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I Don’t Care About You

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What??

Did he just say that? Does he mean that? Or is he simply using a provocative headline to attract readers, first of all, and to set the mood for the post, the subtle shading and shaping that takes place to elicit specific feelings and the desired response from the audience.

The answer, naturally, is both. Earlier this week I read with interest as someone said a certain post had been written to elicit a certain reaction from the readership. My first thought? No kidding.

Did Hemingway not try to elicit a reaction, to create a mood, with readers of the Old Man and the Sea? Is the Mona Lisa debated ad nauseum accidentally or because da Vinci painted specific elements to cause a great debate that has lasted for centuries?

A blog post may not be a great novel nor an artistic masterpiece but it is art all the same. Well, unless it’s a featured post on Active Rain. (And yes, dear readers, that was gratuitous. Guilty as charged.)

Blogging Inversely Proportional to Work Load

Now to the larger point, for the few who happened to have noticed the silence coming from the Northwest Valley of the Sun. Last week was spent enjoying views such as the one above … the gentle sound of the surf, the splendor of the sun setting into the water (or at least the misty murk hovering above the water), the utter agony of Legoland. Six days with limited e-mail, occasional cell phone service, and very little concern about either situation.

This was in contrast to the sheer panic six weeks ago at the notion of spending nearly a week away from the business, no matter how much a break was needed by my wife, my kids and by me. The market didn’t much care that we needed time away.

In that respect, nothing changed. The market still doesn’t care whether I needed time off. But months of effort including – get this – prospecting via blogging and other Internet channels – led to six transactions in a span of six weeks, including the aforementioned week on the beach.

So now we’re entering July and I’m 40% ahead of plan in sales … and I’m nowhere close to satisfied.

A Child’s View of the World

On the History of Howard Stern broadcast on Sirius satellite, Stern said that when he pulled an 8 share in DC once upon a time he was disappointed. Why? How dare anyone listen to any other share. It should be a 100 share. It was, he said, “a child’s view of the world” but it was his.

It’s also mine to some degree, for better or worse.

And that desire to continually increase my own market share, to not only meet the stretch goals I set for myself but blow them away (not only this year, but next year, and the next, and the next …) has caused me to rethink how my time was spent not so long ago.

Twitter? Not so much …

I could be missing an opportunity. Maybe once the kids are back in school and I have more time to watch Twhirl twirl I’ll get back on. I miss some of the conversations but the conversations weren’t necessarily helping me toward my goals.

Facebook? LinkedIn? I need to get back to the latter and decide once and for all what to do for the former. But until I develop a coherent business strategy with concrete results … sorry.

And my rants?

Well …

Too Busy to Care

I’ve spent far too much time this year worrying about real estate’s snake oil salesmen who don’t sell but will tell you what you need to do to sell, endless cycles of circular arguments, the extreme use of Latin rather than Yiddish or the Fair Housing violation breeding ground that is Trulia Voices.

Do what you will. I don’t care.

Active Rain? Cheap shot aside, the introduction of outside blogs doesn’t mean a great deal to me. Post your content to four different blogs at once. Have a good time. And before I forget, “Great Post!”

Oh. And I don’t care.

Want to hear what’s been more productive? FIFA 2008 for the Playstation 2. Six minute halves and endless frustration trying to learn how to play after the relative ease that was FIFA 2004. Why 6 minutes? Because I can work away any accumulated stress in less than a quarter hour, or roughly two-thirds the time it takes for me to pound out a well-considered rant here on AG or my own blog.

It’s like seven-minute abs, but it’s six! (Bingo, man! And we DON’T guarantee the workout. And we don’t care!)

You can scoff at the thought of a soon-to-be 39-year-old (birthday’s Monday, shop now and beat the crowd … a Wii Fit would be most welcome) spending any time at all playing on the Playstation during business hours. But what I’ve found is sometimes a break can be productive.

Including an extended break from one of my favorite blogs.

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.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Barry Cunningham

    July 3, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Madden 2008 Rules and NCAA 2008 is even better. That’s my secret too..you’re not alone. A good game of Fult-tilt poker works too!

