The Good Life in Austin Texas

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PIGGING OUT! Abuse of the ActiveRain points system…

I recently read two very good posts "Is Your Integrity Worth 25 Points?" - Blog Tips for Rain Drips and another by Bob Cumiskey where he describes bad blogging behavior and states "There are a few "so called bloggers" on the ladder who obviously blog just for the points." Both made me realize that I have also witnessed a number of other blatant attempts to "Game the System" here at Active Rain.Pigging out for points!

A short time after I joined several of us at my office received an email asking us to join ActiveRain and it turned out that the individual sent a mass email to numerous agents. Evidently, the person was hoping to rack up points by signing up new folks. I learned that the person was later contacted by Active Rain and stopped. I noticed later that this same person began to post the maximum allowable posts each week. I am not an editor or critic but none of the posts were compelling and most were cut and pasted with a few remarks and no outside comments, Curious I began to see similar actions in different parts of the country by people who were obviously, as Bob Cumiskey wrote, just Blogging for the points ~ the lazy blogger. I began to see others who would just post listings. One person in particular was part of a real estate team and would post individual units and homes (by copying and pasting the listings) in projects and by different builders who were represented by the whole group to rack up points! I don't really get that because I am unaware of the general public looking at listings on Active Rain since there are so many other sites where buyers can already view listings and home data.

Recently I noticed a new person rocketing up the ladder in my area  and when I looked at this person's profile and blog was amazed to see that they had created hundreds of posts and sent them to 30 and 40 groups at a time. I later saw that many of the posts had the X beside them but, undaunted, the individual continues to post 10 at a time in as many as 50 groups and continues to amass points. I assume the AR guardians will do something soon but that is as sad as it is irritating. They should not have to police this great site from those too ignorant, irresponsible or self serving to care what is correct protocol or even what constitutes decent manners. Every time I see someone abusing the system I am reminded that these are the same people who act inappropriately in the real world and whose corner cutting, ignoring of rules and unprofessional behavior give our profession a bad name. They are the ones who want to do as little as possible and get something for nothing!

Because of these examples, I decided early on to try and  put out something of good quality. I began to read posts by others and I learned that we must Blog Often but it begins to look like the Laffer Curve as applied to points. Blogging goes up. Points go up but quality can go down and the end result is Less than Zero. I also try to heed the advice that we must Blog with Purpose, I think Adam Waldman wrote that. I try to follow the lead by Rich, Majority Original Content" or "What's the Point of Points?" and especially the idea to adhere to "Free Speech has a Cost" - The ActiveRain Community Guidelines Re-Visited.

Rich Jacobson defined the goal of blogging and commenting perfectly "One of the most basic and foundational tenets of conversational blogging is to engage one another other in meaningful discussion and dialog. In order for this dialog to successfully occur, the blog author's content needs to be mentally digested, and the reader must respond with comments that are relevant to the topic, adding value to the conversation"

That's exactly what we should try and achieve and I really appreciate Active Rain and the new Localism as a platform to grow our business and to top it all off, it's FREE (or at least very reasonably priced when it comes to neighborhoods)! I do not pretend to be a writer and I do realize that I will never be at the top of the ladder locally but I will be happy to be in the top 5 or 10 and plan to make it there by trying to contribute compelling posts of substance, meaning and value to the realtors, lenders and my fellow members of Active Rain. Eventually, as Localism grows I want the general public to see something of value and not just masses of meaningless posts that do nothing to increase the level of discourse within our community.

One last thing, I do comment on posts and many times I see even more great comments and suggestions that add to the value of the original post. I think most people who take the time to write a legitimate blog want to hear a comment when they post so leave a one... whether it's for the points or to add to the discussion

Thanks!

 

Russell M. LewisPage copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape 

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141 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • September 09 2008 09:32AM

Comments

Hi Russell.  I have read the same blogs you mentioned above on trying to get points for generic comments & non value add blogs.  You are correct when you say these are the same folks who act inappropriately in public.  While I don't think there is anything we can do about it I know it is frustrating.  There are so many people on AR it is hard (I assume) to be the "pigging out" police. 

Posted by Kristin Moran, San Antonio,TX~Real Estate 210-313-7397 (RE/MAX Access - KristinMoran@Remax.net) about 1 year ago

Russell,

What a great post!!!

I got really frustrated a few months ago at a blogger who posted the dictionary.  It really was elementary and was clear he was a points chaser. 

Eventually, you just do what most do, not bother reading any of their posts. 

Posted by Linda Lipscomb RE/MAX Lexington Henderson County TN about 1 year ago

Loved it, loved it, loved it and I'll have to re-visit it and your other blogs tomorrow.  I will book mark it for now.  You have done an excellent job here and I am flagging this for a feature post.  Excellent!  Please join me on the Optmist Group!  I like your style, Russell!

Posted by Mirela Monte, Your Myrtle Beach Real Estate Connection about 1 year ago

One thing is for certain Russell...we blog with conviction, intent and from the inside out and we are successful in many ways imaginable for online connections.

Friends, peers and the consumers are reading us online.... and the ones who do not have anything but a bunch of words or the "hey look at me" syndrome are the ones that sooner or later burn out.

So enjoy your stay here and write as you've never written before...without a care for the point and glory hounds..... which thrive in abundance ....even in real life :)

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman HAWAII Relocations & Real Estate (Century 21 Liberty Homes) about 1 year ago

Russell,

You say you are not a writer, ok, then you are very eloquent in your opinions.  Your post was thought provoking and right on.  I especially hate those blogs that list each house in a development in a separate blog...do they really think their tunnel vision for points isn't obvious?  Thanks for sharing...I will be adding you as an associate!

Posted by Paula Swayne Realtor - Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park Homes Specialist (Windermere Dunnigan Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) about 1 year ago

Hey Russell,

As probably the only living, semi-active Active Rain poster who has ZERO points, I believe I am uniquely qualified to comment on pigging out.  :)  Frankly, it reminds me of ice cream!  Now I bet you're scratching your head and wondering why I said ice cream?  Well, here's the story.  Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour has this little gem on their menu.  If you ever visit Los Angeles, let me know because you and I are going to Farrell's!

THE PIG'S TROUGH®

$11.99 (Fit for a Pig)

Picture this - our traditional banana split times two! Fit for

a pig (you eat from a trough.)

Plenty for two - just you and you

http://www.farrellsusa.com/story.html 

Posted by Not Yet Licensed about 1 year ago

Hey "Not Yet License"!
I remember the trough...they are still around?!!! I am guilty of ordering one..but couldn't get through it!

Posted by Paula Swayne Realtor - Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park Homes Specialist (Windermere Dunnigan Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) about 1 year ago

Pretty nice post. Scammers and those trying to take the short cut or easy way out never last long.

Posted by Trunda Rogers, Richardson Realtor (Summit Realty & Mortgage) about 1 year ago

I am so glad you have pointed out the obvious in a direct way and so eloquently. It is frustrating for the good agents who play by the rules to have to deal with schemers both in Active Rain as well as in your everyday business lives!!

Great Post!

Posted by Mattie Lewis (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Kristin It is a shame people take advantage of the system and although there should not be an AR police, it appears we need one! 

Mirela Thanks so much, I am flattered because I read nearly all of your posts and appreciate your input (as well as your sense of humor)! 

Sally You are one of my favorites and I like to check in at your blog because you always write with sincerity and a wonderful attitude! I am very happy here in the Rain and will continue to work on my writing with a constructive involvement! 

Linda I understand your frustration and cannot believe that someone posted the Dictionary!!! What's next...the phone book? 

Paula I am trying to improve as a writer and there are so many here that are truly incredible so I have great inspiration! I loved your comment "do they really think their tunnel vision for points isn't obvious?"   

