ActiveRain Launches Outside Blogs

And a few folks from the 4realz community got to test it out early.   My new “outside” blog is at, but if I was feeling really savvy, I would have given it my own domain name, (as in ).  It’s pretty cool that they offer this as a free service since even sites like, which has lowered the barrier pretty darn low, charges $10/year for this service.

My only real knock against the set-up so far is that the available “themes” are pretty limited and require that you put your photo in the right sidepanel… not exactly something I want, but it likely will appeal to agents.

As Brad says in this AR post, this service has been a long time in the making… And Brad might not know just how long considering Jon talks about being inspired to create this type of feature after attending one of my seminars from Feb ’07 in this Sellsius blog post!  😉

(Also interesting in that it looks like Roberta Murphy probably coined the phrase “outside” blog in a follow up comment of that thread!  If you haven’t seen the thread recently, it’s definitely worth checking out.)

15 responses

  1. I have gotten the emails from Active Rain regarding their real estate blogs. Free service is good. Thanks!

    real estate rebates

  2. […] post (surprise surprise) about the Active Rain Launch. I also saw that Dustin Luther has given Active Rain’s outside blog’s look as […]

  3. Since I really like your twitterlike style of blogging– going back to the roots of webblogging, which is link sharing– I’m liking the siphs link blog– posting of links is extremely easy (via bookmarklet)– can also post video. Customization is not bad– sidebar photos, widgets.

    wrote a post on siphs here:

    see link blog here :

  4. I’m not so sure it’s earth shattering, but it tells me what direction ActiveRain is going. If you’ve been on the internet for any number of years and in real estate it’s interesting to see these companies “go to the dark side.” Homegain quickly comes to mind, but there are other examples – eperks was mentioned here.

    I like the new features and I actually prefer the more professional look. AR is starting to feel more like a blogging platform or site as opposed to a glorified forum… too bad the members don’t know that.

    Thanks again to Dustin for the invite… wish I had some time to spruce up the page for your post.

  5. Dustin, Thanks for allowing me to be one of those that got a chance to check it out ahead. There are some limitations as of now, but I’m sure as well as you probably are, that there will be more to come in the near future. I just wish that it had some of the SEO that we also have on AR, but can understand their not going to that extent.

  6. My face doesn’t go on my blog. I go with what cosumers like. i guess I would like to know why a person would want an “out side” blog from Active Rain. As you know I have had my “out side” blog before active rain came on the scene and I have been very happy with it. Any advantage to using theirs? There are many blog platforms out there that have been developed and that work well. There are blogs on the first page of google under important keywords that are not active rain blogs so I am thinking anyone can accomplish it on their own, help me here.

  7. We still have a number of enhancements yet to incorporate. We just launched it today, so it’s a starting point. It’s simply one more value proposition to offer our members, and to help support their business model….

  8. Dustin – Actually I do recall just how long it’s been in the making. You introduced me to ActiveRain back in Feb 07, at that Top Producer event in Oakland. You spoke there and we met after. Not sure if you remember that. You and I spoke afterward about Outside Blogs and AR. The next day, I came home and joined as a member. Thanks for that by the way :-))

    It’s an exciting time for us in the rain especially since we have waited so long. The launch went fairly smooth, a couple minor bugs and glitches, but I was happy with our results. Definitely more to come, we’re excited and enthusiastic at what the future holds for AR Blogs. Not sure if they have been formally named “Outside Blogs” just yet, but they are what they are.

    Looking forward to seeing you next month at the RE Connect.

  9. Joshua
    I’m not sure what you are refering to when you say “homegain comes to mind” regarding the “dark side”
    Please elaborate

  10. Brad: That’s awesome. I have to admit I forgot about that conversation, but now that you reminded me, I do remember meeting! So cool that you’ve obviously figured out the system! 😉

  11. I have a blog and a couple of sites. I still blog on active rain from time to time. Its just gotten too commercial. Its like one big ad. However it got me started blogging and I owe them that. I met a nice group of agents as well. Most are gone only to visit seasonally.

  12. Dustin,

    That was a terrific seminar you hosted in 02/07–and provided my first real opportunity to meet other bloggers throughout the state.
    Since that time, changes have occurred at blogspeed and you continue to be an innovator.

  13. Roberta: Not everyone has been able to do such get things with a blog! 😉 Keep up the great work.

  14. I think AR is going to a have a hard time competing with WordPress, Blogspot and the dozens of free blogging tools. I’m not sure this is the direction I would have gone if I were ActiveRain. Will be interesting to watch.

  15. I agree Spencer that this is not necessarily where I would have gone if I were them either… but my guess is that this was seen as an easy way to continue to endear themselves to the community. At some point though, I suspect they’ll look for a way to monetize the real estate content in a way that would be tough, if not impossible, for the folks at WP or blogger…

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