  2. Frank Jewett

    July 3, 2008 at 10:09 am

    While you were standing in line at Legoland (picturing Charleton Heston discovering that legos are made from the cadavers of sunbaked park visitors – “Legos are… PEOPLE!”), Kelley Koehler issued a challenge to . I thought it was a great suggestion.

  3. Jonathan Dalton

    July 3, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Barry – so does WSOP for the PS2.

    Frank – Writing without “i” isn’t nearly as challenging as writing without “e” so I’ll wait for that challenge to be issued.

  4. Danilo Bogdanovic

    July 3, 2008 at 10:48 am

    On the way to show my wife this post so I can justify buying a Wii or PS2…

  5. Dan Green

    July 3, 2008 at 10:59 am

    You’re dreaming of Gorgonzola and it’s Brie Time, Jonathan.

  6. Matthew Rathbun

    July 3, 2008 at 11:00 am

    “I’ve spent far too much time this year worrying about real estate’s snake oil salesmen who don’t sell but will tell you what you need to do to sell, endless cycles of circular arguments, the extreme use of Latin rather than Yiddish or the Fair Housing violation breeding ground that is Trulia Voices.”

    I was JUST writing an article about this issue… Agents are spending too much time trying to argue issues on blogs that have already been argued. Personally if someone has already made the points, I am just moving on.

    As for the rest. The social media stuff has been my stress release for the past 8 months are so, but I am finding that breaks are better. Replaying Gears of War and Swat4 have been helpful 🙂

  7. Jay Thompson

    July 3, 2008 at 11:03 am

    One word: Guitar Hero III on Xbox

    Ok, so that’s 5 words. Or 4. Is “III” a word?

  8. Matthew Rathbun

    July 3, 2008 at 11:08 am

    My father in law just bought guitar hero for the nintendo DS. YOu can’t believe how addicting that is. It’s not as fun as Rock Band with the Drum kit, but it’s pretty cool.

  9. Jay Thompson

    July 3, 2008 at 11:12 am

    “You can’t believe how addicting that is.”

    I bet I can. 😉

  10. Frank Jewett

    July 3, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Frank – Writing without “i” isn’t nearly as challenging as writing without “e” so I’ll wait for that challenge to be issued.

    You can do it if you try, Jonathan. 🙂

  11. Larry Yatkowsky

    July 3, 2008 at 11:25 am

    I just go sailing. No phone, no electronics, no gps, no nuttin except the wind, water and a nice crock of grape juice. That’s when I really don’t care about you. .>)

  12. Jonathan Dalton

    July 3, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Sailing’s a little different there than here, Larry. Lake Pleasant’s nice and all but it’s still 113 degrees in the shade when you’re on the water.

    I need Guitar Hero but then I’d never get the kids off the PS2. Already amazed at how quickly the Wii became passe. Guess it’s because it involves actual motion.

    Frank – I could if I tried but here’s the thing. I get paid by the Associated Press and newspapers around the country to write objectively about sporting events. Could my own blog benefit from a little less I? Possibly. It’s the style of last resort there but after 1,500 posts the well starts to run dry.

    As for what I write here … this is where my writing’s therapeutic. This is where I write about what is on my mind, what I’m going through not because I really believe anyone cares (and I don’t care that they don’t care) but because I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in these feelings, these worries, these concerns and yes, these wonderful moments that come from selling real estate.

    Twitter’s main attraction was discovering there were many, many agents dealing with the same kind of frustrations I was. But then I realized I needed to get away from that because I needed to believe the business could be better than it often seemed. And business picked up once I weened myself off of Twitter … and not just because I was spending time elsewhere because it never was that large a part of my day.

    It’s not worth taking I out of my posts, especially a post like this, because it’s the I that allows many to connect on an emotional level to what’s being said. It’s the difference between reading about Benjamin Franklin in an encyclopedia or reading Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.

  13. Frank Jewett

    July 3, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Jonathan, the follow up was a joke, not a single “e” in it.

  14. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    July 3, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Jonathan, I relate to this very deeply… when I had a health scare this year, lost my little brother last year, when I spend time at Mass, charity events, playing with the kids, etc, nothing inside this computer matters to me.