Trunda You are right when you say that "Scammers and those trying to take the short cut or easy way out never last long." But is frustrating that they cause the rest of us to look bad! Thank you for commenting and participating in this discussion!  

Mattie It is frustrating for those of us that play by the rules and hopefully many of the people who engage in this sort of behavior will move on to something else and take the self serving attitude with them!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

In any large group there are going to be pigs and rats. 

Pigs are useful and serve a purpose.  But there comes a time when you harest them and make use of their piggishness.  I think that time is now for ActiveRain.   

When I have rats, I figure out what is attracting them and I address that.  If you throw out food in back yard to feed the birds but you see you are attracting rats, you either stop throwing out the food or you find a way to get the food only to the birds.  You don't sit there hoping that the rats will suddenly change and go away.

I think the points system as it stands just attracts too many pigs and rats and it's useless complaining about it.  It's the same as yelling at a rat.  It might make you feel good but it's not going to change the rat or the problem.  You have to be smarter than the rat.

Posted by Tim Maitski~editor of MaitskiREport.com (HomeAtlanta.com) about 1 year ago

I don't know that what we are seeing big time now on ActiveRain has as much to do with points.  I think AR is big enough that the pigs or rats would post their stuff no matter whether or not they were getting points.. Some of the biggies lately with the white on white text, promises of LINK LINKS LINKS!!!  etc. could probably care less about being number one in a market or top neighbor on Localism  They are just more subtle and a shade more human than the industry that spams legit.  blogs full time.  

Posted by Maureen McCabe Central OH Homes (Real Living HER Worthington MaureenMcCabe.com ) about 1 year ago

Not Yet Licensed You are most definitely beyond reproach here. you never get any points but you always make good insightful comments! I am always glad to see you here and thanks for contributing!

Not Yet Licensed & Paula Outside of the subject, my favorite food is Ice cream and i am working on a post about one of the coolest Ice cream shops in the world...Right here in Austin!

 

 

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Great, great post.  Posting for points shows how easily people can be moved to do things that are measured and are inherently competitive... even if it provides little-to-no other benefit.   Interesting human behavior study in all this.

Posted by Glenn Phillips (RealSource) about 1 year ago

Tim Excellent overview of the problems and yes yelling at them does not do much to alleviate the problem. It is juts pathetic that there has to be a system in place to police this stuff but it is just a part of the process. I am so glad to see so many others are not only aware of the problems but willing to add to the conversation about dealing with the issue! And I am laughing as I eat a bacon and egg taco about the tasty harvest of a good pig! The best part of ActiveRain is that it is still growing and and was built by people who are truly interested in seeing all of us succeed and I am glad that the system continues to evolve and transform as needed! I feel certain that the powers that be will do what is best for everyone!

Maureen You are so right when you say "AR is big enough that the pigs or rats would post their stuff no matter whether or not they were getting points."As we grow, there will always be those who see the potential benefits and will try to "game the system" to their own advantage without contributing to the strength of the entire network. Now I have a question? What does your statement mean?"Some of the biggies lately with the white on white text, promises of LINK LINKS LINKS!!!" 

I am curious, is this some sort of new scam?

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell,

Very nice post. But then, your blogs always look great. Well done!

;)

 

Posted by Betina Foreman-Serving Lake Travis area, Lakeway, South Austin & Central Austin ((512)771-6318 Keller Williams Real Estate) about 1 year ago

I wish I had more time to comment but I want to Thank You for posting something so important. it is awful that so many people exploit the privilege of using this site without regard to the constructive efforts of all the excellent people who contribute here every day! 

Posted by Joanne about 1 year ago

RUSSELL - You already know exactly how I feel about the person you alluded to in this post.  I understand when newbies don't completely understand the system, but those who blatantly abuse it really tick me off.  See you at lunch!

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) about 1 year ago

Russell,

Excellent post. I'm very new to AR and am trying to learn what it's all about. I was dragged into this world kicking and screaming and to this site as well... ok, levity aside, What are the points about? This may be a dumb question but your post brought it to mind... everyone seems to want points. I've  posted some things and I get an X and I think it's because they are too short or someone else's content. I really don't understand what the points do for us though. I'm more concerned with content than what the points do for me, although, I'd like to know. If you have the time...

Thanks,

Bob

Posted by Bob & Bonnie Horning (Homes and Land of Lancaster County) about 1 year ago

When I refer to rats in my comment above, I'm referring to the link spam that the sneaky bloggers use.  They link out to their other pages for the sole purpose of sucking Google Juice from ActiveRain.  Allowing links from articles going out to other pages to tap Google Juice motivates  the link spamming rats to write mostly junk posts with a lot of links. 

If you want to get rid of the link spammers, you need to have links from articles to have the no follow tags so there won't be any Google benefits from those spammy links.  ActiveRain article will still be found on ActiveRain based on their content, but the Google Juice won't be drained to other websites.

Posted by Tim Maitski "Video Agent Guy" (HomeAtlanta.com) about 1 year ago

Russell,

Great post about good content and points!

 

Posted by The Woodlands Texas Real Estate >>Spring Homes Pippa MAC (Remax Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring) about 1 year ago

I have commented meaningfully over 650 times since I began here. I have also blogged like crazy. Some are self serving because I am doing different things but all of my blogs have been thought out and self written.

Just going for points seems stupid to me. What difference do the points even make?

Posted by Shane O'Gorman Eau Claire Wisconsin Real Estate Agent & Realtor- Buy or Sell (Eau Claire Realty, Inc.) about 1 year ago

Excellant post Russell.  I have also heard of one person actually purchasing the points of another?

Posted by Rick Fitzgerald -The MultiFamily Expert (AAM Capital) about 1 year ago

Russell,  My wife and I are both AR members - we always try to respond to everuone who commented on our posts.  I don't understand the need to post, post and post - we don't have either the time or desire.  Our goal is to have our posts show up in sea4ch results for the public to find, enjoy, utilize and, hopefully call us.  I also feel sorry for folks who write a comment and it is obvious they are going through the motions for points and to have their post always at the top of a group. Art

Posted by Art Kruschka - Fairfax Prince William Stafford County VA Real Estate Service (First Virginia Realty Management) about 1 year ago

Russel, this is a great post.  I was just getting ready to write something along this vein.  This drives me nuts.  I actually have someone in my own office who does this exact thing.  Makes me sick.  Not only does he mostly list properties as his posts, he has many cut and paste articles that are on his site, just to rack up points.  The other thing that makes me nuts is his blog is full of listings from other agents, from other companies.  I have not said anything because he will just grin and think I don't like him gaining on me.  

You know what the worst part is, the people that do this don't really belong to our community, they wont even see these posts.  " Pigging Out"  Great title.

There will always be people who figure out a way to beat the system, I just hope the public can see through it. 

Posted by Audrey June-Forshey, GRI, Gaithersburg, MD (RE/MAX Realty Group) about 1 year ago

Thanks for saying what many of us are thinking.  I have one of those people in my neck of the woods.

Posted by Mary Bowen, The Woodlands Texas Real Estate & Relocation Specialist (Coldwell Banker United, Realtor) about 1 year ago

I think this is a great post too. Thank you for you time Russel. I joined today, and I am in shock knowing that people that must have ethic abuse the system.

We need people, more teachers and, more agents like you. God Bless you and God bless America.

Posted by OTONIEL OJEDA-ALVAREZ (LATINO INVESTMENTS, LLC) about 1 year ago

Glenn I agree when you say "Interesting human behavior study in all this" There will always be those who want to take a shortcut!

Betina - Thanks so much, I am glad we are both benefitting from our experience here on Activerain!

Joanne Thank you for commenting and I still think that overall, most of the folks here are some of the best in the business and it shows in the posts, comments and the continuing dialogue!

