Real Name Policy - What's the point

By
Real Estate Agent with HER Realtors

Brandon Sock Puppet

Google+ has a real name policy.

Does Facebook have a real name policy?  I believe Facebook has a policy of one profile per person, don't they? Rather than creating a business profile and a personal profile you are supposed to have a business page?  I know people who have more than one Facebook profile.  One for business, one for personal.  I am not sure whether they have a real name policy.

Twitter does not have a real name policy.

The Internet does not have a real name policy. Fake Steve Jobs was entertaining. Perhaps it was creepy to Steve Jobs.  Mrs. Jobs.  The Jobs kids....

Gaming ActiveRain - using pseudonymity and anonymity

Does ActiveRain have a real name policy or a policy about the number of accounts an individual can have? Do you see one there in the ActiveRain Guidelines? 

Most of us do not want to be anonymous.  We want business from ActiveRain. 

What is the point of a real name policy? What's with Google+'s ban on pseudonymity and anonymity?  The Google+ real name policy:

Google confirms it aims to own your online ID

Some say Google+ real name policy is evil.

I apologize if that is not the latest on the Google+ policy.  I am using my name but not really using Google+ that much. 

Gaming the System for good or evil?

The first "Scandal" I remember on ActiveRain had to do with a member who controlled a number of profiles.  His whole brokerage would comment on his blog.  His whole office could rank (rate) his posts.  Or those same members could rate down the posts of others in his market. The whole brokerage would create conversations on blog posts on his site and others. 

Matt  Heaton (founder of AR) took away 10,000 points as a partial punishment at some point (fall of 2006?) 10,000 points was huge in 2006.  

The whole brokerage used a keyboard which had a backwards apostraphe when commenting and writing posts.

Creative?  Thinking outside the box?

Controlling more than one account - when there was a ranking system

Couples had an advantage over others when there was a rating system for posts on ActiveRain.  Some members who straddled state lines needed more than one ActiveRain account.  Some members thought working in more than one city required them to have more than one ActiveRain account. Some members who have more than one focus have multiple accounts.  Real estate agent and real estate trainer?  Need two separate accounts?   Controlling the accounts of another member (real person or fake person) could really change the balance on ActiveRain when there was a rating system. 

Without a rating system???   There are a minute number of points for each comment given to the puppet master.  There is a small amount of points as the person who invited the puppet.... unless you have a prolific puppet... 

And the ActiveRain points are good for....

Was Lance Winslow real?  I forget.  Was the guy in the Mexican Wrestling mask real?  I forget his name.  He was an AR employee who was looking for copyright infringement? 

There are a lot of fake profiles on ActiveRain. Should ActiveRain gather up the sock puppets and exile them to another real estate network?  Where?

Have you ever faked it?   - comments on your post

ActiveRain Sock Puppet has sex change



Image credits - The sock puppet photo is Brandon Schauer's the photo has a CC license



 

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Contact Maureen McCabe of HER Realtors* - 614.388.8249

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Information is deemed to be accurate but should be verified to your satisfaction.  Information provided herein is supplied by several sources and is subject to change without notice.  Opinions expressed are solely those of Maureen McCabe.

 


 

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Rainer
201,564
Jark Krysinski *PREC (Personal Real Estate Corporation)
REMAX CREST REALTY WESTSIDE - Vancouver, BC
TeamYVR Team Leader, BA,ABR,IRES,IMSD,LLB

Great post Maureen, thanks for sharing this article with us. Some people dont have more than one account, may be it is hard for them to control. I will try to learn how to control more than one account! Thanks again!

Jan 18, 2012 06:21 AM #24
Rainmaker
1,477,608
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Why would you want more than one account?  Straddling Province lines (Et tu Canadienne?) ? Two separate businesses?  I would imagine those with multiple accounts would be scrutinized and challenged a lot more in the future by other members.  

I am not recommending it. 

Edit Whatever you do, do NOT invite yourself.  I was told off by someone in California* today so I read and reread the invite page, the terms of service and the Guidelines. Your invite page does NOT say don't invite yourself. 

Inviting yourself gives you the 10%

As for using a psuedonym TOS says  "Provide accurate and complete information when establishing your account." so Samuel Clemens better use Samuel Clemens, none of this Mark Twain crap.

* This must be an issue for those in California.  Points must have a value in California that they do not here. 

