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Depeche Mode and the cool kids of social media- 1986 all over again



I have noticed a trend of late, that brings me back to 1984. I am a young teen in a small New England town and I have discovered punk, new wave and alternative music. I have fallen in love with this movement and have created a one woman punk rock support group in my little town. Focal to my music selection was Depeche Mode.

Most of my peers thought my appearance (spiked hair, steps, dyed rat tail, copious eyeliner, safety pin earrings and fishnets) was odd enough, but if they paused to ask what I was playing in my “Walkman” (yes the original cassette type) and stayed long enough to listen, they were convinced of my oddity. Almost no one liked Depeche Mode. This very Lynard Skynard crowd was not ready to progress, they didn’t want synthesizers and beat boxes, it was strange and new and foreign. I was there early, I was first and I felt very cool.

Fast forward to about 1986 or so and suddenly they are all sporting parachute pants, edgy haircuts and {GASP} listening to Depeche Mode. Well that was it for me. I was pissed.

Depeche Mode was MY music darnit and they had hated it. I had been a fan for years and they mocked me. These weren’t real fans; they couldn’t appreciate Depeche Mode properly and I was over it. I gave serious consideration to divorcing Depeche Mode…I was not like these new comers, I was cooler.

Luckily, I came to my senses and Depeche Mode and I remain close

Believe it or not, I have a real estate point to make in sharing this story about my musical past.

A few weeks ago many of my real estate friends and peers attended NAR. I couldn’t go, so I watched their online postings carefully to try to learn from them and see what I had missed.

Was I ever surprised to see that many of them came home feeling like I did when everyone else started listening to Depeche Mode. I saw messages that they think social media has been co-opted or is over and they are disappointed to the point of leaving the social media space. HUH?

Many of the people who were talking smack about social media were people who earn their living FROM social media.

Depeche Mode much?

Seriously, I smell sour grapes. The cool kids don’t get to be the “in the know” crowd if the normal vendors learn our voodoo and hawk their wares on the lanes of real estate conferences.

They want to be the only ones and if these other vendors show up speaking of social media then it must be quackery….snake oil, I tell you, snake oil. Even more amusing to me is the fact that they haven’t seen this coming. Social media is being embraced by everyone and is totally mainstream. Your mom is probably on Facebook and Depeche Mode is heard on muzak in the grocery store. Does that lower the “coolness” quotient? Perhaps, but it opens the doors to lots more exposure, too.

Now I agree with my fellow AG author, Herman Chan, when he gets upset with the vendors who are trying capitalize on non-tech agent’s naivete by putting the words social media into products and services that are not, in fact, social media. That IS crap. But to all the others that are just bent out of shape because social media has gone mainstream and is popular, I say you just don’t get it.

I was not at NAR, but I know one thing to be true in real estate marketing: you will do what works for you. If cold calling works, you will use it and you will prosper. For me, and many others, the thing that works is social media.

It isn’t snake oil if it works, folks.

I am a REALTOR who has seen success by utilizing social media tools and I say it is good for us that social media is going mainstream. This means our clients will better understand the power of what we are working on and the buyers will be more likely to find our efforts online.

Social media use is growing at an unbelievable pace and for the young home buyers of today social media is like oxygen, it has just always been there. This isn’t over folks, far from it and leaving the space because someone else found it, too, is just silly. Don’t let yourself be Depeche Mode-ed.

You see, Depeche Mode would not have had so many songs make it to the top of the charts if the mainstream public didn’t eventually embrace their music. The cool kids of social media should get over themselves a little bit and recognize that while we were the early adopters, we can’t own the internet any better than I could own Depeche Mode.

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  1. Ken Brand

    November 19, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    True, it’s not Snake Oil or Lame, it’s a tool. Like always, what matters is who you are and what you do with the tool. Turns out, we’re the Silver Bullet, always have been…of course some Silver Bullets are faster, sharper and shinier than others.

    Great points Leslie.

