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When in Doubt, Make it More Difficult to Participate

RSS – Really Stupid Syndication

Over the past couple of days I’ve watched the count for Trulia Voices articles in my Google Reader rise. And rise. And rise. I hadn’t thought much of it … didn’t have time to deal with it, at least until tonight. And that’s when I discovered that the RSS feed I’ve used since Voices started has been infected by Trulia’s blogging platform.

When I deigned to participate (and my mood shifts based on whether Deborah Madey tells me she found another client through Trulia), I had found the easiest way was to work through a specific RSS feed. In my case, it was Trulia Voices questions about Arizona.

In a particularly adventurous mood, I even added a second RSS feed for the Home Buying category with the hope that I could find some general questions where I could share my brilliance or at least battle my latest bout of writers’ block with some new subject matter.

I suppose I still can do that, but only if I’m willing to wade through the muck. Please don’t misunderstand – from a blogging perspective, I can see the value being added in saying that Fountain Hills is the hidden jewel of the Valley or telling me how to find a good deal in this community or where to eat in another.

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I just don’t want to see that in my RSS feed for Trulia Voices. The real Voices platforms. Questions and lord willing legal and non COE-violating answers. And assuming there’s a member of the public at large who is watching the action in a similar manner, I’m sure they’re less than thrilled with commercial interruption.

You can argue that I’m not the target audience. (Boy do I love that phrase. And boy do I wonder whose target audience I’m really in.) But given the strides Trulia has taken in trying to get agents to participate in Voices, it seems that this change is a case of shooting oneself in your big, floppy foot.

Written By

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.



  1. Artur | Phoenix Real Estate

    October 4, 2008 at 7:26 am

    My RSS reader was flooded as well and “by by” went the RSS feeds from Trulia because that is exactly what it was “muck.”

  2. Teresa Boardman

    October 4, 2008 at 7:44 am

    Jonathan I lie awake at night wondering who’s target audience you are in. Nice post. I turned off my Trulia feed. Too much to read.

  3. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    October 4, 2008 at 11:02 am

    I think at Trulia, it’s well intentioned, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, any system that rewards quantity over quality (despite the higher traffic as a result of people spreading their “seed” all over the site) will always produce less quality. Every company has to make the choice between quality and quantity and once they do, it’s hard to switch despite the ramifications on their traffic good or bad.

  4. Rudy from Trulia

    October 4, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Hi JD!

    Really Smart Syndication: Choice

    We did add RSS for blogs but existing users like yourself who were subscribed to just Q&A should not have had there RSS impacted by the change – e.g. both Q&A and Blogs

    Now we have three types of RSS feeds:

    • Q&A
    • Blogs
    • Blogs & Q&A

    We’re working on the fix…..

    Social Media Guru at Trulia

  5. Tony Sena

    October 5, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    One of my colleagues was saying the same thing the other day when I asked him why he is still using Trulia?

  6. Bill Lublin

    October 6, 2008 at 1:54 am

    Jonathan – You’re my target audience – the rough part of that is the distance between us!

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