Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


Sometimes it feels like somebody's (just) watching me.

I've noticed something lately... well actually I have been watching since the rain gods have provided us with the VIEWS & TIMES CLICKED ON counters. (Which are just to the left of the "Bookmark" button.)

And something feels a bit off.

Considering there are over 10,000 rainers, why are so many just "SEEING" what we say and choose not to comment. The number of comments and commenters seem to have stalled out.

I ask this because I find comments VERY helpful. They help me understand what is "connecting" and what is "DIS-connecting" with those who read my words.

Comments are also a GREAT way for someone new to Active Rain to "introduce" themselves to all that is happening here. When I see someone comment on one of my posts, who I never came across before, I tend to go to their profiles and check them out... and go check out any blogs they have posted. Then I try to share a comment.

THEN on top of all of that... there are the fresh new insightful comments that help us consider things that we NEVER even thought of , thus adding, teaching and expanding to what we started in a blog.

While there are those same-old same-old "regular commenters" who I am thankful for... how do we encourage others to share their own unique ideas, concerns and wisdom? Are they discouraged and intimidated by the points that other bloggers have racked up and feel that there is just no way to compete with these more prolific voices?

I believe that commenting is the glue to Active Rain... so my advice is if you are new to the rain DON'T BE AFFRAID to share a few thoughts in a comment.

Anyway, I am a bit perplexed by members in the rain being reluctant to share. If you have any thoughts on this... please comment. ESPECIALLY if you don't usually comment... YOURS is the voice we NEED to hear.

Comment balloon 36 commentsCraig Schiller • December 04 2006 08:14PM


How many of the folks viewing are ACTIVE Activer Rainers, VS how many are prospective clients or folks that aren't members?
Posted by Kaushik Sirkar (Call Realty, Inc.) almost 14 years ago
Craig, you know a lot of folks just don't like writing and prefer to be in the back ground. I receive several E-mails everyday from folks that are reading my posts. These people are E-mailing me to ask me questions about something I wrote or just asking advise. They are members who never comment or post. BUT they do read. It would be nice if they did participate but I guess not everyone is that outgoing. And some are new to the business and just soaking it all up. I love commenting and I love getting comments, but as long as someone is reading and using the info I try to dish out then I am pleased.
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) almost 14 years ago

There's also the old 80/20 rule at work that applies online just as in the rest of life.  20% of any online group will tend to be active; 80% will tend to be lurkers.  Just as in clubs, say, 20% of the membership will be active, holding office, volunteering, doing the work, while 80% don't (though some of that 80% will be more than happy to gripe about how the 20% who are doing the work are doing it!).  ;-) 

And, as Bryant said, a lot of stuff goes on behind the scenes, people who are too shy to comment publicly but will ask questions or offer support privately. 

I know I just read for a while trying to get the "feel" of the place before I made my first comment and then managed to work my way up to posting my first blog.   It's sorta scary!

Posted by Tricia Jumonville, Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense (Bradfield Properties) almost 14 years ago
Craig, I was just going to post a blog regarding that.  I have been seeing a lot of new people posting blogs but I have yet to see them making any comments.  I think we should encourage this folks to blog by offering support, you never know what really good information somebody may be able to share.  
Posted by Blanca Cholewczynski, XCO (U) almost 14 years ago

Craig, great post, I know the feeling.  Being a business consultant and coach I try to write on business success strategies for professionals in the real estate and mortgage field and know I'm writing about real issues they have to deal with everyday, but it would be nice to know which strategies I'm offering have value and those that don't.

Since I'm new to Active Rain, just joined in the last week or so, I'm trying to post as much as I can and link to the Blogs I think make the most sense, thus far.  Any tips you have as a AR veteran would be appreciated.  Keep the faith!

Posted by Skip Weisman (Weisman Success Resources, Inc.) almost 14 years ago

Craig, I consider myself a "regular" commenter but I'm gonna comment anyway. 

