumbo Loans - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate & Mortgage Loans, Ph.D. | VA Home Loan

Thanks for the story.

As to the comment about us not being notified, that is (mostly) just plain silly.  My son long ago outgrew the need to inform us that he was going to the restroom.  Do what you need to do.  AND thank you for doing so.  I am sure you have a focus group for major revisions.  So thank you for everything.

As to the head shot... I have my picture uploaded, but for some reason it is not displaying in the list on the local pages.  So, while I am a little annoyed that my picture does not show, I will be even more annoyed if I do not show in the list.

Thanks

Jul 20, 2010 06:17 AM #46
Rainmaker
219,095
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group - Orland Park, IL
SW & Near West Chicago suburbs

I agree with Cynthia (#43) about the list of members without photos as it looks unprofessional.  If they can't bother...

I also agree that less active members shouldn't be displayed - why should they if they don't participate, or do it very rarely?

Jul 20, 2010 06:27 AM #47
Rainmaker
232,729
Ken Barker Realtor® GRI, E-Pro Certified
Dilbeck Real Estate - Burbank, CA

Additionally, do you think it would be better if we remove members from the right hand column that haven't been active on the network within the last ~30 / 60 / or 90 days?

Now there is a thought. If you have not been active for quite some time, why would you be the member of choice because you have the points? In my area the number 2 spot has not blogged since April of 09'. A couple FOR SALE properties, which I am not including. I am not trying to point any fingers just to prove a point. It is almost as if someone gets a majority of points in the area and then is a ghost.

I have to ask. Is it for the points, which the consumer does not see, or is it for the local drive, which is my focus? Based on a lot of the featured posts I see a lot are "members only" which is to the real estate community which I happen to enjoy and learn from. But we are looking at the page to capture consumers? or realtors? or professions of sort?

We'll See

Jul 20, 2010 06:28 AM #48
Rainmaker
219,095
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group - Orland Park, IL
SW & Near West Chicago suburbs

Ahhh, I just noticed.  I work in 41 towns in my area (there are really only 3 major villages, the rest are small towns).  I chose one town to be the Featured Agent in so that's as it always was.  But even though I live in another town that I work in and make Localism posts to, I'm not even in the list to the right, and I've contributed the most posts to that Localism page.  That ain't right!

Jul 20, 2010 06:32 AM #49
Rainmaker
3,053,038
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

Tony,

It's great news that your biggest problem is that consumers might call you, instead of email you... Perhaps you can remove your phone number from your profile if you'd rather not get calls.

I could put your number in there and have you screen my calls! :-) But seriously - why not allow the AR member to decide which contact information they prefer be highlighted on this page - instead of assuming it should be the phone number?

Jul 20, 2010 08:19 AM #51
Rainmaker
686,125
Cynthia Larsen
Cotati, CA
Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA

Jonathan,

Additionally, do you think it would be better if we remove members from the right hand column that haven't been active on the network within the last ~30 / 60 / or 90 days?

There are AR folks in my County that are no longer in the business. There is at least one member who tragically died last year. None of the above referenced are going to appreciate a phone call. So there is an argument to filter inactive non-paying members. If that member logs into Active Rain six months down the road, they would in effect be active again since their point counter just shifted 100 points.

On another note, is there a way to filter listings out of Localism? It would be nice for Localism to strictly be write-ups about our communities.

Jul 20, 2010 12:12 PM #52
Rainmaker
241,353
Dan Rochon
Greetings Virginia - Keller Williams Realty - Alexandria, VA
Top Realtor in Northern Virginia

Keep up the great work and THANK YOU.  To often, we forget to be grateful for gifts -such as a platform that allows for us to 1) build relationships with referral partners across the country, and 2) allow for us to write blogs that have the ability to get top organic placement on the search engines.  In my opinion, Active Rain is a gift.  I appreciate the community and the technology.

In regards to AR's changes, I trust you.

Jul 20, 2010 02:50 PM #53
Rainmaker
1,766,241
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

I remember hearing this at my church a couple of years ago. It's pretty applicable to the current situation. And one thing we've learned -- a lot of Rainers don't like surprises!

