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Opinion Editorials

Share Your Thoughts on the NAR Video Podcast



In case you might have missed it, the 2008 NAR President, Dick Gaylord, published a video podcast entitled, “10 Tips to Boost Your Business.”

If you watched my video above, you know how I feel about the video. I’m interested to know what YOU thought about it. I think that this type of thing is most definitely a step in the right direction for NAR, so I want all of the good folks here at Agent Genius to leave a comment and offer insight, feedback and constructive criticism. I’m not interested as much in what you thought of the content as what you thought of the execution. Is it effective? How could it be better? Are some topics better suited for this than others?

I think that NAR deserves some credit for stepping up and showing some leadership by example when it comes to podcasting and the use of video. What do you think?

Believe it or not, NAR is paying attention, so now is a perfect opportunity to be heard.

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  1. Benjamin Bach

    April 15, 2008 at 4:14 am

    I liked the video, it’s the right forum for NAR to communicate with their members on a topic like this.

    Daniel, what camera are you using ? I picked up a webcam which *sucked* (never spend a little less than you think you should 🙂

    I want to get the Flip Ultra, but can’t find them in Canada. I think i’ll just grab one off the ‘bay. What is your reccomendation ?

    Be Great!

  2. Laura S Flournoy

    April 15, 2008 at 8:36 am

    I liked it (them). The set felt standard. I don’t want to see distracting hand movements, or feel there is a need for walking/pacing. Was it stiff, yep. But lets give Dick 10 (+/-) podcasts and he will be totally at home. Constructive criticism. That’s they way to make a difference. Great!….. thank you.
    Hay ~ going to talk about the book in this forum some?

  3. Daniel Rothamel

    April 15, 2008 at 10:45 am


    Funny you should mention the Flip– that is exactly what I used to make this video! I happen to like it, but reviews are mixed, for the most part. I didn’t know they were withholding them from our good friends up north. 🙂

    It is a decent camera, but if you are on a Mac, the downloading can sometimes be kludgy. There are digital still cameras that can record video of pretty much the same quality, it all depends on your needs.


    That is great feedback. I agree with you that, with practice, Dick will get even better. Actually, I thought that he looked pretty darn good in this one. With regards to the book, I don’t know. I hadn’t considered it. The first post will be next week, so we’ll see what people think!


  4. Danilo Bogdanovic

    April 15, 2008 at 11:03 am

    I’m totally with you on the living room/fireplace thing. It was 82 degrees here in the DC metro area when I watched it, but I guess it’s still cold in Chicago.

    The point about his hands was right on. As the video went on, the more he moved his hands and was leaning forward. Looked like he was itching to get up.

    It’s great to see NAR embracing technologies that engage members other than the ones that just read newspapers or magazines. It’s a good step in the right direction and I hope they keep it up.

  5. Matthew Rathbun

    April 15, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Well… It was better than Saul Klien’s 🙂

    I actually liked it, I am more a content guy, than I am an ambiance guy. I would have been OK, with him getting up.

    I am very happy with what NAR has done here. They’ll get better over time and I am am sure that all of you will agree that the mere fact that NAR is responding to feedback is a great start.

    The issue with content is that it won’t always fit everyone’s specific market. But, I think that NAR did as good a job as anyone could giving global guidance.

  6. Greg Cremia

    April 16, 2008 at 7:24 am

    I guess I have gotten spoiled by the instant gratification of receiving my info instantly on the net. Part of this is my ability to scan the info to see if it is worth my full attention. Plus, scanning allows me to pull the info I need from the piece, whether it is at the front, middle or back of the piece, and move on.

    Both of these videos looked good but when I tried to scan (fast forward) I lost sight of the material that was forwarded over. Consequently, I had no idea if either of these videos was worth my time and I did not make it through either of them. I wanted to watch both of them in their entirety but my “internet attention span” got in the way and I clicked the “next” button.

    Internet consumers follow this same scanning pattern when they go looking for something. Very little is read in its entirety on the net. If what you want them to see is important but they can only find it by watching an entire video it might be getting overlooked. There is nothing unique on the internet. Everything can be found in multiple locations. If you put an obstacle in the way of the info they will move on and find the info elsewhere.