    • LesleyLambert

      November 20, 2010 at 1:36 pm

      I like the concept that we ourselves are the silver bullet.


    November 20, 2010 at 2:35 am

    SM can be a beautiful thing & productive tool when done right, as leslie clearly demonstrates. other times it can be a waste of time. And if someone wants to bail b/c others are “wedging” their way into the SM turf, well then that someone probably wasnt really a fan of SM to begin with. SM is indeed here to stay, but it ain’t for everyone. i’m just sayin’! 😉

  3. Rob McCance

    November 20, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    If SM can generate leads for you, go for it.

    If not, what’s the point?

    Realtors should concentrate their efforts on things that produce clients. I’m still waiting for a working Realtor or Broker to tell me how SM ever produced more than the random client here and there, if at all.

    And I mean SM directly, not SM as a vehicle to move a website up the rankings so the website captured the lead.

    • LesleyLambert

      November 20, 2010 at 1:38 pm

      I have had several sales this year directly tied to Twitter and Facebook alone. It does work for many of us, but not for all, certainly.

      • Rob McCance

        November 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm



        Perhaps you can help me then understand how. Let’s take the Twitter one.

        How did it go down?

        Someone was following your tweets and then became a client? If so, why were they following in the first place?

        This isn’t an interrogation or a challenge, I’m truly just trying to understand how this can/does happen. Perhaps many others would be interested in the exact mechanism as well.

        [maybe you could develop and market it to Realtors: “how to generate clients using Twitter”]



  4. Lisa Oden

    November 20, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Hey Leslie! I liked Depeche Mode back then, and still like them now. 🙂 I am loving Social Media for the opportunities it has opened for me. It has brought me client referrals, lots of knowledge, business relationships and some totally fabulous friends!
    If “mainstream” business picks up on it too, then fine. I like it because I like it and it works. I’m mature enough to share my toys, without picking them up and taking them home. 🙂

  5. Bob Wilson

    November 20, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    SM is a sphere of influence tool. It wont replace search for generating business with people you dont already know.

    The funny thing about this discussion is that those who believe SM is the end all usually suck at search or dont understand the laser-like targeting of PPC.

    • Rob McCance

      November 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm

      I’m not even trying to polarize this, I’m not trying to “win.”

      I really just want a SM fan/user to tell me exactly how they landed a client via SM. And preferably one that actually closed and generated a normal arms length commission.

      I can show you 23 closed for 2010 that came directly from search and PPC. I can track them all the way back to their original registration on my site and (probably – with some work) even tell you what KW they searched or which PPC ad they clicked on if it was not organic.

      I know a lot of people like SM for the “social” aspects and that’s fine. I enjoy that aspect as well. Mostly speaking about blogging.

      For me personally though, if a “lead generation” activity is not generating real leads, in quantity, I’m not doing it.


        November 20, 2010 at 7:11 pm

        hi rob
        the biggest examples for me are Facebook. ppl who i went to highschool and college with (who i have not talked to in literally 15-20 yrs!) said they were looking for a place, or their parents need to sell their property and they saw i sold real estate on FB. (prolly 5 in the past year or so. and yes all the deals closed and normal commission) it’s just an extension of my sphere, like bob said.
        i can’t give u an example of twitter (yet). it is much harder on that platform, indeed! but the twitter postings just re-enforce the brand/personality/website so hopefully it is helping me close deals by extension.

        from door knocking to tweeting, good luck to all!

        • Rob McCance

          November 20, 2010 at 10:13 pm

          I could see that one (Facebook) for sure.

        • Bob Wilson

          November 21, 2010 at 2:22 pm

          Hey Herman,

          I can see Facebook for that, but its basically sphere of influence follow up. I think what Rob and I are looking at it is how many transactions can people document from people they didnt already know?

          PPC and search is geared towards pulling in people you dont already know. Most SM doesnt do that in the same amount of time. For instance, if your market is 2nd homes, or an area where in migration relocation accounts for a decent % of the market, SM iusnt going to be as effective.

