I am the creator of the Top Contributor Badge on ActiveRain. It's all my fault, I admit it! That being said, I still stand behind the idea.
There have been no shortage of blog posts, comments, and social media shares with Trulia conspiracy theories and other such craziness. Our intention with the Top Contributor Badge was:
- To give our most dedicated bloggers a badge that they can share with consumers and their industry peers that recognize their efforts on ActiveRain.
- To get more new members on ActiveRain as members shared those badges online.
Our team has been working on a three-pronged marketing campaign to drive new membership on ActiveRain in May and June. That playbook that included:
- An email campaign where we found all of the people who have been invited to ActiveRain over the past twelve months but did not accept the invitation, then sent them a nudge to join our community.
- The "Double Points for Inviting a Friend" campaign that wrapped up this week. Our winner Captain Wayne Rowlett won an Amazon Kindle free RainMaker accounts for his 17 companions.
- The Top Contributor Badge to give our most frequent bloggers the chance to brag about their status using social media.
It was an interesting process to come up with this list.
Initially, we were going to publish the Top 1% of Bloggers on ActiveRain. That list didn't quite work out, because if it was the top 1% of our 258,000 members, the list would be too big and not have any credibility. If it was the top 1% of people who wrote a blog in the past year, the list was too small and stacked with profiles who were obviously just auto-posting listings.
In the second round, we decided to change the award to "Top Contributors" by moving away from the top 1% concept and trying to find a logical number to qualify. We considered 25, 50, 100, and 200, but finally ended up deciding that 52 was a great number. In our ActiveRain University classes, we are constantly encouraging people to write one blog post per week. That got us a list of about 1,200 people.
Another interesting decision was what kind of posts to include.
- Public Posts VS Members Only
- Do listings count?
- What about reblogs?
- Should there be a minimum character count?
- What if the person is just posting a quote of the day?
In the end, we decided that hand picking a list based on our own criteria wasn't a smart way to go. We included every kind of blog post on ActiveRain, except for reblogs.
We all agree that this list isn't perfect. As we developed the badges we started thinking forward to creating other badges for people who leave the most comments, see the most traffic on their posts, and other measurements of engagement that are equally for our community. We are hoping this badge is the first of many to reward the people who put their heart and soul into building up our community.
So, there it is! I'm the guilty party, but I really don't feel like we have anything to hide. We love the fire and accountability in this community and appreciate all of the responses to this idea. There is no conspiracy at play here, this is all part of our efforts to keep ActiveRain healthy and growing. Thank you for your honesty.