Jason Wow, thank you for leaving a comment and yes we are both in agreement that this sort of thing makes us look bad when we have so many great resources available to us here at Activerain! I look forward to lunch later today!

Bob & Bonnie I have also made similar newbie mistakes and learned from them. Welcome to Activerain! Pay attention to the great builders like rich and Brad and you will also gravitate to some very good members blogs that help elevate all us and you will really begin to appreciate all that is good on the site!

Tim Thank you for pointing that out, it never cease to amaze me the number of scheming things that others will do! I am still learning the ins and outs of Google juice!

Pippa I really think that's what it's all about...Quality in all of our actions!

Shane No matter what keep posting quality comments and blogging with purpose. It says more about your character than any number of points!

Rick That's incredible, one can actually "purchase" points?

Art Excellent comments and I have to agree with you, I do not have the time or desire to post or comment  needlessly and without a principle reason!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Agreed! Nice quality posting. I'm wondering how you even post to 40 or 50 groups? Isn't there a 5 group limit?

Posted by Sharon Young (Ivy League Mortgage Philadelphia, Pa) about 1 year ago

Oh my gosh! I am so glad you write about this. there are too many great people here on active rain and we all have to put up with the few who take advantage of the best resource we have found on-line in many years! You go Russell

Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago

RUSSELL - You are one of the newer rainers that has found a way to stand out by providing thoughtful comments and quality posts.  Although you claim to not be a writer, you can tell that you take pride in the posts that you put out there.  Thank you for mentioning me in this post.  I am a firm believer in quality, and those that forgo quality for quantity just to gain points, are likely to be disappointed with the results of their actions.  Being at the top is great if there is something to read when you get there.  If you are at the top and there is no substance, no one (consumers or fellow rainers) will have any trouble skipping down to #2, 3, 4, etc.  I look forward to your posts.  Keep up the good work.  I've featured this in Dedicated Bloggers.

Posted by Adam Waldman - Long Island REALTOR® (Westcott Group Real Estate Company) about 1 year ago

Richard, to me reading a post and then commenting on the post is time consuming.  I don't want to comment for the sake of commenting, unless I feel I strongly agree with the post or disagree or have something relevant to say.  The same goes with blogging.  It should be something relevant or well thought out and I do know of some people that just blog for the sake of raking up points, I have also noticed that some of them have gotten bored and given up on the whole thing.

 

Posted by Christine O'Shea-Realtor Assoc.~ Princeton NJ and Naples Florida (NATIONS) about 1 year ago

I suffer from major blog burnout (or even trauma) after almost two years of doing this.  I don't have a problem with someone trying to game it or catch up because I know it will all catch up to them in the long run :)

Posted by Renee Burrows - Las Vegas NV Valley - Homes For Sale - SRES - SRS - AHWD - ABR (Encore Realty Group -Realtor>Estate>Probate>REO>Short Sale) about 1 year ago

HI RUSSELL,

You're right.  I think in the beginning you get excited by the points (at least I did!).  But, I've grown past that.  I know that AR is so much more than cheaing, point hungry floggers (fake bloggers) :o)
AR is truly a unique platform that shouldn't be taken for granted or taken advantage of.

Off with their heads!!

Posted by YVETTE SMITH REALTOR IN WILLIAMSBURG VA WILLIAMSBURG VIRGINIA HOMES FOR SALE (LONG & FOSTER) about 1 year ago

Russell...

In the end, the points don't mean anything. The VALUE of you blog resides in the content, and not the number of points.

I think that the most respected bloggers here get the greatest number of subscriptions, and have dialogs DAY AFTER DAY with good friends all over the country.

Do I care if someone games the system? Not really, what do they get out of it other than a reputation for being lazy and perhaps less than honest!

Posted by Richard Weisser Coweta Fayette Real Estate ERA United Realty about 1 year ago

My favorite....

People who take another person's content like a top 10 list and break it up into 10 short 200 point articles...

If these people spent as much time working on real articles as they do on scamming points, they might get somewhere.....

*sigh*

Posted by Tom Burris | Texas Mortgage Dallas Mortgage FHA (DallasLoanGuy.com) about 1 year ago

No points should be awarded for re blogs...that said I do not mind agents who work the system...only those who cheat the system. If your blog posts are not worthy you will never get any responses anyway. It is up to AR to police the system...when they do not shame on them.

Posted by Team DiMuria, Katy Texas Realtors (Prudential Gary Greene Realtors) about 1 year ago

The system has flaws but it does seem to be up to us to try and at least flag repeat offenders.  I can understand why the team at AR would be overwhelmed with the issues that all of us can see.  The best thing we can do is take care of ourselves and our business!

Posted by Cindy Jones-Northern Virginia Real Estate & Military Relocation Services (RE/MAX Allegiance #1 RE/MAX Company in the World) about 1 year ago

I've only been blogging a short time, but I'm dismayed at the number of bad post.  Not only for the reasons you gave but for the general quality of what's offered.  Is there a way we, as readers can flag these or bring them to AR's attention?

Posted by Jerry Becker and Associates about 1 year ago

 Hi Russell, awesome post and excellent reminder. Some people just don't get the concept of social networking. Posting for points "ain't gonna build" relationships, a readership or a following of any kind.

 People who post purely for points aren't just obvious, they also get ignored pretty quickly because they aren't adding anything of value!

Posted by marti garaughty (The Art Of Marketing YOU) about 1 year ago

Repetitive, inane or cut-and-paste blogs do make me impatient. 

On the other hand, if someone is trying to create a whole professional persona within their blog, some of what they post will be repetitive.  They may want to make sure that customers understand that they are paying attention to things like market stats, though those may have been posted by others as well.

But it all works out.  In the end, if we're looking for professional relationships with customers or members, that has nothing to do with points on AR, only with relevant content.

Members and visitors alike will run away quickly from bad blog postings no matter how many points the person has.

 

 

Posted by Judith Reppert (United Country Countryside Realty) about 1 year ago

This just goes to show you that some people will always "push" the envelope and border on abuse. I loved a previous comment from Linda Lipscomb where she read a blog posted from the dictionary. That is totally unacceptable in this genre. The only time I ever copied the dictionary or the encyclopedia was because it was my pentance for talking in class in grade school. Oh what memeories those days are.

Posted by Robin Gulledge/Cedar Park, TX ABR,CRS,GRI (Remax Capital City) about 1 year ago

Audrey For heaven's sake, it's bad enough we have to deal with this from others but in our own office?!?!? You should say something and you should also write your own version of this blog because if we keep bringing it up there will be improvement!

Mary I sort of figured I was not the only one who was both aware of the situation but also irritated!

Otoniel Welcome to Activerain and please do not let this post alter your perception of the site. It is an incredible place and filled with more positive people and ideas than you can imagine!

Sharon There is a 5 group limit but evidently no way to automatically prevent the posts from being entered at more groups 5 at a time! (I actually made this mistake once but I learned my lesson!)

Adam I really appreciate your comments and feel fortunate that I found you and about a dozen other very good bloggers here that I have watched. I have learned a lot from all of you and thanks again! Oh...Go Cowboys!

Allysoun There will always those who take the easy way and do not care about working!

Christine You are completely right when you state "It should be something relevant or well thought out" that's the point with those who care about the content and the audience!

Renee I have just started so have not experience burn out but agree that eventually it "will catch up to them in the long run"

Yvette Thanks for the new term "floggers (fake bloggers)" and it is a great site!

Richard You really nailed it with your statement "The VALUE of you blog resides in the content" I just wish more folks followed that line of thinking!

Tom I am always surprised by the lengths some will go to avoid work!