          For me the snake oil label applies to those who sell it based on the line that if you dont do this you will be out of business. That just isnt true.

          • Darin

            November 21, 2010 at 7:59 pm

            Rob and Bob – to me this isn’t a “prove how social media works!” That would be liking saying “prove to me PPC works” when you have a crappy landing page and don’t have your website lead conversion optimized.

            This is not an all or nothing thing. Social media is tactic, not a strategy. But PPC is the same, its a tactic, not a strategy.

            To me all this stuff blends together to develop your inbound marketing strategy, it is a part of your whole business development strategy.

            And keep in mind everything works, nothing doesn’t.


            November 25, 2010 at 1:31 am

            hola bob,
            i guess i don’t analyze it that much. i mean to me, be it from my sphere or stranger, a deal is a deal.

  6. Kelsey Teel

    November 20, 2010 at 8:28 pm


    Loved your article! It reminds me of when you had to have a college email address to sign up for a Facebook profile. I remember when my mom, aunt, long lost cousin, and even my grandma started to get profiles. Let’s just say the tone of my online voice  changed quite a bit. It felt like an invasion of my social life and the social platform Facebook provided. Everything had to be censored now because it wasn’t just my friends and peers seeing it, it was EVERYONE. A lot of my friends quit right then and there because they didn’t see a point in Facebooking anymore. I adjusted to the change and now I take advantage of the convenient form of communication. In fact, I’m glad everyone jumped on the facebook train. It’s a fabulous resource. 

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Social Media

BeReal: Youngsters are flocking in droves to this Instagram competitor app

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As Instagram loses steam due to its standards of “perfection posting,” users are drawn to a similar app with a different approach, BeReal.



social media - bereal app

BeReal is one of several “Real” apps exploding in growth with young users who crave real connections with people they know in real life.

According to, BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK, and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

BeReal flies in the face of what social media has become. Instead of curated looks that focus on the beautiful parts of life, BeReal users showcase what they’re doing at the moment and share those real photos with their friends. Their real friends.

It’s real. And real is different for a generation of social media users who have been raised on influencers and filters.

As the app says when you go to its page:

Be Real.

Your Friends

for Real.

Every day at a different time, BeReal users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes.

A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.

BeReal app

The app has seen monthly users increase by more than 315% according to Apptopia, which tracks and analyzes app performance.

“Push notifications are sent around the world simultaneously at different times each day,” the company said in a statement. “It’s a secret on how the time is chosen every day, it’s not random.”

The app allows no edits and no filters. They want users to show a “slice of their lives.”

Today’s social media users have seen their lives online inundated with ultra-curated social media. The pandemic led to more time spent online than ever. Social media became a way to escape. Reality was ugly. Social media was funny, pretty, and exciting.

And fake.

Enter BeReal where users are asked to share two moments of real life on a surprise schedule. New apps are fun often because they’re new. However, the huge growth in the use of BeReal by college-aged users points to something more than the new factor.

For the past several years, experts have warned that social media was dangerous to our mental health. The dopamine hits of likes and shares are based on photos and videos filled with second and third takes, lens changes, lighting improvements, and filters. Constant comparisons are the norm. And even though we know the world we present on our social pages isn’t exactly an honest portrayal of life, we can’t help but experience FOMO when we see our friends and followers and those we follow having the times of their lives, buying their new it thing, trying the new perfect product, playing in their Pinterest-worthy decorated spaces we wish we could have.

None of what we see is actually real on our apps. We delete our media that isn’t what we want to portray and try again from a different angle and shoot second and third and forth takes that make us look just a little better.

We spend hours flipping through videos on our For You walls and Instagram stories picked by algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves.

BeReal is the opposite of that. It’s simple, fast, and real. It’s community and fun, but it’s a moment instead of turning into the time-sink of our usual social media that, while fun, is also meant to ultimately sell stuff, including all our data.

