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The Lost Innocence..

Lost innocence

Caution: This entire diatribe is a paradox, in and of itself.

At one time I thought I was the king of hyperbole and cynicism. Then…I began reading real estate blogs. When I first started reading, I thought ‘WOW, look at all this great information.’ At some point I feel that what I’ve been reading has crossed from being informative to pushing the limit of “freedom of expression.” It’s like some folks are just on search and destroy missions.

Sometimes it’s like I am watching the evening news out of Washington D.C. when I open my blog reader anymore. All the cheating, the politics and the scandals that are laid out in the posts are very gloom and doom to the point of depressing.

It seems every time I open certain blogs, it’s just one blogger attacking another, for attacking another and so on… Yes, I know writing a negative post about negative posts is almost as redundant and hypocritical as one blogger attacking another for their opinion or to be attacked by another for attacking someone else… (see where I’m going with this? ….it’s cyclical….)

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The funny thing is that I’ve added a lot of these blogs because they are exceptional writers and have incredible talent. I want to see more of that and less of the ‘shock jock’ mentality that a lot of us (including myself) have attempted. Yes, I know all too well that only negative rhetoric tends to get folks to come back and comment. Yes, it builds Google juice when you really stir the pot and get your “enemies” (as if to say someone you disagree with must be your sworn enemy) to come back to your blog and argue with you.

I’ve found some great friends through the social media venues and find most of them very friendly. Once in awhile, I’ll hear them chatting on Twitter or other apps and say “hey, that’s a really nice guy/gal”; then only to go read their blog and it’s full of venom. That’s ok, it’s their release and their ability to express themselves, but sometimes, I don’t want to be depressed after reading a post. I don’t want to be angry at NAR or whoever the rant is against that week.

So finding bloggers who are writing posts of value and substance is sometime hard.

Here are a list of my favorite writers (I have others I like, but these are my favorites) and I go out of my way to read whatever I can find from them…

Teresa Boardman

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Mariana Wagner

Jim Duncan

Lani Anglin-Rosales

Benn Rosales

Jay Thompson

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Russell Shaw

Daniel Rothamel

Frank LLosa

If you read these folks, you know that they can be very creative and challenging, without necessarily attacking another person. I respect these folks, because I feel that I could disagree and could still be respected as a person.

Professionalism and respect are critical elements to being credible. I’ve seen some very good writers get dropped from readers quickly, because of their “mean” streak. I am not necessarily making a plea to be Mary Poppins, but if you’re going to disagree be respectful, if you’re going to rant about an issue, try to give a possible resolution.

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I think it’s a reasonable request. I know I don’t get it right all the time, but I am thankful to those who have grace with me while I work it all out!

In the interim I am hoping that we can all do a little bit better about writing meaningful and informative posts, and spend a little less time dwelling on all the negative. Almost anyone can complain, only a few can educate and inform others well.

If you want to meet a great group of bloggers and real estate professionals, follow my friends on Twitter. You can find my profile HERE.

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Written By

Matthew Rathbun is a Virginia Licensed Broker and Director of Professional Development for Coldwell Banker Elite, in Fredericksburg Virginia. He has opened and managed real estate firms, as well as coached and mentored agents and Brokers. As a Residential REALTOR®, Matthew was a high volume agent and past REALTOR® Rookie of the Year & Virginia Association Instructor of the Year. You can follow him on Twitter as "MattRathbun" and on Facebook. Matthew's blog is



  1. Mariana

    March 18, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Wow. Thank you for including me on your list. I am right there with you when you say: “I know I don’t get it right all the time, but I am thankful to those who have grace with me while I work it all out!” … I am always learning…

  2. Daniel Rothamel

    March 18, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    I know exactly how you feel, sometimes. Basketball does the same thing to me a few times during the season.

    I am honored to be included amongst such fine company.

  3. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    March 18, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    You know, blogging is full of extremely passionate people and even if you’re a big person, it can be difficult not to express passion, even if it’s negative. We fight for what we believe in and for whatever reason (for me, it’s faith, for others it may be purely business PR) we *must* heed your advice and not cross the line too far!

    Thanks for including me in the list- Benn’s really my better half and has led many of us to the greener grass!

  4. Jim Duncan

    March 18, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    Passion is a difficult thing – to reign in and express – and the fact that I personally feel that about such often-seemingly insignificant things such as change in our profession confounds me. I am grateful and humbled that you include me in the above list. Thank you.