 

 

Jan 18, 2012 06:35 AM #25
Ambassador
3,675,572
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital
Maureen, there is a couple who reblog each other's stuff almost every day. Hmmmm. Then there is the recently departed guy who invited himself on a second account and amassed a six-digit number of "invite points" on his first account as he wrote fast, formulaic posts for both (when did he have time to earn a living?). I think it's time to revisit the Active Rain guidelines - something that maybe ought to be done regularly - to address some of the bizarre issues that have come up.
Jan 19, 2012 01:20 AM #26
Rainmaker
1,477,608
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

I feel bad about the recent thing... I know someone does not just accidently amass "six-digit number of invite points."  Really that many points?  The "six-digit number of invite points."  are for his 2nd identity?  I have not quite 300,000 for 92 members I invited.  Not a fan of his so I will have to take your word on the  "fast and formulaic" about his posts.

I did carefully reread TOS, the invite page instructions and the Guidelines yesterday after I got snapped at by someone in that state about a comment I left on Jon Z's post.  Emotions seem to have got out of control in that state.  The points are NOT worth anything. 

TOS now does say members must "Provide accurate and complete information when establishing your account." There was no TOS when many of us joined.

I'm off to write a market report.  A relatively fast and formulaic market report.

Jan 19, 2012 06:12 AM #27
Rainmaker
1,477,608
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

hmmmmm  does edit in comment #25 show if you are NOT in the beta?  I don't think it does because I remembered leaving it but wondered where it went.

Jan 19, 2012 09:05 PM #28
Rainmaker
368,690
Miriam Bernstein, CRS
Rochester, NY

This was such an informative overview and discussion about some of the things that go on on Active Rain.  While I have been around since 2006 I had no idea about most of this.  I post, read some blogs and comment and leave.  AR reminds me of large real estate offices with lots of different personalities, interests and abilities.  After 20 years I have learned that I can not control the behaviour of anyone else but can only worry about myself and how I present myself.  If there is no rulle prohibiting sock puppeteering perhaps that should change.  Seems to me that if someone knows of someone gaming the system they should report it to the powers that be.  Finally AR is just a wonderful site which with over 200,000 participants will probably always have people doing things others will disagree with - change the rules.

Jan 21, 2012 11:44 PM #29
Ambassador
3,675,572
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey Maureen!

I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.  Have a great week.

Jan 22, 2012 02:52 AM #30
Rainmaker
1,477,608
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Miriam  There's no flag for content.  I don't believe AR wants to have to enforce stuff like that... who would want to?  The missing comment update (visible on beta... I suppose I should go get it, I am not on the beta version) is that signing up members are told to provide true info?

Best to just worry about your own content and not even look at what others are doing.  To trot out some cliches some members are "pushing the envelope" some are "thinking outside the" box" and others are gaming the system. 

I am not sure w/ sock puppeting, meat puppeting (?) and astroturfing and all the other odd online split personality stuff that goes on (not just on AR) whether that can be regulated. 

The thing with the Florida sock puppets may have been over in just a few months.

Pat  Thanks.

 

Jan 22, 2012 03:12 AM #31
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533,485
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

I'm just wondering since the latest party to indulge in such activities has now been banished, however will he spend all his time?  I can't fathom the amount of time it would take to do such things.  I hope it was worth it, but doubt it was ... financially or otherwise.

As far as Winslow, he resides in Active Rain infamy.  I was told by some who actually spoke with him that he was real.  I never substantiated that nor did I want to.  I tried to read his posts, but way too milk toast for me.

Jan 22, 2012 03:28 AM #32
Rainmaker
1,477,608
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Jason Pat Kennedy said it was formulaic  (on both sites) so perhaps there was NOT a lot of time involved. I know I read some of Lance Winslow's posts when someone pointed him out to me. 

Jan 22, 2012 05:35 AM #33
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670,099
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

I may be incredibly naive, but I don't get the point why anyone (especially in sales & marketing) on Activerain, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. would want to be anything else but themselves. Great post Maureen, and a great exchange. I seem to miss all the fun! :O)

Jan 22, 2012 07:28 AM #34
Rainer
112,028
Carlotta Remong
Berkshire Hathaway HS N.E. Prime Properties - Newport, RI

Maureen great post but I was wondering about the reduced fee for Rain Makers who have a lot of points? I can not find this information regarding the fee reduction when you reach a certain amount of points any where, only comments here and there. 

