ActiveRain reports that they have surged to 60,000 members since their launch in June 2006. Today, between 1,000 and 2,000 users are logged in during the day and it has become widely read social networking platform for professionals and consumers. ActiveRain includes features such as Groups, Featured Posts, Referrals and Q&A. One key component of ActiveRain is the point system that encourages users to comment on blogs, submit blogs and refer others to the ActiveRain network.
ActiveRain has a feature entitled “Localism” that is intended to post blogs into geographically specific areas, making them easy for consumers to locate and read. This function does have a downside in that many posts are essentially ads for homes disguised as blogs. Localism also has a consumer upside in its ability to focus the consumer to blogs that may have particular interest to them such as tax issues, economics and community events.
The most commonly used and trafficked section of the site is blogging. On any given day there may be several hundred to over a thousand posts. Comments are heavy for two primary reasons: first, the nature of the site is blogging with the home page being a list of current blogs and a list of the users’ favorite bloggers; and second, the site has a points system that rewards users for reading and commenting. The blogs range to any topic imaginable and the best, most read or most controversial blogs are listed as featured blogs.
The ActiveRain point system is possibly the separating feature of this social networking site. Those that contribute more and comment more frequently are featured more prominently. Point awards are limited to prevent users from “gaming” the system to score higher and increase their positioning. This feature does play into the competitive and reward based system that many real estate agents relish.
This will be an interesting site to watch in the months ahead. Failed talks with Move, Inc. led to legal suit of $33 million in claimed damages resulting from the stealing of the “secret sauce,” based on breach of contract, unjust enrichment, promissory-equitable estoppel, unfair competition, fraud-deceit and violation of the Washington Unfair Business Practices Act.
ActiveRain was listed as one of the Trendsetters of the Year1 for 2007 and received $2.75 million in a Series A minority investment from HouseValues in January 2008.