I’ve been watching my post number climb inexorably toward four-figure range lately, although it seems like I got bogged down a bit through the holiday season. This post is #1000 for me on this network.
When I started on AR back in August 2007, I never could have imagined how this journey would proceed. Over the past 2.5 years, I have had some phenomenal experiences here and I’ve made friendships that will probably last the rest of my life.
Here are a few highlights for me:
Connecting early with a solid group of friends to learn the ropes with. I was involved in starting several groups here, including Dedicated Bloggers, Family Ties, and Inspired by Song! I also serve as a moderator for Club Chaos, Christianity and Real Estate, and probably some other groups I can’t remember now. 🙂
Raising money to help a dying friend and his wife keep their home. Through the generosity of AR members, I was able to raise $5,000 to help my good friend and his wife make their house payment during his illness. I wrote extensively about his illness and death, and I was amazed by the support and genuine caring that I saw displayed here. It’s one of the reasons that I probably won’t ever leave.
Starting an online radio program. My co-host Ken Cook and I met right here on ActiveRain, which later led to our partnership with Social Media Edge, a weekly BlogTalkRadio show. We had our one-year anniversary for the show in early December, and we’ve connected with some incredible guest interviewees, including Chris Brogan, Shel Israel, Sarah Evans, Tara Hunt, Paul Chaney, Jay Baer, and many, many more.
Learning about social media. I first learned about Facebook right here, along with Twitter and LinkedIn. I also learned a lot more about WordPress from my AR friends. Basically, if it weren’t for ActiveRain, I probably wouldn’t have taken the plunge into social media that I have over the past couple of years.
Referrals. Needless to say (mainly since I’ve written about it), I have been the recipient of a solid number of referrals, from both in-state and out-of-state friends. I’ve even been contacted by TWO members who are looking to move to Austin and want my help. I also listed a home locally for an AR member in another industry. This would never have happened without this community.
Sales in general. ActiveRain was responsible for about 1/2 of my personal sales over the past two years, most of which came from direct consumer contact via “Google juice”. One of my posts, Austin Texas Relocation Package, garners lots of phone calls on its own, since it’s had well over 40,000 visits. Gotta like that!
A new business venture. I recently partnered with my friend Jeremy Blanton to provide training and coaching for new media and blogging for those who need/want it. So far, I’ve been pleased with the reception for our small company, 210 Consulting. We got our name from Ephesians 2:10, if you’re curious, or even if you’re not, I suppose.
My love of writing. If it weren’t for my commitment to write consistently right here on this platform, I might have forgotten just how much I love to write. This has led to some freelance writing gigs, as well as a (hopeful) book or two. If I just had another hour or so in the day….
Connections and support. This probably goes without saying, but here I am saying it anyway, huh? I have expanded my online reach to an “audience” of about 19,000 on the various networks. It all started right here with my very first subscriber.
Overall, my own return on the time invested has been strong and I look foward to Raincamp Dallas next week, when I can solidify even more relationships face-to-face. I hope to see you there! If not, I do have some other events on my agenda for 2010. 🙂
Thanks for reading!
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/migonmar25/2734604099/