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I wish more real estate bloggers would use Twitter

From the Editor: published in the earliest days of Twitter, this column is one of the very first written for real estate about Twitter for business – when written, if you weren’t at SXSW, you probably hadn’t heard of Twitter. So when it’s called the “new thing,” know that there are many of us out there who don’t see it as new, rather another business tool.





I admit it. I am into the whole social media thing.

Facebook? Check.

LinkedIn? Check.

Twitter? Check.

I am a self-professed information junkie, so I find these sites fascinting. I have also found that they are a great way for me to stay in contact not only with my clients, but with other bloggers out there. I have met plenty of new bloggers and made some great contacts by using Facebook and LinkedIn. Twitter seems to be lacking a significant real estate voice, however. Sure, some of my favorite real estate bloggers have Twitter profiles (Greg, Joel, & Jim among them). The problem is, they don’t update them much, if ever. I think this is a real shame.

The bleeding edge

I started using Twitter a few weeks ago. I admit that I came in with a built-in bias against Twitter. To be honest, I find the stated purpose of Twitter (i.e. “What are you doing?”) pretty lame. I don’t think there are a lot of people out there who really care what I am doing at any given moment. I decided that I would try to follow 5 rules when writing my tweets. I didn’t want things to get boring.

In true Web 2.0-spirit, people have taken Twitter and turned into more than just countless status updates of millions of random people. It is truly a great place to find out what has captured people’s attention. All you have to do is seek out people who you find interesting and follow their tweets. It is a great way to stay on the bleeding edge of news and information.

Twitter has also established itself as a premier micro-blogging platform. It has been great for me because I can post links on Twitter that I find interesting, but that I don’t really have the time or inclination to use an entire blog post to discuss. There are plenty of other notable bloggers out there who are doing the very same thing. Sometimes following the tweets of others has inspired blog posts of my own. At the very least, Twitter has become a platform from which to launch discoveries into all sorts of things that I might have otherwise missed.

Real estate bloggers could benefit tremendously from using Twitter.

The micro-blogging aspect of Twitter could be very valuable to people like real estate bloggers, who I am sure have all kinds of great ideas, but not always the time to write about them. Let’s say that I read a great story about mortgage fraud, but I just don’t have the time to devote a full post to it. I can post the link on Twitter, and perhaps someone else who is following me will follow the link and write a post of their own. Even if that doesn’t happen, because bloggers tend to be more plugged-in to what is happening in the industry, Twitter would help everyone stay on top of the industry by offering instantaneous communication and dissemination of information. In a way, Twitter is a living uber-wiki.

The real estate bloggers that I know are all very smart and creative people. Twitter offers a convenient and efficient way to get their message out to not only the rest of the blogosphere, but also to the public as well. I am also confident that real estate bloggers could also come up with alternative uses for Twitter that would benefit us all, bloggers, clients and customers alike.

So, real estate bloggers, if you are reading this, head on over to Twitter and get going– the needs you!

I'm a REALTOR, basketball referee, happy husband, and Community Manager (in no particular order). I have a passion for the real estate industry and officiating, a passion that I try to turn into inspiration on my blog, The Real Estate Zebra. I am also the Community Manager at Inman News. When I'm not blogging here on AG or the Zebra, you can usually find me on Twitter.

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  1. Benn Rosales

    October 12, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    Okay, you make a great case for twitter, but the problem is, I am having problems with being in all places at all times- every 2.0 idea seems to be the end all be all of the known universe! How in the hell are we supposed to know what is and isn’t worth the effort?! Seriously man, ‘uber’ is insanity!

  2. Daniel Rothamel

    October 12, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    Twitter is one of those things that requires very little effort. Like I said, one reason that I like it is that it requires less effort than blogging. I can do either, depending on how involved I want to be.

    By “uber-wiki” I meant that it is superior to your average wiki in that the information is constantly changing on an instantaneous basis. Of course the fact that it isn’t static can be a drawback as well, in that you don’t really have an archive of the information.

    While I don’t think that any of the 2.0 platforms has all the answers, I do think that they can be integrated into a pretty manageable and cool solution. There is a tremendous opportunity for someone to come up with a simple way to integrate all of these things. With Google’s acquisition of Jaiku, and its Orkut social-networking site, it appears as if they might be heading in that direction.

    This year was big for social media sites, and the next few months and years should prove to be even more exciting.

  3. Andy Kaufman

    October 12, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    Great post Daniel,

    Twitter is really something that you just need to take the plunge and participate in to fully appreciate.

    I know that we’re inundated with new services left and right, but microblogging is proving to be a rich communication channel where conversations are taking place and relationships are being forged 140 characters at a time.

    In case you’re on the fence and need another nudge, heres another post that I recently came across that may help

    Confessions of a Twitter Convert-

  4. Jay Thompson

    October 12, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    I have a Twitter account. I’ve twitted (tweated?) a total of one time.

    But I’ll jump in there this weekend, time permitting, and give it another shot…

  5. Jim Cronin

    October 13, 2007 at 2:59 am

    Disclaimer: from treo… being brief.
    I’m kind of creeped out by twitter, after trying it for a few days.
    I really, really no longer have the time to blast messages that 3 people care to follow…
    Nonetheless…I recognize the potential value of leveraging social media for mindshare.

  6. Chris LaBarbera

    October 13, 2007 at 10:30 am

    You just motivated me to sign up. sww you on twitter.

  7. Chris LaBarbera

    October 13, 2007 at 10:31 am

    I totally mispelled my last comment. See you on Twitter. thanks for the Info about the site.

  8. Daniel Rothamel

    October 13, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Chris & Jay,

    I’ll be following. . .


    Excellent points. I’ll continue to follow. . .

  9. Aria Schoenfelt

    March 20, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Although I signed up for Facebook in it’s early days while I was still in college, I didn’t embrace it until a year or two ago. I don’t want to be left behind with Twitter! Just play with it, you’ll find a format that works for you. Click on my link if you’d like to find me on Twitter.

  10. Jim Gatos

    June 14, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    I’m on twitter but I don’t know what to do with it…

    Kinda feels like I got “assimilated” by “The Borg”…

    and my resistance is futile…

  11. Upstart Agent

    August 8, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    I wish more real estate bloggers used entrecard!

    I don’t know why but I just can’t get into Twitter. It seems so time consuming to me…I suppose it could be worthwhile, but I’m not someone who feels the need to constantly tell people what I’m doing and see what they are doing.

    I am sure I might be missing out on some social networking opportunities that way, it definitely seems like a great way to get a following…

    Hmmm…maybe one of these days 🙂

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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.



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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Social Media

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.



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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Social Media

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.



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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