    I was shopping for something the other day and this person popped up on my screen trying to sell me on their site. It looked like a good site but this person annoyed me so much I just hit the “next” button. This site may have been the best one out there but the site itself got in the way of me scanning it and once again my internet attention span kicked in. NEXT.

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Opinion Editorials

Job listings are popping up left and right, so what exactly *is* UX writing?

(EDITORIAL) While UX writing is not technically new, it is seemingly becoming more and more prevalent. The job titles are everywhere, so what is it?



UX writing

The work of a UX writer is something you come across every day. Whether you’re hailing an Uber or browsing Spotify for that one Drake song, your overall user experience is affected by the words you read at each touchpoint.

A UX writer facilitates a smooth interaction between user and product at each of these touchpoints through carefully chosen words.

Some of the most common touchpoints these writers work on are interface copy, emails, and notifications. It doesn’t sound like the most thrilling stuff, but imagine using your favorite apps without all the thoughtful confirmation messages we take for granted. Take Eat24’s food delivery app, instead of a boring loading visual, users get a witty message like “smoking salmon” or “slurping noodles.”

Eat24’s app has UX writing that works because it’s engaging.

Xfinity’s mobile app provides a pleasant user experience by being intuitive. Shows that are available on your phone are clearly labeled under “Available Out of Home.” I’m bummed that Law & Order: SVU isn’t available, but thanks to thoughtful UX writing at least I knew that sad fact ahead of time.

Regardless of where you find these writer’s work, there are three traits an effective UX writer must-have. Excellent communication skills are a must. The ability to empathize with the user is on almost every job post. But from my own experience working with UX teams, I’d argue for the ability to advocate as the most important skill.

UX writers may have a very specialized mission, but they typically work within a greater user experience design team. In larger companies, some UX writers even work with a smaller team of fellow writers. Decisions aren’t made in isolation. You can be the wittiest writer, with a design decision based on obsessive user research, but if you can’t advocate for those decisions then what’s the point?

I mentioned several soft skills, but that doesn’t mean aspiring UX writers can’t benefit from developing a few specific tech skills. While the field doesn’t require a background in web development, UX writers often collaborate with engineering teams. Learning some basic web development principles such as responsive design can help writers create a better user experience across all devices. In a world of rapid prototyping, I’d also suggest learning a few prototyping apps. Several are free to try and super intuitive.

Now that the UX in front of the writer no longer intimidates you, go check out ADJ, The American Genius’ Facebook Group for Austin digital job seekers and employers. User-centric design isn’t going anywhere and with everyone getting into the automation game, you can expect even more opportunities in UX writing.

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Opinion Editorials

Have an in-person job interview? 7 tips to crush the competition

EDITORIAL) While we all know the usual interview schtick, take some time to really study for your next face-to-face job interview.



Job interview between two women.

So, you’re all scheduled for an in-person interview for a job you’d kill for. It’s exciting that you’ve made it to this step, but the question is, are you ready? Especially with remote interviews being the new norm, your nerves may feel shaken up a bit to interview in person – but you’ve got this! And many of these tips can be applied no matter the interview setting.

We all know the basics of a job interview: dress nice, get there early, come prepared, firm handshake, yada, yada, yada… However, it’s good to really sit and think about all of the requirements of a successful interview.

There are seven steps for crushing a face-to-face interview. Do your homework upside down and inside out in order to walk into that room.

Which brings us to the first step: know everything you need to know backwards and forwards.

This can be done in two steps: getting to know the company and getting to know yourself. By doing website, social media, and LinkedIn research, you can get a feel of the company culture as well as the position you’re interviewing for.

By getting to know yourself, have a friend ask you some interview questions so you can practice. Also, take a look at your resume through the eyes of someone who doesn’t know you. Make sure everything is clear and can compete with other candidates.

The next step is to anticipate solving future problems. Have some insight on the department that you are interviewing for and come prepared with ideas of how to better this department. (i.e. if it’s marketing, give examples of campaigns you’ve done in the past that have proven to have been successful.)

Step number three requires you to go back to the research board and get some information on the employer. Find out who you’re meeting with (head of HR, head of the department, etc.) and make your self-presentation appropriate for the given person.

