The Saga of the Fallen Flag

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408

Kathy Streib wrote an excellent blog post "Ask An Ambassador: Are We There Yet". It is about the changes to AR. I have difficult time with AR "upgrades" as I have yet to see more poorly thought off changes. It is like a weird dance with one step forward and two steps back.

Let's look back. The first victim of better AR was the Flag. "Killing the flag" happened in July 2010. Jonathan Washburn, AR co-creator and CEO at the time, responding to comments, promised a new and much better Flag feature, but we never got one. Every time in a leap to glory AR drops something good, that we had. Last "drop-out" happened to be the gold start...

First we lost the Flag, and then we lost Jon Washburn. I regret both losses.

Flag was an excellent self-cleaning tool for AR. There might be a lot of members who have never seen the Flag, so let me explain how it worked.

You are reading the blog, and you realize that there is something terribly wrong with it. You click the Flag icon, and a form pops up, where the URL of the blog was already in the system. It was very easy. And you could report those, who plagiarized, in one click. You would only need the URL for the original content, to show AR that it was stolen...

The Saga of a fallen FlagCan you report now? Yep. But it is not as easy. The Contact AR link at the botom does not have your information, nothing in the category is for this purpose... There is no "report a violation" there. Judging from the list, everything is fine and dandy in our Kingdom.

Funny, they still have “Localism Issue” in the Category list. The very Localism, which is officially dead according to AR announcement

Change is inevitable, but I am too old to to start chanting "change". It is like a wonderful feeling of a free fall. Whether it is good or bad depends on having a  parachute...

However, “issues” with dead Localism is still in Category  list. Offering you a way to complain on the dead… Fascinating.

Did those on AR Olympus ever noticed it? That there is nothing to report plagiarism, and/or any other serious violations? This is by far not the first cry for the Flag be returned. I have written about it, Karen Anne has written about it, other members were questioning the wisdom of this decision as well. At the beginning there were promises… No promises now.

I think plagiarism and spam is a disaster for a reputation of a network, but AR does not to seem to agree with me, and does not help us help AR.

Go figure why we have the fallen Flag.

Died untimely death in action…

P.S. Before changing anything there should be a thought process. Than, probably, a test, and discussion, and eliminating bugs. The Flag was not a bug, Gold Star was not a bug, but they were eliminated. They promised they will return the gold star. Yes, if you yell loud enough, and because you all remeber it. But you, probably forgot the Flag...

It is time to start undoing some of the thoughtless changes.

Lets start with restoring the flag, the first victim of change. We will petition those on top. Of course, they are the same people who managed to kill the Gold star, so...

* Image by alan tunnicliffe via Flickr.com

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Rainer
405,477
Brad MacKenzie
Brad MacKenzie - Duxbury, MA
Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore

Kill, kill, kill. Kill Bill, too.

Jan 22, 2014 04:14 AM #1
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

You are vengeful today, Brad :)

Jan 22, 2014 04:27 AM #2
Rainmaker
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William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Jon...I have to agree with you.

I don't see many of the upgrades as needed and only confuses mny of us.

Jan 22, 2014 05:36 AM #3
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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William - and I have to agree with you. Some of the "improvements are plain senseless.

Jan 22, 2014 07:06 AM #4
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Jon, hey!  I remember that flag!  And I remember Jonathan Washburn who I miss a whole lot around here.  Jonathan was not afraid to use the "Smite Button" when a blogger was naughty.

Jan 22, 2014 07:44 AM #5
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Patricia - do we have to be AR old to remember good things? :)

Jonathan was a visionary, and of course, I miss him, and I believe AR misses people of this caliber here.

Jan 22, 2014 07:59 AM #6
Rainmaker
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Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

Hmmm, I have noticed lately that people are 'reblogging' posts into new posts. Is this because reblog is gone or are they doing it to get the full 225 pts instead of the 'reblog' credit?

Jan 23, 2014 02:10 AM #7
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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Jon, the flag and gold star do seem like simple things and WHY they were eliminated I guess you have to delve into the minds of the powers that be. I requested a better editor for YEARS as one built in like for color and different types of fonts and FINALLY they added it. A lot of this is out of our control.

Jan 23, 2014 03:19 AM #8
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Than - I guess this is just another poorly thought of "improvement"

Jan 23, 2014 06:36 AM #9
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Gary - yes, it is out of our control. What is strange, it seems as if it is out of their control as well. How on earth could they eliminate nice working things, and not even notice it?

Jan 23, 2014 06:37 AM #10
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1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

It feels like a foreign blogging land here on Active Rain now.  I wish we could back several things up.

Jan 23, 2014 09:50 AM #11
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Judi - I feel the same way. It is fancy, but usability is down the drain. With a few babies :)

Jan 23, 2014 01:02 PM #12
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William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi Jon, Me bad, I have posted so few posts of late that I feel ashamed. I love our ActiveRain but we are not perfect ( but pretty darn close ). I really can't complain since I know that the changes were instrumented to help with SEO. The Flag or Star, both would be nice but I feel differently about the evolution of changes. In this fast paced world of technology, the brain trust at AR is alive and thriving and thankfully we are the beneficiaries. I'm probably all wet but when I was growing up, life then was not always perfect but I learned to appreciate effort as much as results. It is in my blood that way. I am for sure not perfect but I will always try and that is the real key to happiness and satisfaction. Besides we have each other to help us figure things out when they change. If one doesn't know, surely someone else will. I think very highly of you Jon and have always respected your opinion, as I do now. But I hope you will appreciate that I feel a bit differently at least in the way I might express it if I were dissatisfied. For this free forum, it is a bit hard to complain if not exactly to our prefernces, wouldn't you agree?

Jan 24, 2014 11:01 AM #13
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

William - very interesting. This is a philosophical side, I did not see it, and not that I agree with it even after you showed it to me :-)

SEO without the vision is like a 600 horse power Ferrari in the hands of a blind driver. Networks are done by visionaries. We do not have them.

So, we are "improving" with no sense of direction, no sense of future. And yes, there is, probably, no future. I suspect Market Leader bought it to get the members to sell them their product.

Other than that I do not see what is the future of AR. Indirectly, Market Leaser confirmed it when they clearly separated Realestate.com and ActiveRain. For Realestate.com Activerain would be a disaster. One has the goals, and strategy, the one doesn't.

Of course, I appreciate you comment very much, and your disagreeing even more. It is for me what "old" AR was. Honesty and integrity. hence, I am still here.

But it is sure not the brains of AR, even though that would have been nice ...

Jan 24, 2014 10:19 PM #14
Rainmaker
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Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

Jon, I was not a member of AR when the flag was a promised feature but it sure sounds like one that should not have been buried.  As for AR, I guess I am less demanding or philosophical-I like to write, it helps my SEO, I love the virtual friends I have made, I enjoy learning something new every day and so it goes...

Jan 26, 2014 05:59 AM #15
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Joanna - I understand. Many do not understand it and it is not surprising, as those who came later miss the AR the way it used to be. It was very different, much better as a community, there were a lot of bright people, and it was very much alive...

This was when AR was dominating the field. It was a place for the smartest and for the finest...

Oh, well...

Jan 26, 2014 09:59 AM #16
Rainmaker
534,421
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

I wonder how many of the changes were made to enhance the value of Active Rain to Trulia. I too do not see the real SEO improvements helping the contributors of AR content.

Mar 28, 2014 09:41 AM #17
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