Technology

Real estate network elevates ‘Net profiles

Active Rain relies on members to generate content, traffic

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Real estate professionals -- including some who are wary of changes the Internet has brought to the industry -- are flocking to a Web site that helps them set up their own blogs and raise their online profile.  The Active Rain Real Estate Network, which hosts real estate blogs and forums, uses the same model employed by hugely popular sites like MySpace and YouTube. The site's developers provide a free portal, but it's up to users to supply the content. The "user-generated" content created by Active Rain members generates traffic and more users, boosting the site's popularity in a self-perpetuating cycle. Although the Active Rain has only been up and running since June, this week it broke the 3,000-member mark and is growing at an exponential rate as word of mouth spreads. "The first week, we were adding six users a day, then 10, 15, 20 ... I think we're now getting 70 new users a day," said Active Rain co-founder and CEO Matt Heaton. "It's just one of these viral things -- as ...