Hi folks. This post was inspired by Lance Winslow's post "ActiveRain Point System Needs an Upgrade". In Lance's opinion, the point system is weighted too heavily in favor of older members and makes it difficult for newer members to catch up. Partly due to the 10 posts a week limit (for points). Also, he is concerned with the "integrity of the types of comments made and the quality of the blog posts". Please stop over and read his post if you want to get his full opinion.
This post is my opinion. Now folks, first I want to say that I have been here for a long time. In fact, when I joined back in June of 2006 there were only about 600 of us.
I have seen many changes since I joined and I have seen many folks come and go. So while I am certainly not the "best" or most prolific blogger on AR I am speaking from a position of experience.
The guys that run ActiveRain have always been very receptive to the community's suggestions and have made changes when they felt they were needed.
So let's talk a little about points. In my opinion, the point system was genius!! In AR's early stages points were used to "direct" members to the areas that ActiveRain wanted to build. When they needed growth more points were awarded for inviting new members. When they needed to grow Localism points were offered as an enticement to do so.
Unfortunately, where there were points, there were folks trying to get them in a less than honest manner. Because of this, limitations and changes were made. One of these areas and the area that Lance seems to have the strongest opinion on is the amount of posts that are given points during the week. At one time there was no limit and folks were joining and spending the next few days just copying and pasting their entire web site content on AR. We would see page after page of the same person just throwing stuff up to get points. So then they made a limit of 3 per day (I think). This still didn't work so it was changed to where it is today, 10 per week.
This was not just some random number that was picked. It was decided by the community. At that time, the community felt 10 was a fair amount so that one or two people couldn't just come in and dominate the main blog area of Active Rain. It was meant to be fair and I feel it is. It wasn't about the points it was about quality over quantity. My opinion, is that most folks can make their "point' with 10 posts per week. 10 posts a day is overkill. It is an attention grabbing technique and should not be rewarded or encouraged as it distracts from other member's efforts.
This same "metamorphosis" applied to comment points. Comment points started out being unlimited but there were folks that would post 100+ "nice post" comments per day just to get the points. So the points were limited and still are. For the record "nice post" receives ZERO points. It is my understanding, that in order for a comment to receive points, it must have a minimum of 50 characters.
While I agree it may be difficult for a "newbie" to acquire lots of points, in a short period of time. I certainly don't agree, as Lance states, that it's impossible. There are many newer members who have risen very quickly in their rankings because they are consistent. Also, folks are constantly coming and going. With very few exceptions the folks at the top today will not be at the top 6 months from now.
Lance is a very prolific blogger having written well over 300 posts in his very limited time here, about 40 days I believe. That's incredible!!! But it is an exception. I'll be more impressed if he is still blogging here 6 months from now.
First and foremost, ActiveRain is a Network to help real estate professionals in their business. It is NOT a competition. Points are an incentive and they are fun but they are not the reason for participating on the network.
Now having said that, I'm sure the point system is not perfect and may very well be due for a change. It's just not as easy as it seems. If everyone was honest and could be counted on to not abuse the point system things would be easier. But they aren't. Some limitations have to be kept and/or put in place to stop the scammers. It's just he way it is.
I do agree with Lance that it doesn't hurt to explore new ways and new systems. So if you have ideas write a post about it. I'm sure, the AR guys will read it and take it into consideration. They always have. Just remember, rules are changed to enhance the community not to appease a handful of members.
BUT….let's remember that this place is truly not about the points. It's about sharing, giving, learning, making friends, getting business and posting relevant content.
If all you want is points, well……..I have 328,000 of them I'd be happy to sell you. Ok I'm done. Now go play nice in the Rain!!
Here are a few other posts about blogging you may find interesting.