Jul 20, 2010 03:00 PM #54
Rainmaker
611,503
Todd & Devona Garrigus
Garrigus Real Estate - Beaumont, CA
Broker / REALTORS®

Jonathan-

Obviously a heated topic here. I do see what you are trying to do with the Local Page. In fact I agree with it. My issue is the way agents are displayed, but I don't purport to have the answer to that. But if someone has been very active in growing their profile like I have, only to have their profile non-existent on the Local Page is disheartening.

I wrote a blog last night that was extremely hyper-local and a passionate topic among some particular citizens. The blog received many comments. Not comments from AR members, but comments from consumers all in a matter of hours!

I even interviewed and quoted a city councilman AND the mayor of the city in the blog! How's that for hyper-local!

The Google placement of course has an impact on this, but I believe what you had in mind for the Local Page was an avenue for local content to be delivered to the very consumers looking for it.

I know you are very busy, especially right now, but please take a look.

Jul 20, 2010 03:11 PM #55
Rainmaker
611,503
Todd & Devona Garrigus
Garrigus Real Estate - Beaumont, CA
Broker / REALTORS®

Jonathan-

Quick update... I thought it was only appropriate to write a blog on my findings. Here's a link to that as well:

In Defense of ActiveRain and the New Change to the Local Page - Here's Proof!

Jul 20, 2010 05:38 PM #56
Rainmaker
1,086,367
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

When the Earth is at peace, worry.

Jul 20, 2010 09:16 PM #57
Rainmaker
272,575
Ross Quintana
Real E Smarter - Spokane, WA
Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966

So I looked at the new pages, here are a few things. There are no pics besides people and a lot of text, i would not stay on this page because at a glance Nothing attracts me to that community. They need member submitted local photos and blog post photos resized at the left to give visual stimulation, They need local are info or stats. Really you should call me because I had a business idea to share with you that could help solve this in a way.

But yeah, this is not an attractive page at all unless you are a google spider... There is nothing identifying the area for the consumer.

Jul 21, 2010 11:15 AM #58
Rainmaker
272,575
Ross Quintana
Real E Smarter - Spokane, WA
Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966

Yeah doing away with the points is a huge mistake from what brings success to AR. People blog for points, I check my ranking all the time. Take away the points, I bet people don't make sure they write 10 comments or write 10 blogs a week. People want to be ranked, it would be like saying every employee now makes the same money no matter how hard they work. How do you think that would change productivity. Besides realtors are commission based, they like working for reward. No offense this new page is a total loss for me. The public won't use it, because it is ugly and full of text and pics of agents they don't care about. You can't confuse what the public wants with the agents, and you need to find the balance.

Jul 21, 2010 11:20 AM #59
Rainmaker
886,050
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY
Broker-Owner

I'm sure that when the dust settles that everything will be just fine. 

Jul 22, 2010 04:32 PM #60
Rainmaker
1,004,473
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Philip... I am so pleased for you that you have been able to add mind reading and the ability to predict the future to your vast array of talents.  Please remember what folks say about the word "assume."

Jul 23, 2010 01:05 AM #61
Rainmaker
1,046,960
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Jon...Wow..I agree with Debe and others it's a positive move, sure the Page could have been tweaked better and I know you'll do what's best..The AR Community is what it is because of the awesome platform we have, networking, learning..Localism needs a lift and you're trying..as for the points, why not just relabel the old page Referral and Points Standing Page-members only. Heck you could have Video's on How to Build Points and do referrals in the Rain etc..why re invent the wheel, Tweak the old State Page for Us and Kept moving forward with the New state page for the public with Localism Posts...Love the idea

Let let Brad do the unveiling he's good at it and used to get our interest up with teasers about new Stuff coming ....Stay tuned

Thank you Gods this Platform has been a life changing place for many of us and our online business, and it's just about to get better.

Have a Great Day!

PS: lets figure out how to feature members only posts..Giving Karen's post her hornets nest rant in the public window is not constructive

Jul 23, 2010 05:12 AM #62
Rainmaker
1,004,473
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Fred:  I was told in a comment that my post was made a Featured Post... so that it would be viewed by a much wider audience of Active Rain Members.  That way, Jon and Active Rain could get much more feedback than if the post had simply been one of many posts written.