Next, work on making the interview conversation a meaningful one. This can be done by asking questions as people like to see you take an interest in them. Also, be sure to never answer the questions as if it’s your regular spiel. Treat each job interview as if this is the first time you’re presenting your employability information.

With this, your next step is to have stories prepared for the job interview. Anecdotes and examples of previous jobs or volunteer/organization experiences can help bring life to an otherwise run-of-the-mill resume.

After this, you’ll want to make sure that you’re showing enthusiasm for the position you’re interviewing for. Don’t jump on the couch in the lobby like you’re Tom Cruise on Oprah, but definitely portray that you’re excited and up for the challenge.

Lastly, make a good impression by being impressive. Be professional and in control of your body language. Put yourself in the mindset of whatever position you’re interviewing for and show them that you have what it takes.

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Opinion Editorials

The benefits of remote work are just too good to overlook

(EDITORIAL) Employees scream it from the rooftops and businesses don’t want to admit it: Remote work is just too beneficial to pass up- and here’s why.



Work from home written with scrabble letters.

Remote work has been rising in popularity in the past several years. Especially following the COVID-19 global pandemic, more companies saw significant benefits for both their business and their staff that went beyond the realm of finances by allowing remote labor.

Less happily, many people lost their job during the pandemic, but they ended up having more time to put toward their passions or were compelled to get creative with their remote business ideas to ensure a consistent stream of income.

If you remain on the fence about allowing your employees to work remotely, or are considering a career shift yourself, take a look at the top four benefits of working remotely, which may sway your decision.

Better Overall Quality of Life

Allowing your employees to work remotely doesn’t necessarily mean they work from home full time. There are benefits to having your employees work in an office part of the time – say, two or three days – and working from home, in more familiar surroundings, the rest of the week.

In this way, your workers enjoy some freedom and independence while retaining the ability to interact face-to-face with their peers. That provides human interaction, which can play a substantial role in terms of improved mental health for your staff.

Happy employees means healthier employees, which can save your outfit money in the form of healthcare costs and lost productivity. But we will get further into the cost-saving benefits a little further on.

If you’re a remote worker, you should see yourself becoming significantly more productive. But why would this be the case if you don’t have a manager over your shoulder watching your every move?

It’s true that when employees have a greater sense of independence, they also experience a significant sense of trust on the part of their employers and managers. This is one of the huge benefits of working remotely because it has a trickle-down effect on the quality and overall production of people’s work.

Can Work Anywhere with Internet

Whether you are a small business owner or have crafted your work to tailor toward a life of remote labor, this is an opportunity for someone who has dreamed of being a digital nomad. You have the ability to work anywhere in the world as long as you have access to the Internet. If you love to travel, this is a chance to spend time in various places around the globe while continuing to meet your deadlines.

Multi-member Zoom call on a Apple Mac laptop with a blue mug of black coffee next to it.

Set Your Own Hours

In some cases with remote businesses, you have the freedom to set your own hours. Content writers, for instance, tend to enjoy more flexibility with regard to when they work because a lot of what they produce is project-based rather than tied to a nine-to-five schedule.

When you’re a business owner, this can be incredibly useful when you outsource tasks to save money. You can find a higher quality of performance by searching for contractors anywhere in the world and it doesn’t limit you to workers who live near to your office.

Saves Everyone Time and Money

 In the end, remote work typically saves money for every person and entity involved. Businesses save costs in terms of not having to pay for a physical space, utilities, Internet, and other expenses. This allows you, as the owner, to spend more of your income on providing quality software and benefits for your employees so your operation runs more smoothly and efficiently.

According to FlexJobs, employees or remote business owners may save around $4,000 on average every year for expenses such as car maintenance, transportation, professional clothing in the office, or even money spent dining out for lunch with coworkers. Eventually, the costs add up, which means extra money in your pocket to take that much-needed vacation or save up for a down payment on your first home.

These benefits of working remotely only skim the surface. There are also sustainability factors such as removing cars from the roads and streets, because people don’t have to travel to and from an office; or employees missing fewer workdays since they have the ability and freedom to clock in from home.

Weigh the pros and cons as to whether remote work is right for you as a business owner or online professional. You might be surprised to find that working from home for more than the duration of the pandemic is worthwhile and could have long-lasting benefits.

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