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Business Marketing

Neighborhood Sites: Biting Off More Than You Can Chew



I was recently speaking with an agent in my area that wanted to set up a series of neighborhood-specific websites. He plans on setting up about 3-5 neighborhood sites with the hopes that they will drive qualified traffic back to his main site so he can get more leads. Sounds like a great idea… but my question was: How do you plan on writing all those articles while simultaneously building backlinks to each one? It seems easy, but its not.

Optimizing and building links for a single website can quickly become a full-time job depending on how ambitious you are. I cant imagine a full-time agent trying to launch and manage over 3 blogs at the same time when he/she doesn’t even have one going. Although local search is blowing up, and blogging is the new “thing” for all agents to get into. Sometimes you need to take baby-steps to get off the ground.

This isn’t the only agent I know that quickly made an ambitious plan to start a series of sites all at once. I can understand how, as an internet rookie, you can read an article or hear a seminar about blogging and feel like you have to become the master of your area overnight. You can do it, but not overnight.

Start with one site, and make categories for each subdivision if you want. Try to build your empire under one domain to start with. Every article you write will be just as likely to rank for your chosen neighborhood keywords as a “special URL” you set up… and it will help you FOCUS your SEO efforts on ONE site. Not five.

Don’t start a junk blog for every subdivision in your town thinking that you will eventually “find” people who want to write for your blog for dirt cheap. And don’t think you can drive traffic or get leads from a keyword-stuffed splog, because it does nothing but waste valuable time you could be using to write a good relevant article on your main site.

Writer for national real estate opinion column, 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.

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  1. Benn Rosales

    November 11, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    Carson, I am so glad you made this point. Many have asked me why we arent doing what you described and I’ve said basically the same thing.

    Also, I would point out that real manage (hoa managment company) here in Austin has already put together neighborhood sites and are marketing it as a service directly to them. It seems more effective to partnership market on these sites and get the same outcome.

  2. Carson Coots

    November 11, 2007 at 9:29 pm


    As another alternative, I would recommend spending all of that extra effort on using a good mix of social networks to channel the content through… or at least blurbs/feeds that funnel into the main site.

    I think the ability to harness feeds by breaking them up and feeding them to specific sites will make maintaining 10 neighborhood sites with limited resources feasible.

    Or you can go with the multi-author approach, by teaming up with some local professionals who would mutually benefit with a neighborhood site. But wow, that would require some serious coordination.

  3. Chris Johnson

    November 12, 2007 at 3:42 am

    Nice thinking–but isn’t it better to specialize in one specific niche? If we’re going to be a “neighborhood” blog, why not be one fairly specific category? A thought.


  4. Ryan Hukill

    November 15, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    Carson, it’s funny, I had some of these same thoughts about a year ago and decided then that it was far too overwhelming to take on individual sites for specific individual communities. Besides that, most folks looking in one community are also looking in others, so why not have all the info in one place in an easy to navigate format for all to see?

    I think of it like farming. There’s no way I could effectively farm 20 different neighborhoods, so instead I focus on 3-4 I can manage efficiently and grow from there.

    Same concept with neighborhood blogging. Blog hard about 3-4 and add more later if you can handle it.

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Business Marketing

Gloves that translate sign language in real time

(BUSINESS MARKETING) A new wearable tech translates American Sign Language into audible English in real time.



Advancements in technology never cease to amaze. The same is true right this moment as a new technology has been released that helps translate American Sign Language (ASL) signs into spoken English in real time.

This technology comes in the form of a hand glove – similar looking on the front side to what one would wear in the winter, but much more advanced when in view of the palm. The palm side of the glove contains sensors on the wearer to identify each word, phrase, or letter that they form via ASL, and is then translated into audible English via an app that coincides with the glove.

This is all done in real time and allows for instant communication without the need for a human translator. The signals are translated at a rate of one word per second.

The project was developed by scientists at UCLA. “Our hope is that this opens up an easy way for people who use sign language to communicate directly with non-signers without needing someone else to translate for them,” said lead researcher Jun Chen.

The hope is to make communication easier for those who rely on ASL, and to help those unfamiliar with ASL adapt to the signs. It is thought that between 250,000 and 500,000 people in the United States use ASL. As of now, the glove does not translate British Sign Language – the other form a sign language that utilizes English.

