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Stik To…Branch Out And Everything In Between

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Rant or wisdom

Everyday it seems some new app or new site is popping up with a request to endorse or recommend someone. And being the good, little, proactive Realtors we are,(I am)we rush over to join or see what all the buzz is.

After a while it becomes annoying to our friends and past clients.

Hey I love entrepreneur’s, it’s not them or the application in and of itself…we need more entrepreneurs to bring jobs to America and many of the apps are really cool.

My issue is with the “latest and greatest next new thing”… being asked by people I don’t know to recommend them.Not just people you meet in your social sphere, but how many times can you ask your past clients to recommend you? How many different sites can you send the those past clients to?

It’s probably me, but I just can never ask other people in my sphere to recommend me.  Obviously others don’t feel that way. Yes, I am always thrilled to get a recommendation when it comes from the heart and is unsolicited.

Your sphere

Who is your sphere? Well in many cases it is folks we have met online, via blogging or social media. We’ve read their blogs, maybe commented a time or two on them and then voila…we get a request to recommend them or endorse them.

I don’t know you

Do we really know someone we have met in the online world enough to put our name on a recommendation for them? Just because you can write great posts, doesn’t make you are great Realtor. Just because you spend hours on Twitter, doesn’t make you a great Realtor.

Local

Should we recommend agents in our local area? Personally, I say no and haven’t done that even on Linkedin which is the oldest recommending site. At least on LinkedIn we can tell in what capacity we know them. I will recommend local lenders and others I know but not other local Realtors. If they do a good job, I love to recommend people and endorse them.

So who should you recommend?

I prefer to recommend people I have met, know personally or have done business with. After all if we haven’t transacted business with them how do we know if they are good at selling Real Estate? I believe it is important when we put our name behind any recommendation that we know them and not just through their social media updates.

As service providers, we are asked frequently for a plumber, inspector, electrician. I had a situation this past summer where a potential seller asked me for some recommendations for a painter. I sent them three. But, I had not had my house painted in a long time that we haven’t done it ourselves so I got recommendations from other agents and past clients.  It was a disaster as the potential seller had a language barrier and none of the painters showed up. Not good.I felt terrible.

People take those recommendations and endorsements to heart and it builds trust with us. If it turns out not a good experience, it is a black mark on us.

Guilt

When you see a recommendation pop up on your Facebook wall, or a friend asks you for a recommendation how do you feel? Of course, I am happy they thought enough of me to endorse me or recommend me. But, I feel guilty when I just can’t return the favor or respond to their request.

  • Am I the only one?
  • How do you feel?
  • How many times  can you send your past clients to all the sites popping up?

***This post was not directed at anyone or one app in particular,it is just the discussion I am after.***

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. BawldGuy

    February 15, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Hey Missy — With the exception of blogs and some websites, social media in general is — about 80% anyway — something to be gamed. The other 20%? What everyone including their creators promote it to be. There are certainly exceptions to the rule, but imho, all of ’em are decent broadcasters of links and announcements, and not much else.

    For me, a double threat as both a MarketingTard AND a TechTard, the real value is having met some folks with whom I’ve eventually become very friendly. I’ve made some long term business connections too, but again, that falls into the 20%. Social media is merely another tree in the marketing forest.

    Make any sense?

  2. Jeff Belonger

    February 17, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Missy… I am going to agree with Jeff Brown above…. I think he is pretty much spot on in his statements and it makes sense. It goes back to your whole post and how everyone wants recommendations because they read you online, think you are great, etc, etc.. but as you pointed out, how do you know they are that good.. and as Jeff mentioned, so many are just great broadcasters of links and announcements. I love that line.. and I am tired of getting the “stik” recommendationg thingy on FB.. lol Seriously, good post and so much truth to who you know and who you think you know, when so many of the connections are made from online. And Jeff’s comment about social media is merely another tree in the marketing forest.. love this statement also. So many social media gurus out there. lol . thanks

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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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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.

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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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