What ActiveRain is Working On... New Activity Feed

Real Estate Technology with ActiveRain

We get a lot of questions from people who want to know what's going on in the "secret laboratory" of ActiveRain.  Well, right now the project that we are working on is a new activity feed for the home page on our website.

The New Home Page Activity Feed

When you visit our existing home page, you see a collection of blog posts and questions that have been featured by our staff or by a select group of moderators within the community. That means that somebody has gone through and hand-picked that content.

What we are working on now is a way to start adding in popular content (in addition to featured content) to the home page news feed. Every piece of content that is created on ActiveRain gives out signals to let us know if people are finding and enjoying it. For example, our system can see how many people Viewed, Liked, Commented, and Bookmarked a particular blog post. We are building an engine that will "listen" for those signals and serve it up on the home page.

One other way that we are going to expand the home page is by including more types of content. Blogs and questions are the only kinds of content appearing right now.  In the coming months, we are going to start introducing popular Answers, new Product Reviews, and suggestions of Members to Follow.

Why Are We Doing This?

Here is the bet we're placing on this change.  Right now, only 10-15 blog posts and questions are featured on the home page per day. That means a person could visit every 2 days or so and completely get caught up on all of the posts (if that's the only place they visit).  We believe that if we can increase the velocity of the news feed with content that the community is signaling to us that they love, it will give people the motivation to visit ActiveRain several times per day.

When more people visit the website, it means stronger relationships are built, more content is added to the site (blogs, comments, questions, answers), and our SEO authority with Google stays high which is essential for getting your public blog posts found.

Think of this way... every day we get 1,000 new blog posts and questions added to the site. Surely there are more than 10-15 that are worth reading! 

We also believe that this will help our newer members get discovered in the community.  If they get out there and share their content on social networks, with their offices, and elsewhere in the agent community, those signals will reach ActiveRain.

When Is This Change Coming?

We expect that by late January we'll have a prototype ready to (share behind-the-scenes) with the community.  We need to see how this new engine works in the real-world, get feedback from you on if it is surfacing the right level of content, and work out any kinks. All members will have access to this hidden page and there will be a survey attached so you can provide us with feedback.

Assuming that all goes well, we will most likely introduce this activity feed to the home page at some point later in February.

Thanks for all of the support you guys give us, we are working hard to keep ActiveRain as an amazing community of real estate professionals who connect, share, and learn.

Comments (48)

Kris Neese
ActiveRain - Bellevue, WA
Mr. Behind the Scenes at ActiveRain

Interesting comment on the Facebook-type feed, Anna Banana Kruchten . What does that mean in your mind? Specifically, what is that Facebook is doing in their feed that you don't like?

Jan 06, 2015 06:52 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Like the others I'm always excited to see more original posts.   If the number of likes a post receives truly reflects the interest the community has in the post, then that can be a good thing.  It's quite easy to just press the "like" button. Let's see how it plays out.

Jan 06, 2015 06:53 AM
Scott Gleason, CRS
Coldwell Banker Realty - Westfield, NJ
Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist

What a great idea, Kris.  This will give more writers the opportunity to have their posts read.  Popularity of the post is usually indicative of its quality and appeal.

Jan 06, 2015 07:22 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Kris I don't think I'm the only one that finds facebook old school in a way at this point.  It's filled with so much fluff and adding to that what does 'like' really mean anymore? Sure there are some good things about FB but on the whole how serious is it to most?  Fluff just isn't what AR has been about and I am hoping never will be.  We have a fantatic commumity of professional, serious bloggers and that is a good thing.

Jan 06, 2015 09:50 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

We used to get more turnover in the featured posts section so that the same posts would not stay on the page for two days in a row.  As a matter of fact, sometimes, they didn't even stay a full 24 hours.  I hope this "different" content will not dilute the page or it may just have the opposite effect than desired.

Jan 06, 2015 10:51 AM
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

I like the idea of showing more than 10-15 posts, and hope that there will be a way to be sure that the posts that are prominent are serious blogs or beautiful real estate related photos. 

Jan 06, 2015 12:45 PM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

This all sounds great. I am looking forward to seeing the changes in February.

Jan 06, 2015 12:49 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Kris Neese this is a great news.

The dynamic home page may also help ActiveRain stay on top - always!

(What am I talking? ActiveRain is ALWAYS on top for many topics.)

Jan 06, 2015 01:26 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Kris Neese   

     Facebook Feed - Unless you click "Most Recent" you are defaulted to "Top Stories" - which is what Facebook wants you to see, not what YOU want to see.  

     LinkedIn does the same thing, but they are not as obnoxious about it as Facebook.

Jan 06, 2015 02:15 PM
Claude Labbe
RLAH / @properties - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

and yes...we'll give feedback.

Jan 06, 2015 02:32 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Kris Neese  - It sounds like there are interesting changes coming to the Rain.

Jan 06, 2015 03:43 PM
John Jonas
ReplaceMyself - Virtual Assistants - Highland, UT
John Jonas

It's been a while since I visited activerain again and I love the changes!

Jan 06, 2015 06:17 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Will be looking forward to seeing the changes and "test driving" them. Thanks for the update.

Jan 06, 2015 09:09 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I expect no less from you folks who have consistently demonstrated your expertise...thank you and carry on

Jan 06, 2015 11:16 PM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) www.Progressive-Realty.info - Boise, ID

Hopefully, one thing you will consider is adding more topic options.  One thing that would increase my use of ActiveRain blogs is being able to just go to a topic I want to research (i.e. cell phones, digital cameras, thermal imaging, SEO, Trulia, open houses, etc.)

You can see my suggestion at my blog: Is it time to revamp ActiveRain Groups in 2015?  http://actvra.in/4tL5

Jan 07, 2015 12:57 AM
Doyle Davison
Hawaiian Beaches Hawaii - 714-968-6767 - Huntington Beach, CA
30 years as your Concierge services listing broker

I'm used to change... Let it roll active rain..

Jan 08, 2015 12:01 PM
Sharon Barnes
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Riverside, CA
Exceeding Clients' Expectations Period!

Recently re-engaged with activerain. I receive such so much good information and support from this community of real estate professionals. Looking forward to the new changes and improvements on the website. Excited about being an active member of this community.

Jan 26, 2015 03:24 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Need the stats section restore in rebuild tweak.

Jan 27, 2015 02:09 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I missed the survey. Are you going to publish results of suggestions members left? Are any other changes are coming soon?

Feb 03, 2015 03:28 PM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Kris, thanks for always being open to change, comments, ideas and some mayhem now and then! 

Jul 22, 2015 02:04 PM