ActiveRain Launches New Home Page Design and Blog Featured Images

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Real Estate Technology with ActiveRain
https://activerain.com/droplet/4W2R


ActiveRain Launches New Home Page Design and Blog Featured Images

On Tuesday, September 20th, ActiveRain launched a new home page design, aimed to highlight blog images and additional content, as well as set the foundation for further remodel of the site. 

Our new design, puts an emphasis on a new feature, the 'Featured Image' for blog posts. In addition, it will make the home page more engaging, by bringing additional 'popular posts' as well as 'top questions' and 'recent posts' to the forefront. 


 

Featured Images on Blog Posts and The Home Page

You now have the ability to add a 'Featured Image' to every blog post that you create. These featured images will be highlighted when your post is selected as a featured post, and also gives your blog posts a visual lead in, for every post, should you chose to use this new feature.

The featured image will become a larger part of the site as we continue to remodel additional pages of the site (your blog page, the blog home page) as well as the set the stage for ActiveRain to syndicate content to other platforms. 

(IMPORTANT: We will be looking extra hard for content that uses the featured image when we are selecting posts to be featured on the home page. Posts without the featured image could still be featured, but you'll have a better shot if you use the featured image on your post)

Featured blog images will make it much easier to send your content to social media sites by tagging that image as the default image to display when your post is shared outside of ActiveRain. 

In order to take advantage of the new featured image, you will upload it just below the title line of your blog post in the blog editor. For best display, you'll want to use an image with a minimum resolution of 480pixels W x 360pixels H.


Color Coded Topics

You'll begin to see when a post is featured, or when it shows up in the 'popular posts' section on the right hand side of the home page, that each post is color coded to match the topic that was selected when you created your blog post. This is the first step in allowing our members to sort content on the site based on topics in which you are most interested. In the next version of the home page, each member will be able to determine which categories (we'll call them channels) you have the most interest in, and you'll be able to sort content to only show you those specific categories. Much of the work we have been doing is setting up for some of these forward looking features on the site. 

Some of the colors you will see:

For Professional Posts
Yellow - ActiveRain Community
Rust - Real Estate Best Practices
Magenta - Real Estate Industry
Blue - Real Estate Sales and Marketing
(Color coming soon) - Real Estate Technology and Tools
Mint - Mortgage/Finance
Pink - Just for fun

For Consumer Posts
Teal - Home Buying
Dark Purple - Home Selling
Red - Home Improvement
Green - Real Estate General Information
Royal - Real Estate Market Trends
Terracotta - Lending/Financial
Orange - Local News and Events
Sky - Listings


New Navigation Header




At the top of each page on ActiveRain, you will now see a slightly modified header. Blogs, Q&A, Products and University get the lion's share of the exposure in this new header design. You can also 'search' from this top header area (new and improved search coming soon!) as well as easily get into blog writing mode with the new 'WRITE POST' button. The flag will still show the most recent interactions people are taking with your content and display all of your notifications. Just about everything else you would ever need can be found in the drop down menu by hovering over your small profile picture.

 

Popular Posts

The popular posts area on the right hand side of the home page will continually serve up fresh content based on an algorithm that looks at (among other things):

Number of comments
Number of likes
Amount of Traffic (or clicks on the post)
Number of reBlogs
Number of shares
When it was written
And even factors in are you a new or long time member (new members get a little extra love)

This will be a great chance for some of our newer members to get discovered. It will also help our moderators find content that should be elevated to featured status based on the activity of the posts. 


Foundation for Next Round of Development

This round of development had many aspects that are being put in place to aid in future development efforts. Prior to this release, our site has had a massive variety in the style sheets used to layout pages. During this release, we have made major strides towards normalizing the design elements around the site. You'll continue to see work being done on this, and as such, in this current iteration, there are some styling inconsistencies. But, we are working toward complete and total consistency across the entire site. All of this to say, if you see some styling issues, please let us know. 

Coming Soon

Next on the roadmap are updated Business Pages/ Product Profiles (and some big news on how brands will be able to use and interact on ActiveRain), updated member profiles, and the channel concept that I spoke about above (the idea that you will be able to personalize your ActiveRain experience).

Play Around (starting Tuesday after the release) and Let Us Know What You Think

We'd love your feedback. There isn't a ton of change to functionality (with the exception of adding featured images to blog posts) but there is definitely some navigation elements that have moved. We hope that things will be easier to find as you get used to the new design. 

Much of the work that was done was put in place to make future development releases easier and more frequent. So hang tight, we are in for more awesome enhancements in the coming months!