    That said, if any of you called me today with a crisis, it would become my own, so in that sense I care, but do I care what’s up on the feed reader while LIFE is happening? Nope.

    I need a Wii though…..

  15. Tom at the Real Estate Bloggers

    July 3, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Jonathan

    I love to see the expression on my kids face when the come into my office and see me playing 1942 Battlefield. Of course my wife’s expression is less than thrilled.

    But when a 12 hour workday is commonplace, taking these mental health breaks is what keeps me going. So kudo’s to you, and best of luck with kicking round balls into twine.

  16. Jonathan Dalton

    July 3, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Frank – the lesson, as always, is I’m an idiot. 🙂

  17. Paula Henry

    July 3, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    Anyway you can destress in this business is good and welcomed. Glad you enjoyed your break. Welcome back!

  18. Norm Fisher

    July 3, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    “It should be a 100 share.”

    Hey! Isn’t that anti-competitive? 🙂

    Larry,

    It’s frightening to think of you sailing around the Pacific with a “nice crock of grape juice” and no telephone. Be careful out there.

  19. Larry Yatkowsky

    July 3, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Through all of the deep thought in your post and comments I missed the last sentance about the birthday and gift. Duh!

    HAPPY 39th BIRTHDAY JONATHAN! Have no idea how to say that in Yiddish

    Pls note: no prezzies for non caring old buzzards. .>)

    #18
    @ Norm,

    Phone messes up the compass. Not that it matters I don’t have a plan or destination. One of the benefits of grape juice. .>)

  20. Kris Berg

    July 4, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Dude, you can write!

    Happy Birthday, you old dawg.

  21. Jonathan Dalton

    July 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Don’t know about Yiddish, Larry … Hebrew’s something like yom haleded sameach.

    And thanks!

    And Kris, I still can’t write even a quarter as well as you can. Just sickening. 🙂

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Social Media

Facebook beta features fresh friendly facade you can try out

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook is trying to change it’s image, literally. They already changed their logo, now is time for a new design you can see in the beta.

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facebook beta

After sixteen years in the game, Facebook is getting a facelift. Facebook has been working on a redesign for quite some time and they’re finally starting to roll out a beta. Facebook is taking the rollout slow, so it looks like just a few users are seeing the redesign and the rest of us will have to wait. Want to be among the first to test out the new look? Here’s how you can, maybe, make it happen.

If you are one of the lucky few who has been selected to beta test, then getting the new design should be simple. When you log into your account (as if you ever log out) a pop up will prompt you to try out the new beta. If this doesn’t happen, and you’re still feeling optimistic, then turn your eye to the upper right-hand corner of your screen and look for a button labeled “See Facebook Beta.” Still no button, but want to keep the hope alive? Click the drop-down arrow in the right-hand corner of your screen and see if the Facebook Beta option appears in the dropdown. Nothing yet? Tough luck, kid. You have not been chosen.

If the new design is available to you, then Facebook will offer to give you a tour of the new system. The fresh UI aims to simplify the user experience by making the page less cluttered and easier to navigate. Icons will be sleeker and brighter and it should be easier than ever to access your Messenger conversations. And if you decide that you kind of hate the new design, no big deal. Users will have the option to switch back to the classic design, at least while the redesign is still in beta.

Platform redesigns are always a contentious topic of conversation for users. Twitter, in particular, has seen some user drama over its redesigns through the years. Sometimes a redesign will knock out your favorite feature or make a shortcut you used to take in a workflow pointless. And, honestly, sometimes people just don’t like change. Whatever side of the coin you’re on, let us know how you feel about Facebook’s new look.

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Google takes a shot at competing with TikTok, Pinterest videos

(SOCIAL MEDIA) We all love to sit and watch short videos, be they humorous, reactionary, or weird, but here is Googles attempt to get educational with Tangi.

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Tangi screenshot

It’s happened to anyone who’s ever been looking online for how-to help… you click on a likely-sounding YouTube video, only to be greeted by an ad you can’t skip, a whole lot of introductory chit-chat, and three minutes of build-up before you finally see exactly what you need to do to handle your would-be DIY hack.