Team DiMuria I am not sure what the solution should be but I do trust the process and the people that are daily working to build the site!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Cindy In spite of the flaws I am not complaining (much) and I do believe that it's still the best place available!

Jerry I know there is a way to "flag" posts but I have never done it. I would check with Rich or Brad.

Marty Thank you for your insights. It is true that eventually the people who take advantage never build relationships! I am so glad I met you here! Thanks!

Judith your statement "In the end, if we're looking for professional relationships with customers or members that has nothing to do with points on AR, only with relevant content." It's all about the face we want to present to our fellow members and our clients that might find us by our blogging!

Robin I appreciate your well stated comments and I am still laughing at your statement that the "only time I ever copied the dictionary or the encyclopedia was because it was my penitence for talking in class in grade school." Thanks for interjecting some humor into this issue!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell - Thanks for lunch today!  I look forward to it again soon - we can really talk a lot, huh?

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) about 1 year ago

This is probably a stupid question but what does it mean when a post has an X by it? 

We have someone in our area that posts nothing but internet jokes.  I wish AR would include a flag for jokes so we could report them and get their points removed.   

Posted by Connie Watts - Omaha Homes for Sale / Offutt AFB Homes, 402-880-9027 (Prudential Ambassador Real Estate) about 1 year ago

I wish people would use this as a tool rather than a ego trip. I'm new but jeez o whizz thats no reason to post 2.5 million times a day......See YA

Posted by Scott Stulich (Re/Max Signature Realty, LLC.) about 1 year ago

Russell, this was really great. I've seen people post the yellow pages and that has always irked me to no end. I blog because I like it and have something to say. It may not always be polished, but I do get my ideas across by simply speaking my mind. I wish people would not game the system. There are a lot of hard working bloggers out there and it isn't fair. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (TannStarr.com TannStarr.ws REMAX People Realty) about 1 year ago

I agree with you totally.  I am relatively new at AR, however I have already seen blogging for points.  If you don't have something useful to say, then don't write a blog.

Posted by Chuck Thompson about 1 year ago

Russell - It has been going on since the inception of this forum.  A year down the road, it will still be going on.  That's unfortunate, but shall prove to be a fact.  Personally, I don't understand 'gaming' the system for points... even to be on top of a particular state or area.  The fact is that consumers will more than likely find you through Google, not because they logged onto activerain.com.  Even still, I think most folks respect quality & genuiness over garbage public offerings.  Some conceal it better than others, but I think the majority of folks are smart enough to know the difference.  On a lighter note, one of these days I'm going to go around hunting down these 'offerings' and leave snide sarcastic disingenious comments on them.  I'm known to do that every once in awhile:-)  Welcome to AR & Social Networking, Russell.

Posted by Jason Sardi, Mortgage Banker (FHA-VA-USDA-Conventional-Pennsylvania Loans) about 1 year ago

Russel, My goal from day one has always been to post crap and lots of it. Oops! That's actually my wife's goal.  Ok I'm done.

Posted by Bryant Tutas-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc about 1 year ago

Good Post. I try to get my 10 comments each day but recently I have been too busy. It takes me over an hour to do this. I think the thing that forces me to make an effort is the possibility that an agent is looking for a mortgage person in my area and does so via AR. If all of my comments are "Good job and Keep it up", how will I differentiate myself?

Posted by Patrick Randles (Sunstreet Mortgage, LLC) about 1 year ago

Russell; I too have noticed a few agents blogging the same blog with only the city or town name changed to rack up points, the rest was copy & paste.  Double posting a blog, which I did one time accidentally and that may be the case on some.  What we should do to accumulate; we should do that on the content of the blogs we post, the responses we give and get and the agents/vendors, etc. we invite to Active Rain.  Our knowledge of Real Estate and sharing that knowledge with the communities will also acrue great points.

Posted by Sheila Reeves (KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY) about 1 year ago

Russell, while I'm new to AR, I believe I know, to whom, you are referring.  She, and her team, have also been gaming the system at Trulia (where I came from prior to AR), and the regulars are just as irked there too.

I believe in Kharma.  Not to worry. :-)

Posted by Alan May, Coldwell Banker Evanston Realtor, North Shore Realtor (Evanston Real Estate, Evanston, IL) about 1 year ago

Listings are not Blogs. - they are cut and paste from your MLS

Posted by angry rainer about 1 year ago

There are actually people who care about the points THAT much???  What a sad life that must be!  Great post!

Tina in Virginia

Posted by Tina Merritt - Virginia Beach Real Estate (Long and Foster Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell I try to engage my reader (and or) provide some of the high points of real estate ownership in my market area. I enjoy the comments from my regular readers and love it when a new reader is intrigued by the subject or the content of my post. It hasn't occurred to me to be cynical about everyone else. I play golf with a friend who is a scratch golfer and I once said I'm going to move my ball off this rock- he said I'm only concerned with my score and will write down what ever you tell me you got.. what do I care!! Steve

Posted by Steve Loynd, Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., Loon Mt, NH. about 1 year ago

Hi Russell - you really put a lot into this post and I'm pretty sure most of us have met the "floggers" referenced (perhaps even being innocently guilty a time or two).  A lot of good comments here about being new, getting past being new and going for the gold in terms of relationships and meaningful content.  Many (if not most) of us are still learning while A|R moves into new realms in social networking.  Wonder what we'll be saying a year from now!  Meantime - blog on, you rock!!!

Posted by Gail MacMillan - CRS, e-PRO, GRI ~ Titusville FL Real Estate Brevard County (Home Sweet Home Florida Realty) about 1 year ago

Russell - congratulations on the featured post. I hope that means that many more people will read your good content.

Many potential clients find your site through google rather than coming to Active Rain, so will find you because of your content, not your points. Also, most of those potential clients will be from other areas, so they won't even see the #1 and #2 for your area - again, they'll find you through searching for information on Austin or looking for real estate agents in Austin.

Disregard those who post only for points - they'll be hoisted on their own petard. It's the relationships you make from what you're blogging and how you're commenting that matter.

 

Posted by Sharon Simms St Pete FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (ALVA International, Inc.) about 1 year ago

You definitely get an A for effort on this one...you put a lot of time into it and it is a really good post.  I agree we are all adults here and are supposed to be professionals, but there will probably always be people who will try to cheat the system.

Posted by Chastity Guevara (Camelot's Quest Realty) about 1 year ago

Jason I thoroughly enjoyed our time together today and you are right we can talk a blue streak! I look forward to next time and Thank you again!!

Connie I believe the X means it's been flagged for removal and a reduction in the points acquired. I DO NOT know for sure!

Scott That is a great analogy, Ar is a tool for those who utilize it as a resource!  

C Tann-Starr The yellow pages? Wow! I am glad you will continue to blog because you have something to say and I like that you speak your mind! 

Chuck True! If they do not have something useful, then why bother?

Jason S. So good to hear from you and I believe you when you say it's here to stay but also believe like you that the majority of folks are smart enough to know the difference! I am s l o w l y learning about Social Networking and  "disingenuous" is my new favorite word this week! 

James? "Listings are not blogs and do not deserve the same amount of points as a blog" makes sense to me, I just do not know how it would be handled! 

Bryant You are cracking me up and I hope the Lovely Wife does not get wind of your comments! Thanks for adding some humor to the mix! 

Patrick I also try and get my comments in ecvery day and like yo want to contribute something of substance to the conversation!

Sheila I agree that there are those that post useless stuff b and also that putting up quality will eventually outshine those who do not. I also want to find and build relationships with agents all over the country to share information and possibly referrals!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell,

Great work. How true!

Posted by Kevin Wood, Tucson, AZ Realtor (Realty Executives) about 1 year ago

Part of life is gaming.  There are always those that think there is a short cut.  It doesn't matter what occupation you are in.