It will be interesting to watch BeReal and see if it continues down its promised path and whether the growth continues. People are looking for something. Maybe reality is that answer.

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Social Media

Team of deaf engineers at Snap create feature to help users learn ASL

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Snapchat engineers known as the “Deafengers” have created an ASL Alphabet Lens to help users learn the basics of ASL.



Snap ASL feature

A team of Deaf and hard-of-hearing Snapchat engineers known as the “Deafengers” at the company have created an ASL Alphabet Lens to help users learn the basics of American Sign Language.

Using AR Technology, the Lens teaches users to fingerspell their names, practice the ASL Alphabet and play games to “put their new skills to the test.”

The Lens, launched last month, is the first of its kind and encourages users to learn American Sign Language.

In a press release Snapchat said, “For native signers, in a world where linguistic inequity is prevalent, we believe AR can help evolve the way we communicate. We look forward to learning more from our community as we strive to continuously improve experiences for everyone on Snapchat.”

Austin Vaday, one of the deaf engineers who helped develop the Lens said helping the world understand sign language is important. He shared his story with NBC correspondent Erin McLaughlin on TODAY after the Lens was released.

Vaday didn’t learn American Sign Language until he was 12. Before then he relied mostly on lip-reading to communicate. ASL changed his life. That life-changing moment helped inspire the ASL Alphabet Lens.

The ASL Alphabet Lens was designed and developed over six months in partnership with SignAll.

There are approximately 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States, according to the National Association of the Deaf.

Vaday said the ASL Alphabet Lens came from the desire to find a way to appropriately and properly educate people so they can communicate with those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Vaday said the team focused on the core values of intelligence, creativity, and empathy while working on the project and it’s a step to opening communication for all Snap users with the deaf and hard of hearing community.

The ASL Alphabet Lens is available to all Snapchat users.

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Social Media

Easily spot if your social media marketing service provider is a con artist

(BUSINESS) When hiring a professional marketing service, did you know there are actual questions you can ask to spot a con artist?




In this day and age the cult of positive thinking and “the law of attraction” are still very much alive and well in the business services industry. Here are a few simple questions that you can ask prospective business service providers to help you gauge if they are the real deal or just caught up in the fad of “say yes to everything,” or “outsource everything” being populated online by countless “thought leaders” and cult gurus. Classic con artist.

Lots of people will ask, “What’s the harm of people trying to make something of themselves?”

Well, I’m here to tell you there is huge harm in taking risks with a client’s money and manipulating people into trusting their “expertise” when they have none.

Business owners: Due diligence is more important than ever these days.

There are whole communities of people helping to prop each other up as experts in fields they know nothing about while outsourcing their tasks with little or no oversight into the actual work being done on your behalf.

It is nearly impossible for you to tell if this is even going on. Don’t worry. I am here to help you avoid a con artist.

How? By showing you how to weed out the bad actors by asking really simple questions.

This set of questions is perfect for people who need to distinguish if the expert they are talking to is really just an expert in bullshit with a likable personality.

Why do these questions work? Because people who are into this kind of stuff are rarely hesitant to talk about it when you ask them direct questions. They believe that what they are doing is a good thing and so they are more open to sharing this information with you because they think by you asking that you are also into similar things.

It is a fun little trick I picked up while learning to do consumer polling and political surveying.

The Questions:

    • Who influences you professionally?


    • Do you follow any “thought leaders” “gurus” or coaches? If so, who?


    • What “school” of thought do you ascribe to in your profession, and where do you learn what you know?


    • Are there any industry standards you do not agree with?


    • How do you apply the services you offer to your own company?


    • Can you please tell me the background of your support staff and can I see their CVs?


    • Do you outsource or white label any of the work your company does?


    • May we audit your process before buying your services?


    • May we discuss your proposed strategies with others in your industry to ensure quality?


    • Would you be open to speaking with an independent consultant that is knowledgeable about your industry about your proposals?