You bring up a very valid point. I think there are a lot of people who signed up and left. I think this is because they thought it was like all the other places where you put your name and company information and just leave it out there.

Maybe we should all try recontacting people in our areas about reconnecting with AR.

Posted by Craig Schiller almost 14 years ago
Craig, I think if those of us who do comment and blog go out unto the Rain and comment on newbie blog posts and those who may be lost in the Rain, it might encourage more to do the same?
Posted by Carole Cohen, Realtor, ePRO (Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office) almost 14 years ago
Craig - Dont forget - most consumers are still too shy to post in fear that we MIGHT SUCK THEIR BLOOD.  But I do get private emails from here and my personal blog.  So, yes - people are watching.. very very closely!!
Posted by Christine Forgione, Associate Broker (1) almost 14 years ago

Hey everybody Join me in Congratulating Craig Schiller!


Posted by Blanca Cholewczynski, XCO (U) almost 14 years ago

Craig - I guess some people are shy - but the way to get comments is to give comments - is that a peeping tom?? You should add this to the newbies group.  How was your b-day?

Posted by Rick & Ines - Miami Beach Real Estate (Majestic Properties) almost 14 years ago
Craig, as a newbie, I can attest to how overwhelming all of this is and can be. However, posts like this will help those in my position to better navigate and comprehend the process. No doubt many are lost after wandering aimlessly. What is needed is a welcome wagon, with pointers on the how to and when to (sort of an "Active Rain for Dummies"). What say the old heads?
Posted by William Collins, Property and Asset Management (ERA Queen City Realty) almost 14 years ago
I'm with Karen, I'm a regular commenter - but tonight I have little to add.
Posted by Dena Stevens Coriz, Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004 (Rocky Mountain Realty ) almost 14 years ago

I agree with Active Rain for Dummies would sure help us newbies - I'm reading a lot and learning, but I always get a little nervous thinking about responding...sort of the same feeling as speaking up in a crowd of people you don't know.  I have some questions that just sound stupid to me... like what are the associations?  What's the protocal for adding them or linking, etc.   Okay - so now I put that "stupid" question out there (and probably in the wrong place!) See how nerve-wracking it is?!  I'm sure many people feel the same way.

Posted by Judy Heinrich (Judy Heinrich Home Staging) almost 14 years ago

Craig, I think newer people tend to read what other people say before they comment because they may be afraid of repeating and feeling "unoriginal."

Tricia - I *love* the term lurkers. Rarely to people comment on my stuff either and I find solace in exactly what you said: it's the 80/20 rule. 

BTW I *love* the picture. You're perfect.


Posted by Dawn Shaffer Life is good! almost 14 years ago
I came, I viewed and I commented!  I'll bet there is something "off" with the view counter - doesn't just count "unique" viewers - counts all views.
Posted by Suzanne Marriott, Associate Broker, CLHMS, e-PRO (Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 14 years ago

I think a lot of people click on a blog to see the comments and if they can jump in on an interesting conversation...if they have to add soemthing original and "think" they just don;t do it.....

Kinda like being in a High School and seeing a bunch of kids hanging out in the hallway talking and havin a good time... you naturally want to be part of it... but at a reduced be seen putting egg on your face for a comment that is not relevant or needed is dangerous for some...they just would rather not do it....and for some...what they wanted to type is already typed by some one else earlier in the comments, so they just click away......

That is how I see it.....

Posted by Alexander Harb, Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing (Knights Investing) almost 14 years ago


Now here is the TRUTH (for me)....first of all, i'm new and trying to feel my way around.  I have certainly gotten welcome signals from a few Rainer's who have commented to my only 2 blogs, and a few return responses from blogs that i left a few comments on.  I even received some very warm emails from "SUPER BLOGGERS"  who took time out of their very very busy blogging schedules (they know who they are).  This encouraged me immensely!!! Thank Y'all!!