Me...I'm trying to cash in 1,000 points for killer shoes, purse, or a Starbucks card (I'm addicted to green tea latte's...).  None of the AR Gods seem to be taking me up on my request though.  Truly disappointing...

 

Posted by Melina Tomson, M.S. Salem Oregon Real Estate Specialist (Tomson Burnham, llc) about 1 year ago

Evening Russell,  I agree with your very well written post but hasten to point out that the folks about whom you are writing will never bother to see/read it !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy Fort Myers Beach Realtor (Century 21 Tripower Realty) about 1 year ago

I am a points hog... I want as many as I can get.  Oddly, my most popular time to write a feature is late on Saturday night... when I am up against it to get another post before the end of the week.  I think it is kind of ironic that I write my "best" posts (according to whomever is selecting features at that moment) when I am just trying to squeeze in the last one or two for points. 

Posted by Lane Bailey - REALTOR & Car Guy (Diamond Dwellings Realty) about 1 year ago

Alan or is it Elvis? (I like the picture on your profile page) Actually there are several of these types in every area as I have learned from the numerous comments to this post and I also believe in Kharma! 

angry rainer Your comment about listings NOT being blogs seems to be prevalent and maybe some adjustments will be made!  

Tina (in Virginia) I guess so but agree that it is a sad situation...I would rather have a few qualified buyers or well priced listings and will do the work it takes! Thanks for commenting! 

Steve You make some great points and I am going to check your blog! As far as golf...I don't know?!?!? Just kidding...  

Gail So good to hear from you and yes Floggers is new to me and there are a lot of good comments. No matter where Social networking goes I think you and I will probably go along too! 

Sharon Thank you I appreciate your comments about the importance of content over points! I am still laughing about your reference: "they'll be hoisted on their own petard."  I am really glad to have reconnected with you here at ActiveRain and think you are a fantastic teacher! 

Chastity Thank you for the compliment and like you I "I agree we are all adults here and are supposed to be professionals"  

Kevin Thanks and stop by again sometime! 

Melina I like your style (and the sense of humor too!) 

Bill You are right because they are only here to get as much as possible without doing much. (Including taking the time to read any of our posts!)  

Lane Thanks for sharing you writing style and frankly...you are the kind of "points hog" we need and  thanks for caring enough to make the effort to write good material!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Great blog....but the point system is strange.  I am working hard on content but I would like to see one of my blogs as a featured post.  Any hints how to make them better?

Posted by Jean Groesbeck - Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. Broker, e-PRO, ABR, ASP, CRS, IMS (Coldwell Banker Island Living) about 1 year ago

I've seen some gameing the system as well with listings or copy and paste articles and even the same article time and time again.

May content and quality win out over quantity.  Thanks for sharing Russell!  I look forward to seeing what you think of my content if you have a chance to stop by!

Posted by Garren Grup, REALTOR, GRI… Naples & Bonita Springs, FL (John R. Wood REALTORS) about 1 year ago

Russell.. Great post and a interesting way of pointing things out.

Posted by Roland Woodworth "Clarksville-Fort Campbell Area Realtor" (Exit Realty Clarksville) about 1 year ago

I have to admit that one of the reasons I didn't join AR at the beginning was because of some of the initial ways that people were building their points to be at the top of what I will now think of as the "pig pile" because of your post. :)

There was a contest a long time ago that was really a popularity contest of sorts and those folks that got involved are most of the ones with the really, really high scores now. One of them being a co-contributor to another site where I blog.  That's how I learned about it because she blogged there to promote people going to help her out and she had some of the other co-contributors doing the same thing.

I understand the concept, but I'm pretty sure most of that was a lot about nothing.

I'm with you on this post!

Posted by Reba Haas (Team Reba of RE/MAX Metro Eastside www.TeamReba.com) about 1 year ago

I wish I had time to read through all of the comments on this post...as I'm sure they are very interesting. I'm pretty sleepy...so I'll have to be satisfied just telling you that Rich's post was one of my favs last week. Yours is a perfect follow up. This whole 'blogging for points' annoys me when I see blatant abuse. The points are fun...but the relationships with other professionals and the 'google juice' are what really matter.

GBU, Russell!

Posted by Elizabeth Nieves - Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team (The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group) about 1 year ago

I can't believe someone mentioned Farrell's Ice Cream!  I grew up in S. Cal, and earned the "I made a pig of myself at Farrell's" ribbon (to be worn with pride) on more than one occasion by polishing off a trough solo!  Ah, good times...good times.

I appreciate your post on piggy bloggers/commentors, also.  I have to admit to contributing a few (although not mass) "nothing" comments myself at times.  I will work harder at only responding when I have something worthwhile to say--not a bad rule of thumb for spoken conversation, either, 'eh?

Posted by Dianne Deming (RE/MAX Realty Group) about 1 year ago

This is a great post.  I guess I spend so much time trying to write  good, relevant blog posts, that I never even thought of ways to try and game the system.  I have my name and face attached to my blog; I certainly don't want to have worthless posts attached.  Thank you.   

Posted by Tracie Mason Holton, Virtual Assistant (Agent Assistant Network) about 1 year ago
I'd love to care about other people and their points, but I don't even care about my own. They are useless. The day someone signs a listing agreement or gets in a car with me because of my point total is the day I pack up my pan flute and head for the Swiss Alps to live out the remaining days before the Apocalypse as a nomadic goat herder. I must confess that the only thing more amusing to me than the dolt who chases points is the mob of angry bloggers who supposedly don't care about the points. The reaction such a point whoring evokes tends to lay waste to the proclamations of many who are purportedly above such petty things. It is grand theater. Take the advice of a few of the long tenured sages in this thread (definitely not me), don't give it a second thought. Point and laugh when you see fools chasing points. Point and laugh at the pursuing mob who will righteously demonize the practice ... even as they proclaim their lack of concern in the matter. AR is a circus, my friend. It's better to be in the crowd eating cotton candy than one of the twenty clowns in the car, or the guy getting shot out of the cannon. As someone who has tackled each one of those roles, you'll just have to trust me on this.
Posted by Paul Slaybaugh, Scottsdale AZ Real Estate (Realty Executives) about 1 year ago

I didn't even know that you could post to 50 groups - thought you could only post to 5.  Not sure what all the fuss is about.  It doesn't take long to see who is blogging for points and who is blogging for content.  Those doing it strictly for the points will probably never earn any business from AR, and those that are providing useful content and building relationships may receive a bounty of new clients for their efforts on AR.

Posted by Troy Erickson - Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Phoenix, AZ and East Valley Team (Terra Solis Realty, LLC) about 1 year ago

Troy, we thought the same thing but lately i've seen more and more people posting to like 14 groups at a time. We're still trying to figure out how they are doing this, but for those who find out. Don't! This is terrible for SEO as spiders don't know which group page to link back to.  If similar content shows up on all 14 then google will still only pick 1 and if lucky 2. If the purpose of posting to 14 groups was because those 14 groups are all similar then that's something Active Rain needs to adress as we've already noticed there are way too many groups most of which are virtually identical. If you see someone abusing points then contact Active Rain. 

Posted by Castellum Realty - Lancaster real estate - homes for sale in lancaster county PA (---Preferred Lifestyle Advisors---) about 1 year ago

Jean I am not sure how a post gets featured but I always try to write with the audience in mind. Whether it's my fellow members here in Active Rain or in the general public and I try to have something relevant as the subject. I usually take my time and do not put out a larger volume of posts.

Garren Copying and pasting in the same blog is just plain lazy and the listings post seem to be a point of contention with many of the people who commented here! 

Reba It was after I joined when I began to observe some of this more extreme behavior. The points system, though not perfect is still changing and for the better. I feel like the builders here will address the issues as they come up in the evolution of the site!