But what if you could get your answer in 60 seconds or less? It’s the concept behind Tangi, a newly released Google app created in the company’s Area 120 incubator by developer Coco Mao.

Variously described as short-form YouTube, video Pinterest, or TikTok for makers, Tangi was inspired by Mao discovering that her “smartphone challenged” parents were using their devices to watch photography and painting tutorials—and developing new hobbies as a result.

She came back to Google and worked with her team to develop Tangi as a place where such how-to inspiration could be more easily found and taken advantage of. “The name is inspired by the words TeAch aNd Give,” she explained as she introduced the app at the end of January. “’Tangible’—things you can make.”

The philosophy behind Tangi means this is hands-on how-to for the crafty club. The time-lapse heavy videos “could quickly get a point across,” Mao said, “something that used to take a long time to learn with just text and images.”

Videos fall into categories of art, cooking, DIY, fashion and beauty, and lifestyle, and are often accompanied by links to recipes or the maker’s blog or Instagram for more information. Some makers don’t quite have the format down pat yet, but most manage to provide a good balance of visual inspiration and a little more information.

And like Pinterest, Tangi can turn into a time-lapsing rabbit hole of its own. I started with a mere 10-second clip on propagating succulents (I’ve been doing it wrong), which led to a minute on “when succulents stretch” (“etiolation” — new vocabulary word!), which led to a succulent cake which led to a conversation heart cake and before I knew it, 20 minutes had gone by and I was watching an exploding heart science Valentine and had washed up at “Yoda one for me.”

While the app has only been out for about a week … and is only available on iOS and the web … it’s already well populated with content from makers and lifestyle bloggers who partnered with Mao’s team during the development process. And though it’s still in closed-beta mode for content creators, users can apply to be on a waitlist to be invited to upload their own work.

There are a few question marks still. No word on when it will be available on Google’s own Android platform, for one thing. While a couple of intrepid contributors are reviewing education apps and dispensing startup advice, its philosophy as stated by team lead Mao may not extend much more beyond the maker and creative fields to include technology and workplace input. And Google doesn’t always support its apps for long.

But it’s fun, simple, and easy on the eyes. As a place to find quick inspiration and direction, Tangi could carve out a niche.

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New Reddit policy on impersonation mimics other social media giants

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Reddit is the latest social media company to change their policy to protect against deepfake impersonation, because of the harm they can cause.

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impersonation with deepfakes

Reddit is the latest social media company making updates to their rules and policies ahead of the 2020 election. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, and now Reddit are all trying to make the social internet a safer place to receive information.

Reddit’s new policy officially bans impersonation with the goal of handling “bad actors who are trying to manipulate Reddit, particularly are issues of great public significance, like elections.”

Deepfakes have become a key topic of conversation the last few years. In the wake of the mass spreading of misinformation during the 2016 presidential election, users have grown wearier than ever of the information they see online. Deepfakes are no longer a niche subject, but an everyday pain point that technology companies are scrambling to control.

In a statement made on r/redditsecurity, Reddit informed users of the change to website policy stating, “Reddit does not allow content that impersonates individuals or entities in a misleading or deceptive manner. This not only includes using a Reddit account to impersonate someone, but also encompasses things such as domains that mimic others, as well as deepfakes or other manipulated content presented to mislead, or falsely attributed to an individual or entity.”

The platform isn’t trying to make a mass change to it’s often humor driven culture. Parody and satire are still allowed forms of impersonation so long as the joke is obvious. Reddit has vowed to always take context into account when looking at cases of user impersonation.

It’s a good sign for society when popular social platforms start taking their role in controlling the spread of false information seriously. Companies like Reddit are in a position to create real change in the way we spread and consume information about major global events.

What’s unclear is how much man power these companies are putting behind their policies. Reddit ends their statement by pointing users to a report form that users can submit if they or someone else is the victim of impersonation. The question users should be asking is how long would it take to get a response or see action on these reports?

Policy changes are great, but if companies are simply throwing them onto their fine print with no resources behind enforcement then it’s not social change, it’s just legal jargon to protect their ass.

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