Yet, for me there was just that "little bitty itsy nag" that gnawed on me.  This 'lil nag made me feel like a silly ninny!!  It happened when i "picked-up" that i DID NOT respond according to protocol.  This 'lil nag made me draw back before limbering up my knuckles to pen my own thoughts again.  There were a few comments i made where i may have veered from the subject...... with those i felt sooooooooo  stooooooooopid! and vowed i WOULD NOT comment again. 

Then there were a few where i just dove right in thinking i was contributing relevant insight, just to end up being the LAST ONE ON THE BLOG TOPIC TO COMMENT - with NO RESPONSE BACK EVER!!! ......mannnnnnn!!!  i felt i had cleared the room (i quickly did a breath-test).

OK girl....try it i went BACK AT IT!  I even prayed about it saying well,.....that's just my insecurities clicking in...What's MY PROBLEM???  WHY am i trying to wave a flag????  Am i looking for some kind of brownie points or something???  A little acceptance, perhaps???  AHA!!!  it's my personality....they just DO NOT KNOW me.....that's gotta be it.  So, i leveled with myself and said shooooot!!!  I'm just gonna go for it AGAIN and SILENCE those scary nervous jittery feelings!! 

SOOOOO....i went back and REDID my profile & wrote about from whence i came... "my raw reality", joined the "Blogging 101 group", and decided to stick to SHUTTING UP UNTIL I KNOW FOR SURE that i'm supposed to comment or blog! 

Now JUST LOOK AT ME!!! So, Craig, i cannot answer for all....maybe some feel this way, maybe some don't.  This i CAN say.....I do KNOW in time i'll be able to contribute useful tidbits that will benefit Rainer's (when i get my nerves up)!



Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC ( Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) almost 14 years ago

Diane, You have given some of us a little life when it comes to bloging.  Your comments have been good and I thank you for that.  Not everyone on here speaks up like some would like.

It, seems some on here like to blog or comment to see where they can go in points.  I hope that the people that write on comments and other places do so with a heart that truly wants to share something.

Now I thank many of you.  I have only been on AR for a short time, but like many of the things I have read.

I do hope that they get spell check soon.  My typing is really really bad.  I need it.

I am glad to be here and keep learning from many of you.

Thanks All,


Posted by Dave Cheatham (INC Financial ) almost 14 years ago

Diane, you're hilarious! You're so on the right track, girl. Just let 'er rip! :))) Love your spirit.. don't give up!

Dave -- don't worry about it. You will end up with a word that's spelled correctly but is grammatically wrong. We've all been there 'n' done that and understand what you're saying. It's like being in a conversation with someone. Sometimes we don't express ourselves perfectly but do we care? No...we just love each other for who we are. Your heart is in the right place. That comes through clear as a bell.

Dawn Shaffer

Posted by Dawn Shaffer Life is good! almost 14 years ago

Hi Craig

Okay I am a regular (boring, right?) but here it goes. I really think that alot of newbies that were invited to join, did just that. Joined and never did anything more.

I just spoke with someone I invited today and she said I joined and never heard from anyone. This is hard because a lot of people do not realize what they need to do to keep active. Commenting, blogging, writing is very new and time consuming to too many people.

I for one would love to know how to format my Home page because my wording is too spread out. Now that in itself would keep me from continuing on if I was not familiar with how to navigate this site. I think people needed more education on what this site entails and how to get the most from it!

Phyllis Pafumi

Posted by Phyllis Pafumi, ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ (ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey) almost 14 years ago

Craig, I was a 



 for a LOOONNNNGGGG  time, then one day I got the nerve to say something. I think on one of your posts.  After that I wrote  a few emails to some members(they know who they are). 

Later on, I was asked to join the RAIN and not just be a lurker! 

Now all of that seems so long ago..I'm chatting with everyone. 

