Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0
As I understand it, the primary difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 as it relates to websites is the opportunity that it presents to interact with visitors to your blog and build “connections” to them. Humans tend to connect through communication, which underscores the importance of working towards earning comments if you’re interested in building a “community.”
Without comments, your blog is a web 1.0 website.
As a real estate blog writer, comments from readers should be important to you for several reasons.
• Comments provide an opportunity for you to get to know your readers while they get to know you
• Comments and questions challenge you to better understand your business and your real estate market
• Comments provide important insights (for you and your clients) into how prospective buyers and sellers are feeling about your real estate market
• Comments make it obvious to all who visit your blog that it’s a happening online destination and not a baron electronic wasteland
• Active online discussions deliver lots of user generated content which makes your blog more interesting, and improves your opportunities with search engines
If you’ve convinced yourself that comments really aren’t that important I’m hoping to renew your interest in going after them. If you’ve already had some success at building a “community” through your blogging efforts I’m looking forward to hearing what worked for you in building it. Please share. I’ll start.
Defining your reader
I recognize that there are some writers who have had success at appealing to a broad base of readers. Somehow, they seem to have a knack for generating content that is engaging for both agents and consumers. I’d suggest that these bloggers are our most skilled colleagues and it takes a very special talent to be successful with that approach. If you’re an average writer, like I am, you may be better off to focus tightly. If that’s the case, I’d suggest that real estate consumers are probably the best market to pursue. 🙂
If you haven’t already done so, read Teresa Boardman’s excellent post, “There are Comments and Then There are Comments” which makes some important points about how comments from other agents may do more harm than good.
More here in this Inman News story titled, “Ending the Cycle of Realtor on Realtor Action” that stresses the importance of You Engaging Others (YEO), namely real estate consumers.
Selecting content that will generate discussion
Given my tight focus, every post that I write on my blog must pass the following test. “Is this post potentially interesting to a Saskatoon home buyer, home seller, or home owner?” I know that many agents feel that statistical information is boring but my best discussion building efforts revolve around them. Using statistics provides an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of your local real estate market, and all three of the desired readers that I’ve identified above are interested in them to some degree. Statistics provide an excellent foundation for discussion and they’re fairly easy to write about. I’ve found that a “weekly review” of market activity provides an on-going source of material and a good reason for readers to return regularly. Posts like, “12 steps to prepare your home for showing” definitely have their place, but they’re not likely to result in a lengthy discussion.
We can all use a little help from our friends
Early on, as I was beginning my on-going quest to learn about blogging I came across a post written by Ardell DellaLoggia. I was most impressed by the lengthy thread of comments that followed her post and I told Ardell so. She responded by saying, “Don’t be too impressed. I asked them all to come.” Hmmm. Smart!
The hardest part of getting feedback is getting it started. Consider that initially your readers have no idea who else is reading, if anyone, or how their comments may be received. Why not ask some of your friends to support your blogging efforts and to make some comments on your blog. If your other readers see comments they’ll be far more likely to contribute to the discussion. Asking your friends to say certain things obviously isn’t cool but there’s no good reason why they can’t participate in your community and assist you in building it.
Ask readers to comment
I often meet people who bring up my blog, sometimes describing themselves as fans (blush). I always ask them if they’ve ever commented, and as Teresa suggests in her post they most often say “no.” I always tell them that I’d appreciate their feedback the next time they drop by and I know that these invitations have brought me some new comments. If you can get them to comment once, they’ll often become regular contributors.
Participate in the comments section
Revealing myself in my posts is often difficult because of the subject material I use. I do my best to participate fully in the discussion once it’s underway and this is where I find my opportunities reveal to my readers who I am as a person. I encourage and answer questions, and I ask questions of those who comment. Remember, the same human relations principles apply to online relationships that apply to those relationships you enjoy in your offline life. People appreciate being appreciated. Thank them for contributing, treat them respectfully, and let them know that their thoughts and opinions are valuable to you and others who read your blog. At the same time, don’t hesitate to let problem posters know the rules. While it’s important that your visitors feel free to express themselves, they are on your property and you have a right to set some guidelines.
Consider writing less frequently
Say what? I’ve found that each new post on my blog seems to have the effect of wrapping up the discussion in the previous post. I last posted on Sunday at 11:20 am. At this point, there are 58 comments to the post. If I post again today that discussion would likely conclude with about 65 comments. If I let it remain in the spotlight for a day or two, the discussion will most likely continue for some time and the content continues to grow with little effort on my part. If I have more than one topic that I feel must exist in my archive I will often post them both in quick succession, essentially sacrificing discussion in one for the sake of the other. The post that strikes me a having the better chance to spark a discussion is posted after the other.
I’d love to hear your ideas on how you’ve been successful in getting readers to comment.
Pay employees for their time, not only their work
(MARKETING) Yes, you still must pay employees for their time even if they aren’t able to complete their work due to restrictions. Time = Money.
The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired a lot of insightful questions about things like our healthcare system, worldwide containment procedures, and about a billion other things that all deserve well-thought answers.
Unfortunately, it has also led to some of the dumbest questions of all time.
One such question comes courtesy of Comstock Mag, with the inquiry asking whether or not employees who show up on time can be deducted an hour’s pay if the manager shows up an hour later.
From a legal standpoint, Comstock Mag points out that employees participating in such activities are “engaged to wait”, meaning that – while they aren’t necessarily “working” – they are still on the clock and waiting for work to appear; in this case, the aforementioned “work” comes in the form of the manager or supervisor showing up.
