How To Use ActiveRain Channels

By
Education & Training with Director of Education & Industry Outreach at eXp Realty & RE Tech Campus

What are ActiveRain Channels, and how should you use them? This new feature was added to the network last week on Wednesday.  Many have been asking "what are they, and how do they work?"  Here's a recorded podcast that touches on the Channels concept.  To really get how all this works, you have to understand that there's a "New Face-Lift" coming to ActiveRain in the days ahead.  Seeing a portion of the New ActiveRain.com Index page will help make understanding Channels a bit easier.

Sample screen shot of the "New" ActiveRain.com

The best way I can explain this is by example.  Right now we only have one feature board on the main page of ActiveRain. This would be the "ActiveRain" Channel.  Now we have additional channels that will allow features in those channels too.  You will also be able to access the hottest "topics" within those channels in our new interface.  We need to build up content by placing posts in each of these channels.  You have probably noticed the additional 25 points members are getting for doing this.

Create/Edit a new post, and you'll see these options:

 

Each Channel will offer three "Topic" links to the side, these are the most popular topics in that channel.  Keep Topic title's short.  There will soon be a text auto-fill displayed as you begin to type in topics.  Any previously entered topic will begin to display as you type, just as tags do now.  The "Topics" most written about will be the ones displayed on these links.

 

Selecting Channels and using Topics, will make finding your posts easier and more efficient.  No longer will your 6th post just show up on page 35 of your Blog.  They will appear as "BIG fish" in a smaller pond channel.  Now you will be able to find posts that are directly related to "Topics" you and others are interested in.  Technology, Marketing etc.  Posts will be "channeled" instead of lost on one BIG site with tons of info.

 

 

 

Quick Q&A

Will this affect the placement of my Localism posts?  NO, these are just for ActiveRain Channels. 

Should I Channel my previous posts? 
Yes, at least the ones you want to show up in specific  Channels. 

Can I post to Multiple Channels?  No, You can only select "one" under either Professional or Consumer.

When will the "New" Channels face-lift go live?  In the next couple of weeks, maybe sooner.  :-)

How do I know which Channel I should use for my post?  Here's a breakdown of what the separate channels will look like.  These definitions may change slightly, but for now, this should help give you an idea of what each channel will represent.  This will help "organize" all the great content on ActiveRain.

 

Professional Channels:

ActiveRain - The ActiveRain Channel is the channel for all things ActiveRain, including the use and tutorials for the site, announcements, reminders and deployment of the next big thing.

Mortgage - The Mortgage Channel is the channel made specifically for those on the Mortgage side of the real estate industry, where professionals can discuss, research and read up on the mortgage sector nationwide.

Networking - The Networking Channel is the channel for expanding your professional sphere and linking with contacts in the real estate business.

Offline Marketing - The Offline Marketing channel is the place to discuss the affects of offline marketing on the real estate business, learn how to reach your consumers, and share strategies and insights that will help create effective marketing strategies.

On-line Marketing - The On-line Marketing Channel is the place to discuss the affects of on-line marketing on the real estate business, learn about how to reach your consumers, and create effective marketing strategies while gleaning knowledge and insight from other professionals in the real estate sector.

Sale / Brokerage / Industry - The Industry Channel is the channel for news about the real estate industry at large, market reports, and economic insight and info.

Technology - The Technology Channel is the place to discuss, research, and review how technology, both new and old, affects the real estate market, selling and buying homes, and leveraging know-how to better the real estate business.

Training - The training Channel is the location for training, seminars, webinars, video and podcasts that have to do with learning and education.

Consumer Channels:

Finance / Mortgage - In a time where some banks are on uncertain foundation and home prices are dropping, how do you know where and when to get your loan? This channel was created to help you, the consumer, find your footing in an otherwise unstable industry.

Home Buying - Home buying is often a daunting process that leaves would-be homeowners so confused that they do not even know where to begin! Start here with your research; this is the best channel to get started in the journey that leads to your new front door.

Home Improvement - Uh oh! Another crack in the ceiling! When are you going to build that deck, again? You could use new windows. Whichever home improvement quandary you face, this is the place to start the research necessary to plan your budget, decide what improvements will improve the value of your home, and give you the information necessary to get going.

Home Ownership - Have you ever wanted to own a home? Do you own one now? This is the channel to discuss the ins and outs and home-ownership, from repairs to HOA dues.

Home Selling - How does one sell a home? What happens if you're upside down on your mortgage? How long does the escrow process take? The answers to these questions and more lie on this channel, created specifically to address those hard-to-answer questions that home sellers have.

Real Estate Investing / Foreclosures - Looking for the most relevant information available on investing and foreclosures brought to you by the experts on ActiveRain? This channel demonstrates your expertise to consumers through relevant and informative Blogs focused on these always popular real estate topics.

Regional (Localism) - Need information on a specific neighborhood in a specific city in a specific state? You've come to the right place! The Regional channel was created to help you gather the information that you need NOW.

Relocation / Moving - Moving is a huge commitment to your time, energy and family. Use this channel to do the research necessary to make sure that your move is smooth and easy.

Time to Channel our energy and posts into Channels on ActiveRain.