That, to me, made sense.  The post served it's purpose, and more.  Many Active Rain Members were able to comment, both with positive comments, and with critical ones.  Communication is a good thing.

Jon was gracious enough to respond to many, many of the comments... and tried to do so with a very understanding and empathetic ear.  I think he did a great job on that.  Also... in him doing that, both listening and responding, he showed that he, and Active Rain, were open to listening to the ideas of the membership.

Criticism is not necessarily a negative.  It can provide growth... by opening lines of communication, and by showing that Active Rain will take suggestions and criticism... each of which is necessary for a healthy entity like Active Rain to both grow and endure.

Actually, Fred, I like your idea about simply re-naming the old page, and making it a Members Only page.  Great idea.  See what happens when one is open to suggestions ?

Thanks again, Jon, for the opportunity to communicate... both with yourself, and with other members.  Take care...

Jul 23, 2010 06:39 AM #63
Ambassador
521,742
Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR
Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

Ditto comment #43 100%, Yes to your comment #44, 90 days sounds good, fair time.

"Blog posts are now culled only from those marked for syndication to Localism, increasing relevance" - good - increases google juice, too?  I don't think any members only posts should be there at all.  Consumers click on then can't read it, not good.

Show the points.  Breeds healthy competition.  :)

 

You are always listening to us - I appreciate that very much.

Jul 27, 2010 08:38 AM #64
Ambassador
686,583
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Seattle, WA
ActiveRain Ambassador

What the heck?? Why wasn't I briefed on this?

(oh......maybe it was because I was on the beach sipping Margaritas enjoying my honeymoon.....or maybe I was and I just didn't get to be a part of the fun because of said cocktails and sand)

Anyone that has been around here for any length of time knows that we don't always get it right the first time. Sometimes we blunder and in those cases we rely heavily on our members to smack us upside the head and get us pointed back in the right direction. At the same time, we can't be afraid to make bold decisions. Jon said it very well right here:

"Successfully running ActiveRain requires us to constantly push and redefine ourselves. Sometimes the changes we make and the risks we take are clear winners; other times, not so much. Because of this belief, we've done our best to create a corporate culture that is comfortable with trying new things, knowing that mistakes are okay. A failed execution does not equal a failed employee."

What we do do though (and we spend a great deal of time discussing, evaluating and debating every change before any decision is made) is put the best interests of our members first. We understand that the value of the ActiveRain community (and therefor our company, we're not hiding the fact we are a business) rests entirely with our members.

Communication is something that we continually strive to improve. This is our first shot at running an online community with 187,000 people. There are probably a few of you out there that believe you could do it better and that's fine, we've come to accept that. There is one thing that I've always tried to ask of our members when they offer criticism (which we gladly accept).......help us get better. Simply telling us what we got wrong doesn't help a whole heck of a lot. Try suggestion what we could have done to make it better. If all we get is 'here is what you got wrong' then we are left to our own devices to try to get it right the second time (or the third or fourth time). If you give us some suggestions on how to improve it, then we have a lot more to work with.

There are plenty of people who did exactly that (on this post and others) and I sincerely thank you. If your style is to point out the flaws while offering no suggestions for improvement, please keep in mind, we are eager to take your suggestions and ideas and use them to help us be better stewards of the community and ultimately deliver a product that helps you close more transactions.

Obviously I'm a little late to this particular post (see aforementioned Margaritas and beach) and missed much of the to-do around this update, but I very much look forward to having the chance to be deeply involved in the collaboration with our members as the rest of the picture unfolds.

I missed you guys :-).........except for you Jon, you troublemaker, this was obviously all you fault! hahahaha! :-P

Jul 29, 2010 07:51 PM #65
Rainmaker
343,886
Don Wixom
RE/MAX Executives Nampa, ID - Nampa, ID
"Looking out for your next move..."tm

Jon, great post! I think of God's greater plans that He has in our lives and often times we perceive them differently.

Thanks for all you do with AR and making it better everyday!  By the way, I really miss the "How many members are on-line now" feature...

Feb 06, 2011 05:27 AM #66
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