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Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Will Hamm 09/19/2016 10:50 AM
  2. Christina Sanchez Hood 09/19/2016 12:25 PM
  3. Robert Vegas Bob Swetz 09/19/2016 12:46 PM
  4. Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 09/19/2016 06:54 PM
  5. Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC 09/21/2016 11:49 AM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community

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Rainmaker
160,031
Susan McLaughlin
Keller Williams Realty - East Monmouth - Red Bank, NJ
Monmouth County Real Estate

Great changes, looking forward to more.

Oct 09, 2016 04:45 AM #268
Ambassador
2,007,377
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

It is definitely visually more interesting than it was.  I'm still getting used to all of it.

Oct 09, 2016 04:13 PM #269
Rainer
61,905
Dennis Puckett
Adams,Cameron & Co. - Deland, FL

Looks much better..

Oct 11, 2016 09:35 PM #270
Rainmaker
169,013
Deborah Grimaldi
Albert Realtors - Cranston, RI
(401) 837-9633

Very nice layout and designs, like the different colors as well

Oct 14, 2016 08:33 PM #271
Rainmaker
52,507
Alisa McKeel Willson
Appraisal Pros in Texas - Huntsville, TX
Certified Res. Appraiser

I like it!!!  Thanks for all you do.     

Oct 15, 2016 01:23 AM #272
Rainer
41,462
Matthew Johnson
Webmatic247.com - Virginia Beach, VA
I get you found online.

I like it too!

Fresh!

Oct 15, 2016 11:16 AM #273
Rainer
10,233
Thomas Rineberg
Spectrum Realty Services - St Johns, FL
"More than a decade of real estate experience!"

Nice work. 

Oct 19, 2016 03:17 AM #274
Rainer
4,988
Elmer Foster
Oceanica Realty, LLC - Davie, FL
Elmer Foster, Realtor, Oceanica Realty LLC

great work.  I personally like it

Oct 19, 2016 12:24 PM #275
Rainer
6,836
Sharon Sunkel
Keller Williams Realty - Efland, NC

Love the new change because it makes me want to utilize this blog website more.

Oct 26, 2016 12:38 AM #276
Rainmaker
1,079,073
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Love the new look - crisp and engaging - especially love the Featured Image idea!!

 

Oct 26, 2016 11:05 AM #277
Rainer
2,985
Cindy Noel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rock Hill, SC

Looks great!!!

Oct 27, 2016 12:26 AM #278
Rainmaker
656,073
Lauren Selinsky Broker CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren

Just because you see big pictures! Doesn't make this easy to use on mobile. I officially cannot write a blog on my iPhone.

I give two thumbs down !!!  :/

Oct 27, 2016 05:35 PM #279
Rainmaker
656,073
Lauren Selinsky Broker CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren

Would you care to hear everything I don't like? Give me a call. 949.310.4960.

Oct 27, 2016 05:37 PM #280
Rainer
24,079
Maia Whitaker
Superior Notary Service | Allstate Insurance - Boulder, CO
Your Trusted Notary & Insurance Advisor

The new desgin is okay, but I still cannot find where to access my signature information to update it. Frustrating that it is still tacked onto every post but not readily accessible.

May 24, 2017 06:35 AM #281
Rainmaker
106,369
Lana Robbins Licensed Managing Broker/Owner
Aloha Kai Real Estate - Kirkland, WA
Licensed in Washington and Florida

It took awhile to get used to but I am back and I don't have major problems. A few days ago I had to use Chrome to upload photos after uploading photos via Firefox failed.

Jul 06, 2017 04:09 PM #282
Rainmaker
530,614
marti garaughty
garaughty.com - Montreal, QC
a highly caffeinated creative type...

I'm not sure if this was caused by AR site redesign but I'll ask anyways...

 I'm the founder and moderator of The Art of Marketing YOU group on ActiveRain. By default the group was set for new members not to be able to post until approved by a moderator(to keep out spammers).

 For the past few months when I try to approve a new member and give them the ability to post, whenever I click on the "can post" option(see screenshot attached) it logs me out of the system and doesn't update the member's posting ability.

 It looks like a tech bug of some kind. Can you give me some feedback on why the AR system is suddenly doing this or how I can give new group members the ability to post? Thx!

Nov 13, 2017 02:44 PM #283
Rainmaker
2,725,894
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I haven’t really thought to go there and check it out but it definitely sounds like an awesome refresh!

Jan 11, 2018 09:34 PM #285
Rainmaker
2,725,894
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

This might’ve been mother say was down there today for a little snippet of time or maybe half a day. That was for good reason I see! :)

Jan 11, 2018 09:39 PM #286
Rainmaker
2,725,894
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I’m still on mobile today but will check it out tomorrow for sure! I’m still excited! :)

Jun 21, 2018 11:58 PM #287
Rainmaker
2,725,894
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I noticed the new changes on the main site mostly. Any new changes on mobile versions?

Jul 09, 2018 11:52 PM #288
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