Monthly Archives: January 2010

Of Flamewars, Personal Attacks, and Social Media

Get yer popcorn here! Fresh piping hot popcorn!

Earlier today, we had a bit of a brouhaha among the Twitterati of the real estate set.  The genesis was this video blog by Greg Cooper in which he blasted Todd Carpenter, attacked him personally, and laid the heavy artillery on to NAR.  Which then brought responses from various members of the RE.net, some friendly to Todd and others hostile to him, and resulted in this post by Bill Lublin.

Periodically, it seems we get one of these little kerfuffles in the RE.net; I personally think it’s pretty healthy.  As far as the specifics of the Todd vs. Greg deal and all of that, the whole thing is likely blown way out of proportion, and others will address the “personal vs. corporate” burdens on someone using his personal channels.  I hear Jay Thompson is working on a post.  Suffice to say that Todd is a great guy, and if any “embarrassment” resulted, I’m 100% positive he did not intend it.  So count me in Team @Tcar as far as that goes.

But the real issue I’d like to discuss is actually from a comment by Ines Hegedus-Garcia to Bill’s post which goes:

But again, that’s not the point – it’s not about Todd, it’s about the flaming of an individual on a public forum that totally crosses the line. (And the fact that is Todd makes it all the worse)

And via Twitter, there are a number of folks who thought Greg’s post was over the top, unfair, and illegitimate.  Criticism, it goes, should be “constructive and thoughtful” of else, not worth the time at all.

This is where I part company with polite society.

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Interesting Branding Insight: Real Estate Companies Pay Attention!

This post by Marty Neumeier on @Issue (from which the above graphic cometh) might be the most interesting branding-related insight I’ve read in quite some time.  Go now and read the whole thing.  I’ll wait.

Let’s assume that he can back up the assertion via survey data, focus group data, and actual market results.  The conclusions are very cool and very interesting indeed.

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Sucking the Wind out of Sails: Why Mobile Won’t Matter in 2010

Joel Burslem, whose intelligence is matched only by his ability to eat samgyupsal and drink soju with native Korean boys, opines on 1000watt blog that 2010 will be the year of mobile:

In my presentation yesterday at Virtual RE Bar Camp I made the case that 2010 will be the year the mobile finally matters in real estate marketing. But its not mobile by itself that matters…

2010 is the year the mobile web really begins to matter. In 2009, the mobile web grew 110 percent according to Quantcast. And just as advertising dollars flowed from print to the web, soon I suspect, they will flow from the desktop to the handset.

As much as it pains me to disagree with Joel, in this case, I’d like to offer two points to temper his (and others’) enthusiasm.

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Reviewing RPR Demo, Part 2: Brokers and Agents

So how does this RPR thing affect us and our brokerage?

In part 1, I tried my level best to keep my opinions restricted to what RPR actually is, based on the demo.  And what RPR is is a fantastic piece of web engineering.  In this part, I get more into the opinionating and what Reggie Nicolay might term, “fearmongering”. :)

Let us examine the possible impact of RPR on brokers and agents, based on what we know thus far.

Caveat Lector: What We Know That We Don’t Know

One thing I learned at REBarCamp NYC that just happened last week, from Reggie himself, was that the Terms of Use for RPR have not yet been set.  And while the RPR has announced API’s, the terms of use on those have not been set or published.  We also don’t know what those API’s will actually do in terms of data provisioning over the API’s to third party tools or websites.

Therefore, one of the biggest pieces to the puzzle — the legal rights and responsibilities of RPR’s users — is as yet unknown, except in glimpses.  We also don’t know how flexible the RPR system will ultimately be.  It may be incredibly flexible, or it may be a closed system.

We don’t know yet whether brokerages (or even agents) can participate directly in RPR, or if they have to wait for their MLS to first sign up with RPR in order to utilize the full range of functionality.

For that matter, since all we’ve really seen is a video demo and some screenshots, we don’t really know at the end of the day what the finished product will actually look like and how it will work.

Enough caveats?  Okay, let’s get into this…

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What Disclosures for Sponsored Blogging and Speaking?

Let me tell you who my sponsors are...

While I’m recuperating from Rebarcamp NY and Inman Connect, and working on the next chapter of the RPR reviews, I thought I’d post something that crossed my virtual desk because, well, I feel like it. :)

I’ve heard from a couple of people during Inman week that some of the more prominent voices (and honestly, it doesn’t matter who, so don’t ask me) in the real estate space are paid to mention specific companies and products in their public speaking and public blogging activities.  Again, since I’m interested in discussing the principles here, names and identities are wholly unimportant.

In some cases, there isn’t a direct payment of cash, but there may be other sorts of compensation — revenue share on the back-end, cross-marketing arrangements, and the like.

Question is, should these arrangements be disclosed, and if so, how much disclosure of what sorts of relationships is appropriate?

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