    • Can you show me examples of your past successful jobs?


    • Do you have any industry-accepted certifications and how many hours of study do you do in a year to keep your knowledge up-to-date and current?


    • How many clients have you had in the past?


    • How many clients do you have currently?


    • How many clients are you able to handle at one time?


    • How many other clients do you have that are in the same industry as my company?


    • How long is your onboarding process before we start getting down to actually making changes to help solve the issues my company is facing?


    • Can you explain to me the steps you will take to identify my company’s needs?


    • Have you ever taken a course in NLP or any other similar course of study?


    • Have you ever been a part of a Multi-Level Marketing company?

Fun. Right? Well, we aren’t done.

It is not just enough to ask these questions… you have to pay attention to the answers, as well as the WAY they are answering questions.

And you also have to RESEARCH the company after you get your answers to make sure they ring true.

You cannot keep accepting people at face value, not when the risk is to your business, employees, and clients. There is little to no risk for a person who is being dishonest about their capabilities and skillsets. They will walk away with your money, ready to go find another target for a chance meeting that seems amazingly perfect.

Do not leave your business decisions to chance encounters at networking events. Research before saying yes.

No matter how likable or appealing the person you are speaking with is.

How do you research? Easy. THE INTERNET. Look at the website of the company you are considering working with.

    • Does it look professional? (do not use your website as a standard for professionals unless you have had it done by a professional)


    • Can you see a list of their past clients?


    • Do they effectively tell their story as a company or are they just selling?


    • What do their social media profiles look like? Do they have many followers? Are they updated regularly?


    • Do they have any positive reviews on social sites? (Yelp, Facebook, Linkedin, etc)


You can also do some simple things like running SEO Website Checkers on their websites. There are tons of these online for free and they will give you a pretty good indicator of if they are using best practices on their websites – you can even do this research on their clients’ websites.

Also, if you know anything about SpyFu, you can run their website through that to see how they are doing their own online marketing (the same can be said for their clients if they are selling this service).

Facebook also has a cool section that shows you ads that a Page is running. You can find this info connected to their business Page as well as the Pages they manage for their clients as well. None of these things automatically disqualify a potential service provider, but their answers to the question of “why” things are the way there are might be very illuminating to you as a business owner.

This may seem like a lot of work, and it can be if you do not do these things regularly and have them down to a system, but the cost of not doing these things is way too high. A con artist is born every day, thanks to the internet.

You have a right as a business owner considering services from a vendor to ask these questions.

They also have the responsibility as a service provider to answer these questions in a professional manner. Sometimes the way in which they answer the questions is far more important than the actual answer.

If all of this seems too overwhelming for you to handle, that is okay.

    • You can ask one of your staff in your company to take on this role and responsibility.


    • You can hire someone to come in and help you with these decisions (and you can ask them all the same questions as above before taking their services).


    • You can reach out to other business owners in your network to see if they have recommendations for someone who could help you with things.


    • Heck, you can even call up companies that look like they are doing as well as you want to be doing online and ask them who they are using for their services. Try successful companies in other industries as your competitor won’t likely be interested in sharing their secrets with you…


What is important is that you are asking questions, researching, and ultimately making sure that you are doing as much as possible to ensure making the best decision for your company.

Final thoughts:

“But, Jay, what’s wrong with taking a risk on an up-and-comer?”

The answer to that is NOTHING. There is nothing wrong with taking a chance on someone. Someone being green doesn’t make them a con artist.

The issue I am raising is in the honest portrayal of businesses and their capabilities. It is about honesty.

I am a huge fan of working with people who are new and passionate about an industry. But I only work with people who are honest with me about who they are, what they can do, and how their processes work.

I have worked with tons of people who are still learning on the job. It can be quite educational for a business owner as well.

Just make sure they are being honest about everything upfront. You are not obligated to give anyone a chance when it comes to your business’s success, and it’s not right that someone might manipulate you into doing so.

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