This is a great article by one of ActiveRain's top members Russel Ray on the value of ActiveRain. Some very impressive stats on the number of professional referrals Russel has received as well as the sheer amount of personal satisfaction Russel gets from ActiveRain.
How I define my ActiveRain success
I had a recent Invitee ask me how I define my ActiveRain success.
When I first started at ActiveRain on March 10, 2007, I didn't see it as part of my success at all. I checked in once a quarter to see what was going on and then went back to those areas that I used to define my success.
When I restarted at ActiveRain on July 22, 2008, I had a goal:
- To have more points than a certain guy who absolutely hates me because I live an openly gay life, am successful, and believe myself to be just as a good a person as him and people like him. I can only imagine his agony and despair after what happened in New York last week.
In the beginning, I wanted points. When I saw how easy it was to get points, getting points lost some of its luster (probably "lustre" for my Canadian friends).
Points make it fun, and there is a certain advantage to having over 500,000 points, such as having a free RainMaker account!
At one point, pun intended, the more points you had, the closer you were to the ActiveRain home page, which, by my analysis at the time, seemed to mean that your blog posts would be crawled by the Internet spiders more often.
As Todd Clark and Lenn Harley can attest, the exposure was greater because when you came to ActiveRain to log in, all you ever saw were Todd Clark and Lenn Harley. Would anyone else ever have a chance of being on that home page?
Now you see a success story which rotates between about 15 people, and public featured posts, a much better system in my eyes. That's also why getting a featured post is still valuable, much more valuable than being featured in the Daily Drop. It's why I believe ActiveRain needs to do a better job of finding featured posts by other than the same old people, and do a better job of rotating posts on the home page featured post list. It has gotten better with the SUGGEST button, but when 18 people tell you publicly in a comment that they pushed that button, but the post never gets featured, you wonder what's going on.
I've also noticed that the featured post list goes through cycles. There will be eight or ten featured posts that show up within minutes of each other, and then it will go hours at a time, sometimes as long as two days (when there's a Raincamp) with one or two new features, maybe even none! Since it's been stated several times that the staff doesn't like to feature old posts, it's not hard to determine that when they are busy with Raincamp, you're just not going to get a featured post unless you're one of the ten or so people that the whole ActiveRain staff like.
But I digress....
I've invited many thousands of people to ActiveRain, but only 182 have accepted my invitation, three within the past couple of weeks. Because I get 10% of their points, I have accumulated over 300,000 points from my Invitees. That infuriates a few people here because it has allowed me to get lots of points per week and eventually pass them on the Leaderboard. It's not something I planned, nor a goal; it just happened.
Do I invite them to get points? Sure, but more importantly, I want to help them find greater success in this Internet world. The best place to do that is right here at ActiveRain. It's too bad that ActiveRain doesn't have a column on the Leaderboard that shows number of Invitees instead of, or in addition to, number of featured posts, because I think the number of Invitees is much more valuable to ActiveRain, and if more people would invite people to Play in the Rain with us, maybe we'd have a larger membership than NAR!
Since July 22, 2008, I can attribute $112,257 of income directly to referrals from ActiveRain members like Steve Hall, Kelly McQuien, Barb Fischer, Stephanie Reynolds, and Stewart Penn, as well as people calling me after one of my ActiveRain posts showed up in their Google search. Money is only a part of how I define my ActiveRain success, though. As with all things in life, money makes it easier to live, to do those things you want to do, to help others.
Ah, to help others. There's the key to how I define my ActiveRain success:
- Helping buyers buy a home.
- Helping sellers determine the condition of their home so that they can repair, disclose, and price appropriately.
- Helping real estate agents by providing a good, thorough home inspection that will keep them out of court and with happy clients.
- Helping ActiveRain members themselves.
As long as I have an adequate income to pay my current expenses, buy my annual passes to the Zoo/Safari Park, SeaWorld, and the Natural History Museum, and put some aside for those years when I'm no longer physically and mentally capable of working, the remainder of my time is spent helping people, FOR FREE!
Helping people was ingrained into my physical being by my wise old grandmother, and once she got the basics down (it wasn't easy), I did the rest: Key Club, Student Government, Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, Jaycees, American Heart Association, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Special Olympics, American Cancer Society, and so many more that I have volunteered with over the years.
Helping people makes those people feel good, and it makes me feel good.
A couple of weeks ago I discovered a way to have fun, make people feel good, and help them get more exposure and points at ActiveRain. All of that made me feel good. Let me explain.
You might have seen the weekly posts by Patricia Kennedy and Donne Knudsen featuring Patricia's opinion of the best posts she has read from the past week and Donne's opinion of feature worthy posts that the ActiveRain staff missed.
Taking a cue from them, but taking it a little further, I developed my Feature worthy and rebloggable series. My intent is to specifically focus on older posts that were feature worthy and got overlooked. My intent is to get people to either go leave some additional comments on them or to reblog them. Both actions make the other person feel good, and when I checked after both weeks (my series is only two weeks old), I saw that all 20 people that I featured had additional comments, and many had several reblogs. I think I saw one post that had had two comments and no reblogs when I posted a link to it, and after just one day it had many more comments and six reblogs.
Helping other members get more exposure, more friends, more followers, more points, is the #1 way that I define my ActiveRain success. Ultimately, interacting with more people at ActiveRain will provide YOU with the ability to interact better when those tough negotiations come around. YOU will have better ideas, better information, experiences of those who have gone through something similar.... YOU have a place to rant that is private and supportive...
Everything for me will work out because I have always believed that what goes around comes around, and I spend a lot of time going around.
P.S. I still like points, though.
Next post will be:
Music on Mondays from
The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray
Twenty most recent posts
- Business & Marketing — Don't wait for them to come to you!
- Unlocking the secrets of your home — What the home inspector SAYS can be significant, too!
- Flower Fiesta — Thank you, New York! Flowers for everyone!
- ActiveRain — Feature worthy and rebloggable, #2
- Pay It Forward — "Can I buy another one?"
- Business & Marketing — The police won't mind if you expose yourself
- Picture of the Moment — Safari Park's six-day-old gorilla
- Unlocking the secrets of your home — Protecting your home from wind-driven wildland fires using landscaping, vegetation, and home maintenance
- Video of the Moment — 0-60 mph in four seconds, and it's not a car!
- Business & Marketing — "I didn't get your email"
- Picture of the Moment — I'm a superb star, (dar)ling
- Unlocking the secrets of your home — YOUR home inspector is on YOUR side!
- Unlocking the secrets of your home — A baker's dozen ways to use a home inspection report
- Picture of the Moment — The new Turtle Reef at SeaWorld San Diego is now open!
- Business & Marketing — Russel is here for you
- Unlocking the secrets of your home — Sometimes it really is that simple
- Business & Marketing — What's the little guy to do?
- Music on Mondays from the Music Chronicles of Russel Ray — It's blasphemy!
- ActiveRain — I deserve a Sunday sunflower, and I have some to share!
- Pay It Forward — Pay It Forward - "Can we go see the polar bears?"