Anyway, I try to make it a point to send a private email to the stagers that join and the realtors that are from my area.. Just welcome to them and invite them to comment  I also ask that they join some of the groups in which I'm a member.  Now I feel like I'm just part of the gang!  I think by raching out to someone else like people did with me ....We can invite people out of the house and into the  .

Just my thoughts on it! 


Posted by Marci Toliver, Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging (438-4642) almost 14 years ago

Dave: you are kind, and i agree with Dawn, your heart DOES come through as clear as a bell!   Thank you!

Regarding your spelling, you can use spell check from the free "Google toolbar".  If you do not have it , it can be downloaded.   When you get it, highlight what you've written in the comment box and click on it.  

Dawn:  Thanks for the vote of's appreciated! 

Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC ( Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) almost 14 years ago

You can lead a member to just can't make em' comment or blog! 


Posted by Janice Sutton, Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta (1st Stage Property Transformations ) almost 14 years ago

I gotta say that I think compared to the independant blogosphere we get a pretty good ROI for our invesment on AR.

When I look at many of the other bigwig stand alone blogs I am startled to see how few comments there are. 

I think we got it good!  Thanks AR!

Posted by Jessica Hughes (Ambiance Staging) almost 14 years ago

Diane, Thanks for the tip.  I never thought of that. Your words do mean a lot.

Dawn. Tha k you too for the kind words.

Posted by Dave Cheatham (INC Financial ) almost 14 years ago

I was going to keep my mouth shut on this, however I agree with Phyllis and Marci.  We do have a lot of 'newbies' who join and that's it.  We do need to reach out to them and invite them in!

If everyone reading and commenting on this blog would go to their respective industries and write to one or two of the newbies - take them under your wing and explain how this all works and what the benefits are, I am willing to bet that we would see a big change.

It's like I mentioned in my blog PAY IT FORWARD , and Craig talked about in his STAGE IT FORWARD , we need to reach out to others and show them the kindness that has been shown to us.

Posted by Val Allocco, HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island (Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island) almost 14 years ago

Val:  in addition to what you and others have observed, & the "welcome wagon" suggestion by William, as a newbie, we need to KNOW that our comments were read by the BLOG AUTHOR!!

After we've contributed our (sometimes intense) input (like mine above), an acknowledged RESPONSE would be nice........otherwise, WHY ASK a question in your blog??????? There are over 7 "recent" topics i left comments on with no responses....... This has caused me to go seek out a few blogs that had ZERO comments and comment on them since i can empathize now......

I'm NOT expecting a response to this comment........

.....though it sure would be nice!

Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC ( Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) almost 14 years ago

Kaushik: GOOD question... I wish I knew the answer to that one.

Bryant: Ya but... I am insecure and need the gratification of a comment.

Tricia: The nice think is here in the rain you can find storms or soft showers to play in. At least that is how I see it.

Blanca: The whole Newbies Group... should help new members in the Rain.

Skip: ME give YOU tips?  I think you got that backwards! Thanks for the accolades!

Karen: Re-contacting... WOW that is a big challenge! I figure we all are on our own paths and if people want to play in the rain they will. And if not... so be it.

ThreeCee (Carole): YUP I agree... I'm doing it!

Christine: So should I be using my indoor nose?

Ines: B-Day was... come and gone. NOT a milestone... but nice. Yes that is a peeper!

William: FIRST WELCOME! Then GLAD to meet you. GLAD to know this helps. AND I look forward to reading what you share. Oh and by the way... I heard the Active Rain Welcome Wagon is looking for a chairperson!

Dena: Maybe you should work with William in a subcommittee... the Re-Welcome Wagon.

Judy: DIVE IN! DIVE IN! DIVE IN! You will learn... as we all have before you. I have ONLY been here since July myself.

Dawn: You know me.... I go by my gut and I comment what I feel. Then I go back and read others comments. And if what I say parallels or mirrors someone else's comment... SO WHAT?