  5. Ines

    March 18, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    I love to be able to healthily disagree with someone knowing that a good discussion will begin instead of bashing. And a sense of humor is difficult to put down on paper and all on your list have achieved it.

  6. Matthew Rathbun

    March 18, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Holy bananas bat-girl (@LaniAR) I completely had Benn on the draft but evidentially didn’t save and come back. Who couldn’t respect a blogger who puts a pix of his wife getting a medical treatment!?!?! Yes, Mr. AG is very much on my fav list and I’ve added him to the post.

    Jim, I agree that passion can sometimes come across different than we intended. When 70% of communication is body language, we have to be careful with how the other 30% comes across. I’ve never felt you were irreverent, but that come from agreeing with you most of the time.

    Ines… unfortunately my humor comes across as snarky, even when I don’t at all want it to. BTW aren’t you suppose to be working on your PR for your adult site?

    Daniel, sports can be used for just about any allegory, can’t they? I swear, I never got enhancement drugs from my best friend who testified that I did…

    Mizzle, I think you do more teaching (as opposed to learning) than you know!

    Thanks to all for commenting!

  7. Russell Shaw

    March 19, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Sorry, Matthew – now I am going to have to attack you for saying something in this post I disagree with! 🙂

  8. Teresa Boardman

    March 19, 2008 at 3:30 am

    Thanks so much for the compliment. Now you need to get the “h” out of my name. 🙂

  9. Mike Farmer

    March 19, 2008 at 5:09 am

    Dang, I didn’t make the list. Oh well, I have something to strive for. When you’re 976 you try harder.

  10. Blue Ridge Cabin Rentals

    March 19, 2008 at 5:10 am

    I think the current economy and situation of housing crisis allows us all to look for blame and I know I have added alot of political comments on blogs. Thanks for the kick in the pants to remind us of whats really important.

  11. Bill Lublin

    March 19, 2008 at 6:13 am

    Matthew I don’t see a paradox – When I was taught math they told me that two negatives make a positive – And this post is certainly that – As a newer participant in this venue thanks for pointing me to some of the places you think have value –

    Blue Ridge; To right that when things are hard we can too wasily fall into the “blame game” even though that only makes it harder to stay positive – but if you guys wil take it from someone who has seen a few recessions from the street – the survivors come through the trial tempered and with additional strength-

  12. Bill Lublin

    March 19, 2008 at 6:17 am

    So I just learned that the danger of typing and submitting without proffing is that you might appear incomprehensible –
    My first goof in the comment above was that it might not indicate how positive I felt Matthew’s post was – So I really wanted to clear that up – I thought the post was great –

    The second error was that “we can too wasily (easily) fall into the blame game” –
    Hope y’all will forgive me for an error that I think is wasily made! 🙂

  13. Matthew Rathbun

    March 19, 2008 at 6:19 am

    Russell, I’m sorry… You don’t agree that you’re a good writer? 🙂

    Teresa… well, if you’d spell it like I expect you to, then I wouldn’t have this issue! That’s what I get for putting you at the top of the list – you prima-donna

    Mike that’s ok, I wouldn’t make my own list!

  14. Mike Farmer

    March 19, 2008 at 6:52 am

    “Mike that’s ok, I wouldn’t make my own list!”

    Unfortunately, I have to read my own stuff.

  15. Cyndee Haydon

    March 19, 2008 at 7:42 am

    Matt – great list and I have to agree – I find I don’t even visit the sites that attack others – like others said we all make mistakes however why demean the person in the process. Enjoying you on twitter too!

  16. Matthew Rathbun

    March 19, 2008 at 7:51 am

    Bill – I knew what you were saying… But, I’ll admit that had to Wikipedia “wasily” 🙂

  17. Jay Thompson

    March 19, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Well thanks for the inclusion in that lofty list of names. What an honor!

    “Shock jock” writing (and attitude) “works” for getting traffic. Look how rich Howard Stern is. But there is a lot more to life than traffic, comments, links, whatever.

    Great post Matthew!

  18. Dru Bloomfield

    March 23, 2008 at 6:11 am

    Matthew, I didn’t “discover” you, until I dipped my toe into Twitter, and now reading this post, I see I’ve been missing a lot. I appreciate your perspective.

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