Roland I try to make my point by being straightforward but not pushy and most of the time with some humor. Thanks for joining this discussion!

Elizabeth There are some very good and insightful comments here and I really like yours:" The points are fun...but the relationships with other professionals and the 'google juice' are what really matter."  

Dianne I keep running into ice cream fans and it's given me a great idea for a Localism post! I also like your attitude about the similarities between good blogging and good conversation!

Paul I went from smiling to laughing to practically howling as I read your comments! Your self deprecating remarks aside, you are someone has indeed tackled BOTH sides and I completely enjoyed your Circus metaphor! Such a great description and really more like a Fellini Circus than anything I have ever seen. It's going to continue to be a fun ride! Thanks for the insight; I usually look at most things with a similar point of view so thanks for the reminder! 

Tracie That's the thing most people forget or do not care about; "I have my name and face attached to my blog; I certainly don't want to have worthless posts attached.  Thank you."

Well put and thank you! 

Troy Your comment that "It doesn't take long to see who is blogging for points and who is blogging for content" appears to be shared by many here in Active Rain!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

You got a lot of attention about these issues.There are many good comments and I noticed in the remarks  that it also affects the google system so I hope the AR people will continue to take care of those who abuse the system here!

Posted by Mattie Lewis (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Great blog!  I know that it gets hard sometimes to post blogs with "meat" so like many, I begin to post what I think of.  Thankfully, I use a word document for all of it so most of which never actually makes it to the site until it becomes something other than another pointless blog.  One thing I struggle with is the fact that I'm a new agent and don't have the knowledge that many veterans have on the site so its hard to write informational tidbits.  Any information on how or where to find it?  Thanks so much for the blog!

Brittney

Posted by Brittney Mathes (EXIT Realty Consultants) about 1 year ago

Nathan or Everard After looking at the blog, there does not appear to be any form of barrier to posting the same article in as many groups as one wanted. I saw the same post 10 times in 50 different groups. Thanks again for reminding people to speak up when they see this sort of behavior.

Mattie There were many people who responded to this post because it is evidently more prevalent out there than I had previously imagined.

Brittney If you are searching for subjects to write about in your blog, check out this post by the great posts by Active Brad:

5 Principles to Creating an Effective Blog Post

The Ultimate Guide to Ideas for your Blog

You may also want to subscribe to both:

http://activerain.com/blogs/activebrad    and  http://activerain.com/blogs/rich

Both are a wealth of great ideas, resources and help!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell, the one I'm referring to sounds like an "emergency".  She's been scamming the Trulia system for a while, posting over 2,300 generic post since January, in an effort to run up her "top voices" position.

btw... Alan or Elv!s are both acceptable.

Posted by Alan May, Coldwell Banker Evanston Realtor, North Shore Realtor (Evanston Real Estate, Evanston, IL) about 1 year ago

Sounds like jealousy going on.  Do we not have more important things to do than to talk about other people.

Posted by Angelia about 1 year ago

Alan I like your Elvis moniker too! Thanks for the update I have seen that bperson at Trulia

Angelia I am not sure what you mean but then again I feel like there is envy at different times about many different subjects! As for me, i would rather realistic buyesr and sellers rather than points.

 

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russel:  I am a new blogger...just joined last night.  I appreciate you sharing your insight.  I've done some reading on the site and this all seems a little overwhelming.  Your comments have really helped me put this all in perspective.

Posted by Sherry Nagy-Hall (Keller Williams Realty) about 1 year ago

I think Obama said it right....you can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I don't believe he was directing that to the new VP candidate, just honestly making an observation about people that try to be something other than what they are by falsely representing themselves.

Posted by Don Davies, GRI Innovation In Real Estate Since 1984 (Don Davies Real Estate/REALSEARCH/Asheville, NC) about 1 year ago

Russell, nothing makes me more upset than to see this type of behavior. There is a person who posts multiple posts in my state that are basically the same topic with a different title. You will see 17 or more go up at one time. Of course there are not any comments, but heck he still gets the points, comes up in State Rankings and Google Juice.

Posted by Missy Caulk-Ann Arbor- Realtor(R)- Ann Arbor Real Estate (Keller Williams-Ann Arbor) about 1 year ago

SherryWelcome to ActiveRain, It is an incredible place and please do not be put off by the post and comments about those who abuse this great site. You will learn so much and meet so many good people here. It's all good!

Don "people that try to be something other than what they are by falsely representing themselves"That is exactly waht happens when these types try and shortcut the system!

Missy I think that he will eventually lose out to his cheating and again, the points system will hopefully be altered to help remove this kind of behavior!I have been reading some of your posts and I think I will head on over to your blog and subscribe!

 

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

I've generally found that it's better for me just to worry about what I do rather than what other people do. How someone else wants to run their businesses, their lives, their blogging, etc., just doesn't have much effect on me or what I do. I set my own goals for my day, week, month, quarter, and year, based on my needs and wants, and then I simply go out and do it.

Posted by Russel Ray, San Diego Marketing & Business Consultant (Russel Ray) about 1 year ago

Russel From 1 Russell to another Russel I could not agree more! It was something i noticed and as you, just move on with my day and do my real work. I have to tell you though that I enjoyed the numerous comments and different points of view expressed!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

OK Last observation here! I like that you wrote about this and also that you decided to continue to post only when you have something relevant (or fun) to say! I am looking forward to seeing how you fill out some content and especially on some more cool Localism stories! Is Amy's next?

Posted by Mattie Lewis (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Russel - reading your blog and the comments, this type of spam blogging has been around and is still an ongoing issue in a lot of states. I love blogging and have been here for a little while now getting aquainted here on AR and love the points I receive after a blog post; rising up in the ladder with continuing blogging.

My questions here are if Active Rain does away with the point system:

  • Would the spam bloggers here on AR continue to blog?
  • Would the membership of AR take a nose dive?
  • Would the quality of AR rise to another level?
Posted by Petra Norris - Lakeland Florida Realtor® Lakeland Florida Real Estate, (CDV TransAtlantic, Inc.) about 1 year ago

PetraI am newer here myself and not completely qualified to answer but here is my take:

  • Would the spam bloggers here on AR continue to blog? NO, they are only interested in placement not in contributing to the community.
  • Would the membership of AR take a nose dive? Probably noy but I think there will always be a point system because there are positive aspects
  • Would the quality of AR rise to another level? Again, the quality level will rise as more people become more involved and dedicate them selves to turning out quality work. There will always be some sort of points system.
  • In spite of the problems generated by the few that take advantage, this site is still growing and evolving and frankly is the best resource of its type to come along in years. You questions are very good and yo will most likely be an asset here in the community so jump on in, you are going to enjoy the ride!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    I think you have hit a nerve!  I am impressed with the number of responses.  I have learned a great deal through blogging and reading the educational posts that others have wriiten.  There are many good writers with valuable information to share with readers.

    Posted by Sharon Parisi, MLA, ABR, GRI, SRES, HHS (Keller Williams Realty) about 1 year ago

    Really good post Russel, I am relatively new at blogging and posting so I don't do much. Mostly I read and learn. But I am amazed at people who cut and paste poems and call it a blog. I guess I just don't get it yet!

    Posted by Marie LaVoise (Keller Williams Realty, Clarksville, TN) about 1 year ago

    Sharon I guess I did bring up something that a lot of people were thinking about. Like you I spend time reading many great posts AND the comments that are often as informative as the original post!

    MarieThanks for the compliment. I am "newer" here and just like yuo spend a lot of time reading and learning from the great folks who contribute!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    Great post! You've obviously touched on a sore subject with many of us.  Echoing what others before me have said, the points are fun (I'm competitive enough to love getting them), but honestly, trying to find the time and being able to coherently write a blog post with an interesting subject...that's really hard! 