I know you'll have some comments and questions, and they are welcomed, but WAIT!!  Remember this is still new, and its success, as always, depends on our members.  Be gentle, I'm just the piano player.  This too will evolve as do ALL things on our Network.  Thanks in advance for all the love and support.  :-)

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Ambassador
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Brad Andersohn
Director of Education & Industry Outreach at eXp Realty & RE Tech Campus - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Ben - all the channels are listed on the main page of AR.  There are 8 consumer and 8 professional, then there are the top 3 topics in each based on member content.  The more content about a subject, the more chance it will show up in the top 3 for that channel.  No idea how many posts it takes, It's based on a majority of posts.  Great question, those that figure this stuff out are destined for success on AR. :-)

Mar 20, 2009 12:29 AM #209
Rainer
98,608
Judy Schneider
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA

This has been very helpful, I am a fairly new member with a lot to learn about Active Rain. Thank You.

Mar 20, 2009 02:27 AM #210
Rainmaker
1,431,110
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

There are so many changes it is hard to keep up with, so I just take things a few at a time.

Mar 20, 2009 07:17 AM #211
Ambassador
794,068
Brad Andersohn
Director of Education & Industry Outreach at eXp Realty & RE Tech Campus - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Judy - there is a lot here, but do like Gene above, take things "just a few at a time."  Though AR Channels have been in place since September of last year, this will always remain "new" to someone.  The more you learn and know, the more you'll earn and grow.  :-)

Mar 20, 2009 08:25 AM #212
Rainmaker
212,334
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

Again, and again, you up the bar and we reap the benefits. THANKS for the info and the continued dialogue that teaches us more than we knew before.  And, it's a good thing.

Mar 20, 2009 08:31 AM #213
Rainmaker
553,353
Sonya Loose
Modern Realty - Beaverton, MI
Selling Waterfront in Gladwin & Midland County

Somehow I had missed this feature and just started adding tags and channels to all my past blogs last week.  I am going to be with it now!!!

Mar 22, 2009 07:54 AM #214
Rainer
2,153
Colin Crooks
Re/Max Realty Services - Brampton, ON

I've only been a Rainer the last 2-3 hrs. I've been browsing and reading pages upon pages when I stumbled on this one. So far the info pages/posts have been very educational. I am now going to find this channels thing you've all been talking about, and I've only read about. This way I'll hopefully appreciate how wonderful a tool channeling really is at organizing blog topics.

Mar 25, 2009 03:28 PM #215
Rainmaker
1,429,952
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Read and re-read.  I need to go back and channelize some old posts.

Mar 29, 2009 04:10 PM #216
Rainer
3,812
Wendy Kuhn
Webster Realty, LLC - Webster Springs, WV

Brilliant idea!  I just hope these channels broadcast in digital...LOL

Apr 20, 2009 02:02 PM #217
Rainmaker
131,117
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

Thanks for these tips.  I've always been a little unclear how to use them.

Apr 27, 2009 04:59 PM #218
Rainer
806
Eddie Reynolds
Land Mortgage - Austin, TX

Looks like a great tool for eveyone!

Jun 16, 2009 11:09 AM #219
Rainer
142,701
Sandra Scott
DPR Realty - Payson, AZ
REALTOR of Choice! Payson, Pine & Strawberry, AZ

Again, YOU are the MAN!

Sandra Scott
Four Seasons Realty
Payson Arizona
http://PaysonArizonaMLS.com

Jul 04, 2009 04:46 PM #220
Rainer
24,122
Michael Patnode
Virginia Country Real Estate Referral & Management Co Inc. - Naxera, VA

Very good. I have alot of catching up to do!

Jul 24, 2009 01:31 AM #221
Rainmaker
238,903
Pat Fenn
Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker - Springfield, VA

I was revisitng this post and wondered do Channels themselves have any special signifcance for SEO purposes?  They seem to have lost their meaning and become a lot like groups where they get stuffed with posts that really have nothing to do with the channel title.

Aug 20, 2009 11:41 PM #222
Ambassador
794,068
Brad Andersohn
Director of Education & Industry Outreach at eXp Realty & RE Tech Campus - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Hi Pat - sorry for my delay in responding, I was out of town these past few days.  The channels were created to help members and visitors to find and sort topic related posts. The topics and channels do affect the AR Outside Blog widgets that show category and Local posts, so I guess in a sense, they do affect the SEO as each page has it's own URL and is indexed appropriately.  The use of channels and the content contained in them is different than the groups you'll find where the content in many cases might not match the requirements of that group. Those groups are moderated by their founders so it is up to them to keep the content relevant. 

Aug 25, 2009 02:46 PM #223
Ambassador
556,918
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

How could I possibly have resisted that? :)

Thanks to you and your bright ideas I haven't gotten squat done today :)

TLW...ROAR!

Sep 03, 2009 11:46 AM #224
Ambassador
556,918
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Oh No...

Don't tell me after all that work it doesn't. No. No. No. It just can't be :)

TLW...ROAR!

Sep 03, 2009 11:53 AM #225
Ambassador
556,918
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Glad I figured out the problem before I started writing. That would suck :)

TLW...ROAR!

Sep 03, 2009 11:59 AM #226
Ambassador
556,918
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Comments...

#'s 225 and 226 were being copied from the wrong source code :)

By this time tomorrow I'll actually know what I'm talking about :)

P.S. I'm resisting again :)

TLW...ROAR!

Sep 03, 2009 12:02 PM #227
Rainer
14,973
Jenn & Phil Beck
www.utahspot.com, Salt Lake Real Estate, Coldwell Banker - Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake City Homes For Sale

Great way to keep things organized.  Easier to find similar topics and posts.  Thanks for the info.

Jan 28, 2010 10:38 AM #228
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