Monthly Archives: December 2009

The Spirit of BarCamp (Part 2): Principles of REBarCamp

Sherry Chris at REBarCamp San Diego, 2009

In part 1, we explored the controversies and the issues surrounding what a Real Estate BarCamp should or should not be, and explored the rules and principles of the original tech-focused BarCamp.  At the end of that, I asked three questions:

  • What goals are we trying to achieve with REBarCamps?
  • Who benefits from REBarCamps?  Who should benefit from REBarCamps?
  • What principles and rules help achieve the answers to the above questions?

The answers have been varied, and interesting, and I appreciate the dialogue, y’all. :)

The heart of the dilemma comes out in the responses as well.  Kathleen Buckley (@kvbuckley) writes:

# What goals are we trying to achieve with REBarCamps?
In my mind REBarCamps aim to help RE Professionals learn about and leverage a wide range of new, largely technology driven tools to enhance performance.

In contrast, Andy Kaufman (@andykaufman) writes:

# What goals are we trying to achieve with REBarCamps?
As organizers, I think we should strive to provide a friction-less setting where participants can meet face to face with their peers who are passionate about the space can interact. As a participant, I want to meet people, strengthen relationships, learn & share knowledge without ‘being sold’.

Is REBC about “helping RE professionals learn about technology”?  Or is it about peers meeting to share their passions?  Can it be both?  If so, how?

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Come Forth, Ye Spirit of BarCamp! (Part 1)

I am the spirit of REBarCamps past...

Although I wanted to post this sooner, other commitments prevented getting to it before now.  And quite a few of these ideas have been hashed out, particularly in the TQ Radio Show yesterday, but there is something to putting ideas and questions into words.  So here we go.

But first, a disclaimer: Many of you know that I am involved with Lucky Strike Social Media Club, the organization that is putting together REBarCamp NY 2010.  All of the opinions expressed in this post are mine and mine alone, and I am not speaking for LSSMC or for any of the other organizers.

A little background before we dive into it.

For whatever reason, REBCNY 2010 has generated little eddys of controversy from the start.  First, it was over our decision to keep the working committee members to people who had attended a Lucky Strike meeting in person; this, I was told, violates the “spirit of REBarCamp”.  Second, it was over our decision to have a limited number of tracks (approximately 10 out of 80 we thought possible) pre-planned for the benefit of newcomers and more tech-oriented people who may be in attendance.  I was told that this pre-planning violates the “spirit of REBarCamp”.  Then the final straw, it appears, was our thought to offer to sponsors of REBCNY an attendee list.  This, we were told by various people, was completely against the “spirit of REBarCamp” and there was a lot of buzz on Twitter about how worried various people were, about how the new hashtag should be #notabarcamp, and so on.

In all cases, the organizers heard the feedback, considered our decision, and either stuck by our original stance (tracks) or changed our position (attendee list).  Much of the explanation is on the REBCNY site itself, and you’re welcome to head over there to check it out.

This post is not about any of those decisions, nor is it about the kerfuffles that arose in response to any of them.  Conversation, debate, discussion, even argument are all very healthy things, and I rather think the episodes showcased social media in action: listen, consider, and respond.  I’m personally grateful to everyone who raised the issue with me personally, and with the LSSMC organizing committee; it’s wonderful to be in the where people feel passionately enough on such topics.

At the same time, there’s a lot to discuss here at the level of principles and ideas.  So we dive into that.

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Who You Gonna Call, Part 2: What it Means

I have a 4BR/3BA Colonial... I'd like you to list it for me.

An incredibly busy week of planning and preparation for REBarCamp NY as well as actual paying work piling up prevented me from getting to this Part 2 earlier.  Sorry!

But in Part 1 of this series, I asked real estate agents who they would use to sell their own homes if they could not do it themselves for some reason.  The answers were interesting, but so were some of the emails and DM’s I got in response.

Now, here’s why I asked the question, after my late-night discussion with Kelley Koehler, and what I think this question ultimately means.

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Who You Gonna Call? Part 1: Audience Participation

One of the wonderful things about being part of networked conversations is that you often end up having awesome discussions with people many thousands of miles away.  This post is the result of such a conversation — thank you Kelley Kohler.  You rock.

This part is short, and requires your participation:

Realtors almost universally represent themselves when they need to sell their homes for whatever reason.  I suppose if you can’t get yourself to list your own house, your sphere of influence must truly suck.

But what if you couldn’t sell your own home for some reason?  Say you were going to be out of the country with no phone or Web access for a few months, but had to sell your house in the meantime.  You will have to entrust the sale of your own house to whoever you’d hire with minimal supervision or interference.

Who would you use?  And why?

Please respond in the comments.



On Social Media Education

Today, we will cover Twitter techniques of the 21st century Europe

Today, we will cover Twitter techniques of the 21st century Europe

One of the most interesting threads of 2009 sort of blew up this past week over at Marc Davison’s place when he posted a heartfelt mea culpa about his past cynicism about social media.  Various heavy-hitter commenters came by and a full blown debate erupted.  Oh, it’s good stuff!

But there was one topic within those dozens of comments that I think deserves a bit more examination, and as I don’t want to hijack Marc’s thread, I thought I’d talk about it here on Notorious.

I’ll admit to starting it, since I asked in the comments:

I’m extremely torn on this “reason to provide courses and education” on Social Media… since the core essence of social media is to be yourself. You need lessons for that?

And Bill Lublin of SMMI (who incidentally personifies the word mensch) responded:

@Rob: People can always benefit from training that teaches them how to more clearly communicate – too many messages don’t have the intended impact or result – and that’s part of what our training does. We spend a really long time on some theory because we believe that while McLuhan was right about the medium being the message, the medium is not the purpose – the message is, and working on how to deliver the message better is important. You’re an amazingly articulate man, and perhaps from that perspective its hard to realize how much goes unsaid, or is misspoken by well intentioned people. Because of the differences in the “psychological bandwidth” of the various SM tools, it gets even a little more complicated and frankly there are a huge number of people that create unintended consequences. I agree with you that a lot of SM information is not applicable to every situation but that doesn’t dismiss the need for people to reach a level of ‘conscious competency’ in their SM interactions so that the response they actually engender is the response they intended. But so far, our students have responded really well to the course material and presentation – and as I said earlier in this too lengthy response, I think it makes them better at communicating outside SM as well. [Emphasis mine]

Bill always makes me think, which may be a dangerous thing actually…, but it’s a good thing. And here’s where my thinking leads me.

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