    Its aggravating to see the "pigging out" that some bloggers do here.  I guess there will always be those who take the easy way out...

    Posted by Amy Salisbury West Virginia Realtor/Jefferson/Berkeley (Leading Edge Properties) about 1 year ago

    "I guess there will always be those who take the easy way out..."

    Amy, that pretty much says it all! Thank you for your comment!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    Russell - Oh, I'm enjoying the ride already. My questions came from the observation I've made during my short stay. I'm quite possitive that AR will continue to be our major plat from of networking and service to our communities and readers.

    Posted by Petra Norris - Lakeland Florida Realtor® Lakeland Florida Real Estate, (CDV TransAtlantic, Inc.) about 1 year ago

    I am so new here at ActiveRain and do not really understand the significance of points but there seem to be a lot of different opinions.

    Posted by Michelle Keahey (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

    I wanted to comment on this because there appears to be many different opinions. I guess like all things, there will always be those people who take advantage of the system!

    Posted by Anne Giles (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago

    Mee too, Michelle.  I am trying to be responsible and abide by the rules and so on, but there is just so much to learn.  I hope I haven't ended up in the pig pile by accident, but if I have at least I have lipstick on!!!!

    Posted by Janna Rankin Scharf - Realtor Coeur d'Alene and North Idaho Homes (Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene) about 1 year ago

    Russell, Wow so many comments here. Must admit I didn't read a one but wanted to commend you on writing a very eloquent post. This is nothing new. Gaming the system has been going on since the beginning when I started back in 2006.

    It's a shame. Especially when you consider that these are professionals whose clients trust them with the largest investment of their lives. And these same professionals like you say, find the easy way out. I know I wouldn't want them working on my behalf.

    It has taken me all these years of blogging to approach the 185,000 points, doing it the right way. We all know those who write for points and not for content...too bad there isn't a way to give them negative points.

    Great job, Russell.

    Posted by Gena Riede, Real Estate Broker Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699 (Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792) about 1 year ago

    Petra I am so glad to hear that you are indeed enjoying you time here! You have a good attitude that I feel is shared by the majority of members! 

    Michelle Thanks for dropping by and learning more about ActiveRain. The best part is that even when we have controversy, there are great comments and solutions! 

    Anne Your observation that there will always be those that take advantage of the system is true. The good thing at ActiveRain is there will always be solutions as the site continues to evolve and grow!

    Janna Don't worry about it! Ther is a huge amount of information and things to learn. I accidentally posted in too many groups and was mortified when I received an email correcting me and removing the points accumulated by my error. That is actually the best part of being here, it will be taken care of and honest mistakes will always happen. Stay with it I am having a ball at ActiveRain! 

    Gena Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting. I know that ther are some who will always take advantage and I now realize that there are quite a few folks here who do not care for the practice. Fortunately the majority of members are some of the best in the industry and the overall quality of the site is the best example of that attitude !GenaI like your blog and check in regularly and I also have an idea about a new group that I have floated to some agents in different parts of the country that I think might be of interest to you!! Talk to you soon!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    Michelle There is another great post about this issue from a different point of view called "jacking thr points system!" It seems to be getting more attention these days!!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    Hey Russell,

    You really struck a nerve.  Active Rainers have gone hog wild over your post!  :)  So after you tell us about your great Austin ice cream, how about telling us about Austin BBQ?

    Posted by Not Yet Licensed about 1 year ago

    Not Yet LicensedGood to hear from you and you are cracking me up! You know we really like BBQ beef in Texas but I do know several places that turn out some mighty fine pork ribs...It will be fun because I would have to talk about at least 4 place I like just in Austin! thanks again for dropping by, I have been busy actually working but I do have some fun ideas (and a few semi-serious) I plan to post in the next week!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    Russell, as a person fairly new to AR and blogging yes, love having the points but that's not the Point of my being here.  I truly am trying to learn more, experience more and share more of myself, my experiences and expertise.  Far more important to me than the points are the relationships and friendships I am building.  You know there are times I hardly get a response and you know I'm ok with it - I wrote about what I wanted to. I will respond to someone even if it's beyond my 10 responses for the day because it deserves it and I have something to say about it and I have never responded to a blog with a basic, cookie cutter comment - they are all originals.  Thank you for the post and the reminder about stopping and commenting on other's posts - we really all do want comments whether to validate what we are saying or to exchange ideas and think about something in a different way.  ~ Anne Marie

    Posted by Anne Marie Malfi, Real Estate Marketing Consultant/Virtual Asst, Bucks County,PA (Malfi Marketing Solutions ~ for real estate professionals) about 1 year ago

    Anne Marie Thank you for the positive and insightful comments. I am in the same boat with you and I feel that the majority of the members her are of the same mind! have a great week!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    Russell:  That violation you speak of with posting to up to 50 groups doesn't even compute with me.  Seems that this person is a part-time hacker to figure that one out.  I think we all get aggravated when we see some skating up the rankings at AR with their cut and past market reports, and meaningless remarks.  As I've gotten more into the community here, I really enjoy getting to know people, and find myself looking forward to what a handful of bloggers have to say everyday.  In the end, we are all doing this to widen our network and gain SEO.  Those who cut and paste and mindlessly type for points will be left out of the real rewards.

    Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, GRI (Long & Foster, Gainesville, VA) about 1 year ago

    Chris AnnI just noticed that the violator I alluded to, was stripped of the points and sent back in line. I was actually just commenting and questioning the points system. I also believe that the majority of people who game the system will lose out in the long run. Like you I have also met a number of very good people here and also look forward to what they have to contribute and having said that, I am going to check your blog now!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    AMEN RUSSELL - as an AR newbie, when I first joined, I admit I was extremely intimidated by all the people who had so many points that it took me awhile to actually post a blog.  Unfortunately though, I learned real quick (oh maybe a day or so) about the AR points mongers.  These were the ones who leave these insincere and meaningless one line comments just for the points.

    I have to admit it was a little annoying at first but now I just try to ignore them because in the end they will not get the true benefit of AR.  I realized that one just recently when another AR member wanted to pass on a referral to me because he simply liked the thorough, knowledgeable comments that I posted to one of his blogs.

    Posted by Donne Knudsen (Cobalt Financial Corp.) about 1 year ago

    Russell, thanks for telling me about Activerain. I wanted to look at your blog and saw that this post seemed to have created a large number of comments. It seems as though many of the people who would "game the system" here are the same people who act unprofessionally outside in the real world. From the little I have learned, it also appears that the people who run the site are willing to be flexible and take care of these indiscretions as they come up. I like the site and will continue to learn more! Thank you for a very good post on the issue!

    Posted by Scott Harvey (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

    Wow! You certainly inspired some great conversation here and I congratulate you on your feature! I agree with all who've noted that you have made such a splash here with the established rainers because you provide wonderful, thoughful comments. It's the inane, fly-by-night commenters that really irk me. I will read a dozen posts and maybe comment on one or two. If I can't say anything worthwhile then I don't.

    So glad to have a new quality 'read' here!!

    Posted by Allentown PA Real Estate Broker * Jennifer Monroe * about 1 year ago

    Donne Your description of "points mongers" is apt and I have outgrown my initial irritation myself and agree that quality will always (sooner or later) win out!

    Scott I hope you continue to get more involved here. This site ids the best resource I have found in a long time and there is a wealth of knowledge that people are more than willing to share!

    Jennifer AH Ha There you are my friend, I am always flattered when you drop by and comment. I owe you (and several others) a debt of gratitude for helping me find my voice here at ActiveRain!

    THANK YOU!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    Russell, this is one of the best posts on the subject. When are you going to post again? I am looking forward to whatever comes out of that creative head of yours!

    Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago

    I agree with a lot of what you are saying and disagreeing with other parts on here... The parts I am disagreeing about is the getting points for posting listings... I post listings on here and to localism because of the strong search engine results...so we at least owe this to our seller's.

    Now, I am not the best blogger in the world but I try to keep it Real Estate or local entertainment related.

    There is a certain someone in my city that is right behind me in points who writes about absolutely nothing!  And this person hasn't done any business!  That does irritate me!

    Posted by Richardson TX Realtor Nick Good www.NickGood.com (Keller Williams Realty) about 1 year ago

    Allysoun Thanks for dropping by, I finally posted a new piece lst night on drivers, driving and a serious and funny view about it all!

    Nick Thanks for the tip on the search engine results. I never knew that and will have to reconsider posting listings myself! (I just will noy post all of the listings in my office  (most of us are partners/shareholders) but not in the loosely based "team" concept so popular at some of the mega brokerages!

     

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    I am the lone voice here but what is wrong with posting the maximum number of posts and comments?  I don't see how anyone can post to 40 or 50 groups as you say... if I accidentally post to more than five, then all but five are automatically removed. 

    This post struck me as mere whining.  Where is the "rich content"?

    Posted by Anonymous about 1 year ago

    Your post is excellent and right on the money.  Most of posts I see are legitimate, but those that post listing are too much.

    Posted by Robert Machado, CPM MPM Sacramento Area Property Manager and Property Management (HomePointe Property Management, CRMC) about 1 year ago

    To the second to last commentI have no problem with people posting the max allowed or making the max comments. I just like to see something of more substance along with about a 100 of the others who commented here.

    RobertThanks for joining the discussion and yes the majority of posts I see are also legitimate. I think the others are in the minority!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    Russell, I finally got around to checking out your posts and adding you as an associate.  Thanks for your kind words and great comments to my posts and your references.  I enjoyed this post, and it really brought the point home.

    Posted by Bob Cumiskey, US Army Retired, Your Sun City Center, Florida ~ Realtor (A1 Connection Realty, Inc.) about 1 year ago

    Thanks for the tip on the search engine results. I never knew that and will have to reconsider posting listings myself!

    Hey Russell,

    Do it!  Why?  Because it works.  In fact, that's how I found Active Rain.  I've done thousands of searches over the years.  I started seeing listings posted to AR were coming up highly ranked on Google.  That's not easy to do.  Being incurably curious, I decided to investigate.  I'm glad I did!

    Cordially,

    Bruce

    Posted by Not Yet Licensed about 1 year ago

    P.S.  There are many outstanding AR listings.  Here are two examples:

    http://activerain.com/blogsview/720780/Wellington-Luxury-Homes-3611

    http://activerain.com/blogsview/712564/7-1-Summerhill-Ridge

     

    Posted by Not Yet Licensed about 1 year ago

    Bob One of the reasons I signed up at Active Rain was to meet other Realtors across the country. The bonus has been that ther are many, like you who I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know! I look forward blogging  along with you and the others that I have begun to know! Thanks again, Russell

     

     

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    Not Yet Licensed Thank you for being one of the ONLYfolks who pointed this out. I post listings on many different sites but the only ones I have noticed here are put up listings just to get points. In fact, my compliant was centered around several who posted for the entire team, company etc.. You always have such good comments and I will definitely check out the listings you linked! Thanks again for dropping by!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    Hi Russell, 

    Since becoming a member of AR I have read commentaries by several writers.  In so doing I have found that some put more substance into their blogs than others and those are the ones I tend to read more often.  I often bookmark blogs that tend to have more relavance to me and my interests; AR certainly is a good source for some great information.

    Regarding the points, Sommerville did educational research on tokenism that seems to apply to this community.  Points are the rewards and some are more motivated by tokens than others.  Remove the tokens and you eliminate the behavior.  Sommerville's theories may vey well be the basis for the AR system.

    I don't have a problem with the point system or even those who are only into it for the points.  What I value most is the information I can get through this community.  I will read several articles in any given day and take time to comment and hopefully ad to the information.  I will also go back to posts I've commented on to read what others have contributed.

    Thanks for your commentary.

    Posted by Jon Wnoroski, Summit County Realtor (Geneva Chervenic Realty, Inc.) about 1 year ago

    Hi JonI appreciate your comments here! And I have to tell you the Sommerville theory certainly make sense to me. I also completely agree with you because I have done the same thing in regards to finding people whose blogs I have found to be entertaining and informative and managed to find some fine examples. I have subscribed to about 20 so far and there are plenty of very good bloggers here and I subscribed to yours today too and hope to read more in the coming weeks!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    Russell, thanks for your continued efforts to inform, educate and entertain! 

    Posted by Susanne Lee (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

    Susanna Thanks foir dropping by and commenting!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    Susanna Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    great call out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Matt about 1 year ago

    Hi Matt this is an issue that affects all of us but comes and goes in varying styles. I am very happy to have such a great environment where we can flourish in spite of anyone who would game the system. Thanks for your comment!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    I, too, am wondering about the info posted here.  I am looking for a forum where info is actually shared about the subject matter.  A quick and dirty place to find information and resources.  Maybe gain some knowledge and business.  Do you know any place?  Are any of the groups more dedicated to the subject matter?

    Posted by Kim Mitchberg (Cozy Home Rental Mgmt ) about 1 year ago

    Kim The best blogs for information about Active rain are by Rich Jacobson http://activerain.com/rich

    and Brad Andersohn http://activerain.com/activebrad

    Check their blogs for a wealth of information about Active Rain and you can always email them with specific questions!

     

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

    It's amazing to me that the Realtors that have the most points in my area.  I've never even hear of them.  I have been active in my Real Estate Community for over 20 years & this make little sense to me.

    Posted by Remo Realty Group, LLC- Marty Remo 11 months ago

    Marty, you have hit upon yet another important "point"...Active Rain is an excellent way to expand business and make contacts in your own area as well as in other parts of the country. I have been a Broker in Austin for nineteen years and my real business over shadows my on-line presence. Like you I wonder what many of these people do besides blog all day but then again, I have met some great folks who have real business as well as a very real on line presence! Thanks for dropping by and rremember to use AR for what it is and incredible resource to build or grow your business, and it is FREE!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) 11 months ago

    Russell,

    As a new member of Active Rain, and a newbie blogger, I read your blog with care. I appreciate your insights, and I will "digest" them. I agree with you perspective, a blog should be thought provoking, and exchanges should be dynamic.

    With that said, I will proceed with care, and do I dare say courtesy! Thank-you. Michele

    Posted by Michele Perejda (Dream Realty) 11 months ago

    Michele I agree that posts should be informative and thought provoking and even humorous. As you are here longer, you will find your way and also your voice. AR is an amazing place and like every community it's ups and downs and drawbacks (very few!) It's a great community and welcome!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) 11 months ago

    Hey Russell,

    Yesterday I had about 20 minutes to kill, so I (finally!) started looking at some blogs in my own county.  I was immediately reminded of this true ActiveRain classic - so here's a gentle "bump".  Hopefully some of our new members will get a chuckle, and some direction, from your post.  :)

    Posted by Bruce Brockmeier (Coached By Crouch) (Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS®) 9 months ago

    P.S.  My attempt to bump this post back up did not seem to be effective, so I re-blogged it.

    Posted by Bruce Brockmeier (Coached By Crouch) (Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS®) 9 months ago

    Hi Bruce, thanks for the re-post. I noticed that lately when I post and comment that many times it does not show up for anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours and in some cases (as far as comments) not at all...It's probably just a temporary glitch that AR will fix soon.

    I do appreciare your reblog this and have a great weekend!

    Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) 9 months ago

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