There is a lot of talk on ActiveRain right now regarding the Trulia acquisition of Market Leader, which is the parent company of ActiveRain. There are also a number of members of crying foul, believing the entire rationale for the Market Leader acquisition was to steal ActiveRain's content and Google Juice so that Trulia can more effectively compete with Zillow.
ActiveRain - I love you. I would like to ground the discussion for a minute.
ActiveRain is ALL about the COMMUNITY
Having stewarded ActiveRain and watched Google for the past 2+ years, the valuable asset of ActiveRain is NOT the content. The ActiveRain community that proactively pays it forward and helps consumers and other real estate professionals is incredibly special in the real estate industry and, I argue, the entire Internet. There have been many amazing instances of the power of ActiveRain this year. ActiveRain convinced NAR to dismiss a Fair Housing lawsuit against Tampa's Jeff Launiere. Most impressive is ActiveRain's saving Gail Robinson's Connecticut house from foreclosure. Read the blog post. It should make you proud to a member of ActiveRain, give you faith in humanity, and convince you of the importance of ActiveRain to real estate.
William Johnson and our Kerrie Greenhalgh describe the power of ActiveRain better than I can:
Respect the Community
The power of the ActiveRain's community comes from an engaged, active and caring GROUP of professionals. Most of the fear arising out of yesterday's announcement is largely related to the potential of what COULD happen to ActiveRain. In order for ActiveRain to be successful, regardless if you are the founders of ActiveRain, Nikesh Parekh, Market Leader, or Trulia, we must foster and grow the COMMUNITY. If content is stolen and re-purposed, if links are stolen or broken, or worse, ActiveRain could quickly spiral downwards and lose value to the community, to Market Leader, to Trulia.
No one wants that to happen to ActiveRain.
As I read through the comments on my blog, overriding themes are that "change is scary" and ""change can be bad." You are right. Yes, change CAN be scary. Change CAN be bad. For those of you who have followed my career with ActiveRain, I have not had the smoothest of rides, by any stretch of the imagination. Flip through my blog posts starting in April 2011 and you will see a laughable series of greatest hits and greatest mistakes. Through lots of change, some I brought on myself and other changes imposed on me (Google Panda, technology crashes, management changes), we kept moving in the right direction. We want progress to be linear and immediate, but it rarely is. Persistence is really important.
Most important to me though were the people on the journey. Shout out to Bob Stewart, Kerrie Greenhalgh, Kelly Pflugrath, Kate Yackley, Anthony Van Vactor, Kelly Clifford, Kristi Knutson, Mark Frederick, Lauren Bernstein, Patrick Lesher, Chris Beahm, Chris Paredes, and those ActiveRain members that stuck by me when things were particularly challenging in 2011. Without this team and you, I am not sure where ActiveRain would be today.
But I think that is always true. The people & the team make the opportunity. I say it every day. I would rather work at an unsexy company making widgets with people I enjoy and respect, than work with people I dread seeing every day.
Been there. Done that. Never again.
The Benefits of Optimism Are Real
"Far from being delusional or faith-based, having a positive outlook in difficult circumstances is not only an important predictor of resilience -- how quickly people recover from adversity -- but it is the most important predictor of it. People who are resilient tend to be more positive and optimistic compared to less-resilient folks; they are better able to regulate their emotions; and they are able to maintain their optimism through the most trying circumstances."
And the article goes on to say:
"When your mind starts soaring, you notice more and more positive things. This unleashes an upward spiral of positive emotions that opens people up to new ways of thinking and seeing the world -- to new ways forward. This is yet another reason why positive people are resilient. They see opportunities that negative people don't. Negativity, for adaptive reasons, puts you in defense mode, narrows your field of vision, and shuts you off to new possibilities since they're seen as risks."
I live my life by optimism, humor, and personal altruism. Though I rarely reference Jon Washburn (Obama rarely references Bush either), he taught me the importance of being positive, havng a clear mind, and living a life of positive energy, regardless of what life throws your way.
So, yes, many things can go wrong in life and with ActiveRain. But have faith in the power of the community, the power of ActiveRain and the team here (like Bob, Kerrie, Kris, Eric, Michelle, Kelly, Kelly, Chris and many more) to take ActiveRain to the next level.