I have my continuing education finished for this year and although the class was helpful I would have to say there is more learning that goes on here in the Rain than a class could ever cover. The reasons Active Rain is so incredibly helpful are many more than I can conjure up, but here is my list:
1. People discuss current events. Con Ed often is a class written by someone about real estate from a year ago. Real Estate is not only local, which is true. It is also current. Someone who knew the market very well 5 years ago and started teaching doesn't understand our short sale, foreclosure market today.
2. Rainers discuss what really works. Marketing and spending your hard earned dollars...if you want to be ahead of the ball, you must be a part of Active Rain. Current example: videos. They will encourage you and teach also how to edit and why it's such an important additional to your blog.
3. Important laws like plagiarism..and if you are newer to Active Rain you might think this topic is easy. Go look at a post by Rich Jacobson: Plagiarism-for-Dummies and you will see many thoughtful questions and answers after an excellent post.
4. Ethics of blogging. Reciprocal commenting and how to really connect. That's when the fun begins because you make friends and business associates who can be referral for the future when your seller moves...all huge benefits to spending time here. Can you write without reading others? Of course you can do that, but you miss out on wonderful writers, gripping tales, excellent education, sometimes good jokes and maybe recipes ;-). Really connecting to others is the fun of this medium.
5. The other problem with con ed is that as the hours past and I get more and more tuned out and here on AR you can hang out when you are ready to read and enjoy. You can write when you feel up to sharing.
I would never miss my con ed, I promise you but I also think there are many people who teach those classes and you get a great reminder of important business tips everyday you spend time here.
Enjoy and learn while you spend your time here in the Rain! Don't forget your Continuing Education as well. If you can ad to my list please do so or tell me how valuable your con ed class is...great. I'd love to hear about it.