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Lies, Damn Lies and Blogs…

“It was on a blog, so I don’t know if it’s actually true…”

So said Rush Limbaugh last week.

I’m not knocking Rush Limbaugh here. I’m trying to understand what this says about bloggers and the new media in which they operate.

As a blogger this statement took me aback for a while. Considering that I blog about mortgages in particular (real estate in general), credibility is very important to my success. However, while my blog in and of itself my be reliable, factual and very informative, the quality of other blogs has an impact on my efforts. After all, if Visitor Doe doesn’t trust the information on blogs, then I’m fighting an uphill battle to gain trust on my blog. That is why all serious bloggers need to take their credibility and reputation seriously.

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I think blog credibility varies by industry. In a purely opinion driven field like politics creditably is as good as your opinion. However, in an industry like ours, then opinion is not the driving factor. Facts, analysis, research all play into the credibility of a blog.

We all know that content is king. If you break it down a bit, credibility drives the quality of your content. And it is my belief that credibility is really what allows you to build the relationships you need to increase your business. I have never responded to people whom I don’t find credible and I don’t expect my readers to do anything differently.

I used to think blogging was just about me and my opinions. However, as I have interacted with the visitors to my blog the more I realize it’s really about credibility. The posts and articles that bring the most response are those that I spend time researching and analyzing. To date my opinion and speculation hasn’t paid the bills.

To follow up, the blogger in question that Rush mentioned was credible. I just wish the credibility of the information wasn’t instantly questioned just because it came from a blog.

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Written By

Writer for national real estate opinion column AgentGenius.com, focusing on the improvement of the real estate industry by educating peers about technology, real estate legislation, ethics, practices and brokerage with the end result being that consumers have a better experience.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Bob in San Diego

    January 21, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    I’m trying to understand what this says about bloggers and the new media in which they operate.

    While blogs are a great source of information, since anyone can put one online in a matter of minutes, the adherence to traditionally accepted journalistic ethics and standards is anything but a given.

    The question of bloggers as journalists has been raging since the 2004 political season. In our industry, blogs are generally just a step above forums, and the advent of sites like ActiveRain have done nothing to change that perspective.

    I recently sent a client to a lender’s site. When he saw that it was a blog, he dismissed it out of hand.

  2. Jeff Brown

    January 22, 2008 at 12:40 am

    Political blogs must put up with being compared with some that can only be described as propganda. Moveon.org comes to mind. It’s equally true for some on the right too.

    To be fair, Rush says that about blogs because of the many falsehoods printed on political blogs — lies he and others have documented as false.

    He also gives credit where it’s due.

    The most famous example is the blog-caused downfall of Dan Rather, which speaks for itself.

  3. Toby & Saide

    January 22, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Why can’t blogs be trusted? Because we all have different goals with them. I used to be in a Strat-O-Matic baseball league and reported on our league wide blog that a pitcher was out for the season with an injury.

    Suddenly it pops up on another person’s blog as a trackback.

  4. Doug Quance

    January 22, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Blogs are only as good as the writers who contribute.

    I remember reading some trash on a local real estate blog and thought, “what on Earth is this guy talking about?”

    So I researched the author and discovered that he was not only new in the business – but he had done less than a handful of transactions.

    And to think that someone might believe that crap…

  5. April Groves

    January 22, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Not everybody is as ethical as you, unfortunately. We do a lot of surfing in my house – some of the trash out there is unbelievable. My oldest is starting to do research online for school…one of the first lessons we have to teach her is you can’t believe everything that pops up on a google search.

  6. Benn Rosales

    January 22, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    April, damn, you just said a mouthfull, you must be exhausted.

  7. Shailesh Ghimire

    January 22, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Good points. The ease of the exercise makes falsifying easy.

    Bob in San Diego:

    Wow, it’s unfair that the borrower dismissed the lenders blog. I think if he were able to just become a bit acquainted with blogs he may feel differently. However, his reaction speaks volumes and I wonder how much that plays a role in goal conversion.

  8. Bob in San Diego

    January 22, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    My client is no dummy. He has worked inside the Beltway for decades. He helps under-developed nations set up their tax code. He rejected it out of hand because he is familiar with blogs.

    I think it has everything to do with conversion. He found me online, but my blog is not the face of my site, just an integrated aspect of it.

  9. April Groves

    January 22, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Bob,

    You raise an interesting point about the front site…I think I’ll blog it 🙂

  10. Robert D. Ashby

    January 22, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Blogs in our marketplace should be used to build credibility and bring education to the consumer, depending on what you are trying to do with it. I have several blogs, each have a different focus, but all designed to build credibility in each aspect.

    One reason I do not blog regularly on AR anymore is the lack of quality content as amatuers and point mongers took over the site. The posts there became hard to manage and outside of a small percentage, even harder to find quality content. I did a mortgage week in review and decided to try and find quality content from bloggers I did not know already. Of all of the posts, only 2 were worth mentioning. Very sad.

  11. Jeff in Hawaii

    January 22, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    It is amazing how poular all thois blogging is becoming. Bloggers are getting more and more powerful.

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