Jan 22, 2012 11:11 AM #35
Ambassador
452,888
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK
BobHaywood.com

Interesting and good history lessons for those who weren't around in the good old days.  I agree.  One account.  Real name.  No gaming the system!

Jan 22, 2012 01:08 PM #36
Rainmaker
544,156
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519
While I think it's in the best interest and integrity of AR to have one real account, or at least full disclosure is you have more than one?
Jan 22, 2012 02:41 PM #37
Rainer
178,712
Rosalie Evans
Meritus Group Real Estate - Sioux Falls, SD
The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale

From the begining of time people have tried to cheat the system and I am sure it will happen until the end.  But it wouldn't be as easy to cheat the system if you had to give a real name. Would it? I didn't even know we could have multiple accounts!

Jan 22, 2012 03:33 PM #38
Rainmaker
1,477,608
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Rene It would be incredible work but the first little coven of sock puppets in Florida, the broker had a profile.  The posts which were always elevated on the dashboard because he had comments and ranking from his co-workers.  He would benefit.  I think they were real people (or were they?)  but I doubt they sat around first thing each AM and shared the same keyboard to comment on the boss' posts on ActiveRain.  You could tell the post and comments were made on the same computer because of the backward ' . 

Lots of work but the main profile benefitted.  I have invited people from my office.  If I controlled their comments, (against the TOS, Guidelines) my profile and blog content could benefit.  I know my old manager and someone else I invited considered her writing blog posts for him to help him with recruiting.  They never did it.  I don't think they considered the TOS, Guidelines when they discussed this.  I don't think they would have been doing this for the points.  Perhaps they would have realized while she could ghost write for him, her having control of his identity could be a problem.  I am not sure when in the past 5 years it was.  We did NOT have guidelines, TOS at the beginning of AR.  I would have benefitted point wise which may have been what kept her from doing it.  Would I have been implicated in gaming?  If I knew perhaps I would have been. 

Carlotta  I re-blogged that when Kerrie wrote that post.  Or maybe it was the official AR Profile that wrote that post.  It sounds like Kerrie.  I will see if I can find it for you. 

Edit...  my Re-blog of Kerrie's post  RainMaker Point price breaks

That is why I think we have to be careful about the points, gaming the system NOW, more than back in the good old days.  For some who have RM status the points mean nothing BUT for new members the points were monetized. 


Bob Is there a one account rule?  I do not see that any place in the TOS, Guidelines on the invite page (Good place for a warning against inviting yourself huh? 

Eric I understand in the latest the main profile invited the sock puppet profile.  According to someone in the same state that is why it resulted in suspension ?  Ban?  Who knows.... It was gaming the system same as previous members have done. 

Rosalie the new points for reduced fees / free RainMaker may make the extra profiles less desirable... or it may make people game the system to increase the points on their real profile.  That is stealing money from AR so I doubt that would be tolerated.  Perhaps multiple profiles are NOT allowed now.  I know of a lot of people who have them, some of them from a long time ago.  Without a ranking (Digg) system they are not as easy to use to boost a profile.

Editing back in the edit in the comment to Jark.... #25

"

Edit Whatever you do, do NOT invite yourself.  I was told off by someone in California* today so I read and reread the invite page, the terms of service and the Guidelines. Your invite page does NOT say don't invite yourself. 

Inviting yourself gives you the 10%

As for using a psuedonym TOS says  "Provide accurate and complete information when establishing your account." so Samuel Clemens better use Samuel Clemens, none of this Mark Twain crap.

* This must be an issue for those in California.  Points must have a value in California that they do not here. "

Will this show in the regular AR?  Or just in the beta.activerain.com ???  I forget to use the beta. 

The comment edit does not show up unless I am in the beta.

Jan 23, 2012 02:04 AM #39
Rainmaker
1,477,608
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Nope if edits are made in comments on the beta they do NOT show here. 

Just talking to myself...  there was an edits to a couple of comments.

Jan 23, 2012 04:35 AM #40
Rainmaker
1,477,608
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

breaking news on CNET.com "Good news for Madonna. Google+ will now allow users to be known by "established" pseudonyms."

Jan 23, 2012 10:20 AM #41
Rainmaker
837,832
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Maureen, Thanks for the interesting and thoughful post!

Jan 24, 2012 10:04 PM #42
Rainmaker
1,477,608
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Bob You are welcome.  Thanks for bestowing one of your 10 generic comments here today.  Make it a great one!

Jan 25, 2012 12:21 AM #43
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