On November 6, 2008 a few snide comments inspired me to write "A Perception Of Value." Now I find that I am inspired to revisit the concept once again. This time it is not in defense of myself but in defense of this Network. No one is perfect, but as far as businesses go, AR has been pretty transparent about most things they had no obligation to disclose. This company has continually given us insight into what they believe is best for their business model. We have been a quasi-non-voting-blog-partner from day one. Collectively, we may even have become somewhat accustomed to influencing a tremendous amount of their decision making because they were always kind to ask for feedback and input from the members. Problem is, some writers are confusing the concept of influence with the concept of right. We have no right to force these people to adopt an unprofitable business plan because the concept of a firm making a profit by adapting it's business model to survive, prosper and grow is unpalatable to some who have the cyber-welfare mentality that they are entitled to everything free. The Active Rain Real Estate Network is a business and we, regardless of our personal preferences, should never once forget that fact. If it fails, we failed it because its business is to service us THE MEMBERS USING THE SERVICE and we either value their work or we don't.
There are some people who claim they understand this concept; however their comments give me reasonable cause to believe that they do not. You don't have to take my word for it. Go read Active Brad's post and see for yourself. There are plenty of unrealistic gripes for you to chose from so I don't need to quote a single one. Choose your own and go write your own blog posts. In direct response to all, I am going to briefly put a few of you in remembrance of some simple accounting principles regarding the argument at hand because I believe if I just stick with the facts then the majority of you will have very little to attack me for. However, I do expect to be attacked which is why I'm writing this in B-switch mode. Yes, some of you flipped it. If you don't like my attitude simply stop reading and move on. I am not here for everyone, I am here for some. I have never been here for everyone, I am not that type of writer. You will not get an apology from me for what I have to say, and I mean every word of it in spades.
I learned my lesson from the previous "Localism" and "Land Rush" lynchings so I will not go down that virtual road again. The Vigilante of Nay Sayers are back and I absolutely refuse to join that crowd because the fact of the matter is you speculating people have no idea what other people are willing to pay or not pay for a valuable service. Of course there is value here. That's why some of you are so angry. People sometimes have no respect for free simply because it is free and the lack of monetary value sometimes diminishes any sense of urgency. As a direct result some people failed to make the best use of the tools at hand while they were available at no cost to the user. My private e-mails reveal that some members leveraged themselves into a comfort zone under the erroneous belief they had "all the time in the world" to eventually use the AR tools they were taking for granted. Why don't you people deal with the fact that you were slow to set up and maximize your accounts. You now realize that you blew it and hypothetically you, from the words coming out of your own mouths, are turning people away from the very vehicle that served so many so well. Rather than being hell bent on poisoning potential new bloggers minds with your vehemence in opposition to the pricing scheme you may have to partake of, why not just politely ask them to consider a discount for the unintended tardy or look for Group Founders who are recruiting writers for their Team Blogs? I have 36 writers and I don't charge them anything. Go Google the term "Club Chaos." Our Team Blog and our Active Rain Group are both on page 1. My writers are being discovered by people who are not even looking for us and they're sticking around because we fascinate them. They never know what they're going to get when they tune into either home page. Life is more than market reports, people. The goal of blogging is to be found and Active Rain gives us global exposure.
I am a REMAX agent. I have a REMAX website I pay $30 per month for like clockwork. It sure as hell does not let me syndicate a damn thing and has generated less viable leads than Active Rain. Meanwhile, my AR dashboard lets me re-blog my friends and total complete strangers, lets me send posts to Localism, my individual Outside Blog, my Team Blog and any 5 groups of my choice out of 5,287 available and you think $29 is too much? We also have Active Rain Channels at our disposal that each run with its own level of Topic SEO and you want to bail or discourage someone from joining? Seriously... I am sooooooo deleting my potty mouth thoughts about you right now...
It's time for your accounting lesson my negative friend and I am going to start by quoting Wikipedia:
"In finance, rate of return (ROR), also known as return on investment (ROI), rate of profit or sometimes just return, is the ratio of money gained or lost (realized or unrealized) on an investment relative to the amount of money invested. The amount of money gained or lost may be referred to as interest, profit/loss, gain/loss, or net income/loss. The money invested may be referred to as the asset, capital, principal, or the cost basis of the investment. ROI is usually expressed as a percentage rather than a fraction. ROI does not indicate how long an investment is held. However, ROI is most often stated as an annual or annualized rate of return, and it is most often stated for a calendar or fiscal year. In this article, "ROI" indicates an annual or annualized rate of return, unless otherwise noted. ROI can be used to compare returns on investments where the moneys gained or lost are not easily compared using monetary values. For instance, a $1,000 investment that earns $50 in interest generates more cash than a $100 investment that earns $20 in interest, but the $100 investment earns a higher return on investment. * $50/$1,000 = 5% ROI * $20/$100 = 20% ROI." You can read the entire explanation in the Wiki article here.
The Significance of the Active Rain Rate Of Return:
Basic Membership (Members Only) = free access to 135,115+ professional members to learn from and network with (but not being able to syndicate into the public time-line where consumers and non-member businesses can discover you).
$29/Month = potential access to 2 Million Public hits per day x 30 days (60+ Million consumers and businesses for pennies on the dollar daily)
$79/Month Team Blog / AR Links (10 friends @ $7.90, 5 friends at $15.80, or pick a ratio of your choice and split the fee = potential access to 60+ Million consumers/businesses)
Ability to be re-blogged by multiple crazy people like me with mad Google juice to an individual and team blog (priceless)
Being in the position to accept an invitation, or multiple invitations by the owners of team blogs to be a contributing writer for free or reduced fee (priceless)
Having your blog linked to by Inman and other reputable companies because of something you wrote on AR (priceless)
Having the press quote you as an authority (priceless)
Having a member of the public retain your services because they like your Active Rain blog (priceless)
Getting to write the fees off on your taxes because you are advertising and marketing your business means it really didn't cost you much in the end, now did it? Still want to bitch about having to pay a nominal fee? Seriously? Cool. Stop whining and walk away. More Google juice for the rest of us who appreciate everything AR has done and is continuing to do to help us grow our businesses together. The people not complaining understand the value of the business model at hand. We think enough of ourselves to borrow the $7 dollars a week to make it happen if we have to.
I feel better. My mini-rant is done. Carry on with your squabbling if you must. Free Speech is a right but running their business into the ground is not.
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