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.