Suzanne: I agree... the counter is not a true picture... but better than now picture.

Alexander: GREAT analogy. Kinda like BLOG FLOWERS at the Rain Dance!

Diane: When I look back at my old blogs.. they were "ugly" boring and awkward. BUT I had to go thru blog puberty. To get to this point. (Whatever "this point" happens to be.) AND the scary part is I have learned I have a long way to go... one step at a time. My advice, JUST enjoy the journey!  PS: I love your playful passion in your comment here... TAKE THAT into your blog space.

Dave: To be honest...  I blog and comment for MANY reasons... including points. AND if points are your motivation to get going... then get going. And Dave better to be sincere than perfect!

Dawn: What more can I say... you say so much with such a kind and welcoming heart.

Phyllis: Keeping Active in the Rain... sounds like a blog to me!

Marci: YES you were a lurker in "my window". BUT we sucked you into the dark wet world!  We can welcome AND be welcoming! That is all.

Diane: You are learning my friend.... You are learning!

Janice: Wow you are soooo deep. LOL

Dave: You are learning too my friend.... You are learning!

Val: Kindness goes a looooooooong we. AND we have a looooooooong way to go on this journey! I know you know to make sure whoever we invite in knows they are welcome.

Diane: One thing I have learned is that things in life come on our path when they are supposed to... rarley when I think they should or would like, which at time can be VERY frustrating.

Posted by Craig Schiller almost 14 years ago
That's me..Short & Sweet just not too DEEP!
Posted by Janice Sutton, Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta (1st Stage Property Transformations ) almost 14 years ago


 I feel SO MUCH better now!

I promise to grow up and move on and stick to WHY i'm here:  to learn, grow, share, network, encourage, support, comment, respond........etc,

Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC ( Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) almost 14 years ago

Hey Diane,

I'm glad that you got your answer...I was just coming to acknowledge your comment.  I think that most blog authors do try to reply to everyone when they can get to it...I know that I do.

At any rate, WELCOME and feel free to drop me a line if I can help you with anything!


Posted by Val Allocco, HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island (Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island) almost 14 years ago

Val: As you know, reading, writing and WORKING in the time takes time. AND a lot of it... which is a perfect segway into my  blog Tic-Toc Tic-Toc Blog.

Posted by Craig Schiller almost 14 years ago

Val:  what a sweetie you are to come in looking out for my best interests....there are so many( i'm finding) on AR like you!  Thanks for the love!!!

Craig:  i've graduated from kindergarten now...( blush blush) 


Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC ( Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) almost 14 years ago

Hey Diane and others,

I know when you are the last commenter on a blog you may feel that you are just hanging out there. (hanging chad???) Anyway, the biggest thing is to not take it personal. As Craig says, we are all (hopefully) working at regular jobs and to me anyway, getting on AR is more of a relaxing thing. Trying to comment on everyone's blogs is almost impossible and expecting everyone to comment on our blogs is almost impossible. I had someone write to me that I was not commenting on his blogs...I just hadn't had the chance, but then I noticed this person has hardly ever commented on any of my blogs..So I thought hmmm, it's all about HIM!  Point is, I am only back here because you lead me here with another blog comment and that's how it goes, back and forth. So you wont' be the last comment here:)

Posted by Karen Hurst, Rhode Island Waterfront! (RICOASTALLIVING.COM) almost 14 years ago
Posted by Craig Schiller almost 14 years ago
I read a few blogs lately that complained about the content of the comments on blogs.  Personally I would love it if every person who viewed a blog commented.  Even if it is something like - good post, interesting, anything would be nice.  I think sometimes people feel that they don't have anything poignant to say - it is better to say nothing.  I'd even be happy with a "I read your blog" if that is all they can think of to say. Otherwise you feel like you're talking to yourself.  So - as far as my blog goes - one word comments are welcome!
Posted by Maureen Maureen almost 14 years ago