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Thanks, Russell Shaw!

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In a recent Agent Genius article, Russell Shaw asked,

“I am pretty impressed with most all of the graphics and photos that accompany the posts on agentgenius. Is there one main genius who should get the credit for all of those cool graphics or are each of the individual geniuses just that good?”

One of the major functions of being a CCC rather than a MAB is focusing on the experience of the reader by creating a conversational community rather than a pulpit and ensuring that the ease of reading is conducive to a comfortable experience as well.

As part of the experience, we have extensively focused energy on the aesthetics of each and every article and by doing so created a new standard in blogging, not just real estate blogging. As the founder of Agent Genius, Benn created a specific formula for layout management that has been a major part of the explosive growth of AG. Although any of us would love to take complete credit, most authors bring their own art to their articles.

The [photo + white space + clean wording = 600 x 120 or 400 x 400 banners plus h2 tags] formula has created a clean, comfortable feel on the blog and in your reader and I assure you that I have personally lost sleep over making sure things are executed to the best they can possibly be.

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Here’s how two recent articles look in a feed reader:

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But why is something this small so important? Not only does our layout management maintain the look and feel of AG, but is part of a bigger effort of feed reader marketing. If you look at how AG articles appear with each story in succession, you see RSS blog art at its finest. We’ve spent a long time in the blogiverse looking at blogs and are repeatedly disappointed. Because we pay attention to the experience of our readers, we’ve set out specifically to raise the bar of the visual experience of blogging.

Why is feed reader marketing and aesthetics important for you as a real estate professional to consider? Think about it- as you introduce more and more of your clients to your RSS feed, how do you appear to them? The marketing of your blog and website shows clients exactly how you will market their property. If your blog appears outdated, boring, sloppy or plain, the automatic assumption is that your marketing of their home will be in that same spirit.

In short, I wanted to sincerely thank Russell Shaw for noticing- it’s the little things that make AG contributors’ laboring over aesthetics all worthwhile. Thanks, Russell Shaw!

————–
(photo credit)

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Russell Shaw

    March 29, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Thank YOU for the very cool look. Job well done. Like the old saying, “God is in the details”.

  2. Michelle DeRepentigny

    March 29, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    I love the look and experience when reading AG, now if Benn would hurry up and get back to his WP instuctino series I would be really thrilled. 🙂

  3. Benn Rosales

    March 29, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Michelle, give me two days and you’ll have part two! I promise! =]

  4. Missy Caulk

    March 29, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Those look great, do you think you have more people subscribing by feed reader or email. I’m shifting all my fav’s to RSS feeds but it was easier when they came in in email. Then I opened it right up, I tend to get behind in the RSS feeds.

  5. Benn Rosales

    March 29, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Missy, we intentionally do not use email as feed. It is part of our domains management standards policy that any email used from our domains are contolled. New comment subscription is also risky but one we feel is worthwhile. So practice feed reading! Less email in your inbox saves you days per year when you add up the hours you spend cleaning, reading, shifting, and manageing your email!

  6. Mike Farmer

    March 29, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    “focusing on the experience of the reader by creating a conversational community rather than a pulpit and ensuring that the ease of reading is conducive to a comfortable experience as well.”

    What do you mean by “rather than a pulpit” and “ease of reading”?

  7. Benjamin Bach

    March 29, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    “are each of the individual geniuses just that good”

    Yes, and thank you.

    Oh, and . . .AG is the best looking BLOG I read, bar none.

  8. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    March 29, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    @Mike- NAR would be a great example of a pulpit- you can’t truly talk back, it’s a one way conversation. As for ease of reading, that means we all take great care in the small details that make agentgenius easy to consume- be it on the website or the RSS feed reader. It’s a comfortable environment in which to have a conversation.

  9. Faina Sechzer

    March 29, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    The blog is so visually pleasing, it seems effortless. Same as great ballet – when you watch it seems so easy.

  10. John Atkinson

    March 29, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    We noticed how well formatted and visually appealing the AG RSS feed was when we added it to PimpMyNews. It’s good to see someone pay such attention to detail, which really matters with the proliferation of RSS.
    Keep up the great work guys!

  11. Curmudgeon++

    March 29, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    It is always a tradeoff: Make it easy for the developer or make it easy for the end user. AG has, IMHO, chosen wisely. The people who Post must compose their thoughts, make careful decisions about which graphics are truly useful, and conform to a specific style. Those criteria lead to an easily-read blog, which translates quickly into a widely-read blog.

  12. Mike Farmer

    March 29, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    NAR allows comments, though, right? What do you think discourages interaction on that blog?

    Yes, I like the layout here — You all have done a great job.

  13. Maureen Francis

    March 29, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    You guys run a pretty blog. I am delighted that you jump in to make me (my posts) look better too!

  14. Charleston real estate blog

    March 30, 2008 at 6:40 am

    Lani, AG is both aesthetically pleasing and the resident geniuses write interesting posts, a must stop for me no matter how busy I am on any day.

    But special thanks for this takeaway, “Why is feed reader marketing and aesthetics important for you as a real estate professional to consider? Think about it- as you introduce more and more of your clients to your RSS feed, how do you appear to them? The marketing of your blog and website shows clients exactly how you will market their property. If your blog appears outdated, boring, sloppy or plain, the automatic assumption is that your marketing of their home will be in that same spirit.”

    All I can say is WOW!

  15. Matthew Rathbun

    March 30, 2008 at 6:54 am

    AG is awesome in every way! But just be be clear… you did say “Russell Shaw” paid a compliment? Wow… hmmm I thought I misread that. 🙂 That’s quite an achievement.

    But honestly, Benn and Lani do not take near enough credit for how cool this site is and how relevant for today’s practitioner. They’ve taken even less credit for making the flow and editing of this system really work.

    More than once I’ve realized (after posting) that I wanted to change something, only to go back in and see that Lani had fixed it already. It’s a thankless job to edit (especially my stuff) and I am thankful for the two of them for setting the bar so high for other industry blogs.

  16. ines

    March 31, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    don’t talk to me about “aesthetically pleasing” – it’s the little things that make my skin crawl – AG rules! and the changes are fabulous!

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