In short: if the reason your employees aren’t working is that the precursor to completing the work for which you pay them is inaccessible, you still have to pay them for their time.
Morally, of course, the answer is much simpler: pay your employees for their time, especially if the reason they are unable to complete work is because you (or a subordinate) didn’t make it to work at the right time.
Certainly, you might be able to justify sending all of your employees home early if you run into something like a technology snag or a hiccup in the processes which make it possible for them to do their jobs – that would mean your employees were no longer engaged to wait, thus removing your legal obligation to continue paying them.
Then again, the moral question of whether or not cutting your employees’ hours comes into play here. It’s understandable that funds would be tight for the time being, but docking employees an hour of their work here or there due to problems that no one can control may cause them to resent you down the line when you need their support in return.
The real problem with this question is that, despite most people knowing that the answer should always be “pay them”, the sheer number of people working from home in the wake of worldwide closures and social distancing could muddy the water in terms of what constitutes the difference between being engaged to wait and simply burning time.
For example, an employee who is waiting for a meeting to start still fits the bill of “engaged to wait” even if the meeting software takes an extra half hour to kick in (or, worse yet, the meeting never happens), and docking them pay for timecard issues or other extenuating factors that keep them from their work is similarly disingenuous – and illegal.
There are a lot of unknowns these days, but basic human decency should never be up for debate – especially now.
Cooler temps mean restaurants have to get creative to survive
(MARKETING) With winter approaching, restaurants are starting to find creative and sustainable ways to keep customers coming in… and warm.
Over the last decade we have seen a change in the approach to clientele experiences in the restaurant business. It’s no longer just about how good your food is, although that is still key. Now you have to give your customers an experience to remember. There are now restaurants that feed you in the dark, and others who require you to check all your clothes at the door. Each of these provides an experience to remember alongside food that ranges from good to exquisite, depending on your taste.
Now, however, the global pandemic has rearranged how we think about dining. We can no longer just shove people into a building and create a delectable meal. If you’ve relied mostly on people coming into your restaurant, you may struggle to survive now.
The new rules of keeping clients safe means setting things up outside is the easiest means of keeping large numbers of them from crowding inside. Because of this, weather has become a key influence in a company’s daily income. Tents that were a gimmick before, only needed by presumptuous millennials, are now a requirement to keep afloat. People are rushing to make their yards into lawns that bring some in some fancy feeling.
The ties to the sun in some areas are so strong that cloudy days have been shown to drop attendance as much as 14% for the day. This will become the more apparent the colder it gets. For me, I always mention hibernation weight in the winter, when all I want to do is curl up and eat at home. Down here in Texas we are already finding cooler weather, drops into the 70s even in August and September. We are all assuming a cold winter ahead. So, a bit of foresight is finding a means of keeping your guests warm for the winter ahead.
San Francisco restaurants have started with heat lamps during their cooler evenings. Fiberglass igloos have also been added to outdoor seating as a means of temperature control. A few places down in the Lonestar state keep roaring fires going for their outdoor activities. While others actually keep you running in between beverages by encouraging volleyball matches. This is the new future ahead of us, and being memorable is the way to go.
Canva is catching on to content trends, launches in-app video editor
(MARKETING) Canva launches an in-platform video editor, allowing access to their extensive library of assets and animations to create high-quality videos
Video content consumption is on the rise, and the graphic design platform, Canva, took note of it. The $40 billion Australian startup has entered the video business and announced the launch of its video editor, Canva Video Suite.
The end-to-end video editor is an easy-to-use platform that anyone, no matter the skill level, can create, edit, and record high-quality videos. Best of all, it’s free, and it’s available on both desktop and mobile platforms.
The tool has hundreds of editable templates that you can use to create videos for several online platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Some templates can be used to create workplace and business videos, while other templates are perfect for personal videos. There are playful themes you can use to create that spooky video just in time for Halloween or make a laugh-out-loud video to send to your best friend! With a wide range of selections, in no time you’ll start creating your very own video masterpiece with Canva.
What else does the video software offer and what can you do with it? Well, let me tell you:
Collaborate in real-time
Having everyone on the same page is important and Canva’s video suite takes that into account. To collaborate with others, you simply send them an invite, and together you can edit videos, manage assets, and leave comments to give your input.
Video timeline editing and in-app recording
Similar to building presentation slides, Canva’s scene-based editor simplifies video editing by using a timeline approach. With it, you can quickly reorder, crop, trim, and splice your videos. Also, users don’t need to leave the platform to record that last-minute shot; within the app, you can shoot and record yourself from a camera or a screen.
Library of assets
The video editor is filled with an array of watermark-free stock footage, icons, images, illustrations, and even audio tracks that you can choose from – but if you really need something that is not on their platform – you can upload your own image, video, or audio track.
Animate with ease
Although still in the process of being released, soon you will be able to add animations of both text and visual elements in just a few simple clicks. Among others, animation presets that fade, pan, and tumble will help you transform your video and take it to a whole other level.
Overall, Canva Video Suite is very intuitive and has all the essential things you need to create a video. And by streamlining the video creation process, Canva is ensuring it enters the video marketplace with a bang.
“One of Canva’s guiding principles is to make complex things simple, and our new Video Suite will allow everyone to unlock the power of video, whether that’s to market their business, make engaging social posts, or express their creativity,” said Rob Kawalsky, Head of Product at Canva.
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