According to CNN, the researchers also added adhesive sensors to the faces of people used to test the device — between their eyebrows and on one side of their mouths — to capture facial expressions that are a part of American Sign Language. However, this facet of the technology is not loved by all.

“The tech is redundant because deaf signers already make extensive use of text-to-speech or text translation software on their phones, or simply write with pen and paper, or even gesture clearly,” said Gabrielle Hodge, a deaf post-doctoral researcher from the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) at University College London. “There is nothing wrong with these forms of communication.”

What are your thoughts on this advancement? Comment below!

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Business Marketing

Stand out with video as part of your resume (but be careful)

(MARKETING) This new tool helps you stand out in the job market, as video now dominates – so it’s possible to use this to your advantage (with caution).



job market video

In the midst of a pandemic, people are finding themselves thrust back into the job market sooner than expected due to mass company layoffs or underemployment as a freelancer. Fields are oversaturated and jobs are sparse so it can be hard to stand out in today’s job market.

Although standing out in the job market is hardly a new problem, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t use some new and creative solutions. One company, VCV.ME has designed a tool to help you get creative and stand out from your competition.

VCV.ME turns your traditional resume into a video à la Instagram stories.

The process is simple. You answer a few questions and upload a video of yourself then the tool will provide you with a sharable link.

VCV Founder and CEO, Arik Akverdian, believes that video is the future saying, “Video will represent 80% of all internet traffic by 2021 according to Cisco, and according to eMarketer 94.1% of millennial internet users were streaming digital video in 2019. With growing demand for video social media such as TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram stories, and others, we’re bringing the short video format to the job market.”

There are some obvious limitations to using this tool in your job hunt.

First, not all employers will take videos as part of an application both for technical and legal reasons.

On the technical side, many automated tracking systems are not designed to filter that kind of file, so there may not even be an opportunity to showcase it. That’s not to say there aren’t some work-arounds. Many job applications will have a place for applicants to link to their portfolio or websites. An alternate option for this tool could be to place the video introduction on your website.

Another problem with the tool is how it exposes candidates and hiring managers to bias.

As more companies work to remove bias from their hiring practices and hire more diverse candidates, a video intro just won’t fly. Some companies have removed names and even alma maters from their applicants in order to make more unbiased hiring decisions. A video introduction would expose many characteristics that people have conscious and subconscious biases towards such as race, gender, age, and ethnicity.

Although VCV.ME’s intentions are to help candidates stand out in the job market, it’s worth questioning whether they would be standing out for the right reasons, so tread carefully.

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Business Marketing

Why should you take Facebook’s ‘Summer of Support’ courses

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Every company can use a little marketing advice, well Facebook has partnered with big companies to give you some free digital marketing courses.



marketing courses

Our world has turned into a place of upheaval and unrest and we are continuously surrounded by more and more evidence of it. One thing that the majority of us are constantly seeing is announcements from companies. Some of those are about closing hours, but others are more helpful. As they all attempt to get used to this new world that COVID-19 has created we begin to see some different tactics. Some are only politically motivated, but others are more focused on helping out their communities.

Earlier this week Facebook announced that they will be putting on a six-week digital marketing education series. This series will be an extensive collection of videos with a full in depth set of courses that will cover a large amount of topics. The company has put together a cast of renowned entrepreneurs for the presenters as well.

The topics will be done in themed weeks starting on June 24th, and running through the month of July. They include categories such “The Changing World” & “Resilience”. Focusing primarily on the world that is here and now, with recommendations on how to adapt to it. With this world in a constant state of flux the push for adapting to change and staying in front of the tide is crucial for a small business.

The next two courses will be going forward with discussing “Reinvention” & “Re-Emergence”. Encouraging struggling companies to take a serious look at their potential for moving forward, or changing the things that they can to stay more on top of their client base. They also plan on attacking the confusing world that we will have when things get closer to normal.

The last two weeks are focused on community and customer care, which is actually their names as well: “Customers & Commerce” & “Community”. These will help develop a sense of how your business affects your community and the impact you have on it. Keeping that in mind you can then develop a plan for how you want your community to see you and shape things within it.

These courses are all set up for free and open to anyone. With a completely online set up with their new “Summer of Support” mini-site they are prepped to reach millions of people. They’ve organized this with a range of partners as well: Dell, PayPal, American Express, & Small Business Roundtable. A helping hand for people who wouldn’t currently be able to source things like this.

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