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REALLY!?! (Or Why I Attend Local Tech Events)

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Today I attended a local tech event sponsored by REALTOR.com.  I go to pretty much any local tech/marketing event I can go to even when I expect to learn very little.

For instance, today I learned that the brightness of a digital photo is directly related to the megapixels of the camera.  I thought the presenter spoke incorrectly, but when it was repeated a few more times, I realized I heard correctly.  I’m kind of a decent photographer, have studied the mechanics of cameras and have received underwater photography training from a National Geographic photographer, so I thought brightness was a function of aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation and lighting, but apparently not.

The “class” very quickly turned into a sales pitch as many of these events tend to do.  One of my most recent favorite charts was thrown up explaining how vastly superior REALTOR.com was as a search web site.  Now I’ll admit, I didn’t read the numbers the last few times I saw this chart, but take a look:

6.68% of the total US real estate search market share.  Google has over 90% of search market share.  Less than 7% isn’t much.  If we combine Yahoo!, Zillow and Trulia (all free for basic listings last I checked), we get 7.77%, more than a percent more traffic than REALTOR.com.

So misinformation and propoganda, why do I go?

  • I am a public speaker.  I learn good and bad habits by watching other public speakers.
  • The room was FULL of people who were interested in using technology for their marketing.  They’re the few people I haven’t met.  The people I’ve worked with left halfway through from boredom.  So it was a great networking event.
  • I am the local expert. It makes me look like an expert when I’m able to answer the questions that come up from attending these events. If I attend also, it allows me to have all the answers before someone asks.

Do you force yourself to attend events even when you know you are more knowledgable than the presenter and if so, what are your reasons?

See you at REBarCamp Seattle, where I won’t be the smartest person in the room!

Nick runs a new media marketing consulting company helping real estate professionals learn how to implement new media tools into their marketing arsenal. He frequently gives presentations on generational marketing, green marketing and advanced online promotion. Nick is active on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Matthew Hardy

    February 12, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Interesting. Do you have any background in CRM or computer networking? Would like to know your thoughts on my last post (our site/blog).

  2. Keith Kreuer

    February 13, 2009 at 5:11 am

    From one instructor to another…Great article!

  3. Nick Bostic

    February 13, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    @Matthew – Yes and yes. I think your last post is spot on and hopefully proves to people that trying to sync traditional free apps isn’t that easy in order to (I assume) hopefully sell more of your service. For me though, I’m a sync’er because I’m a tree-huggin-hippie-in-a-suit and my computer goes into standby after about 5 minutes, so remote access doesn’t work. But I do have remote access to my NAS. As for the blog, I’m a little saddened that Chrome can’t find an RSS feed and I didn’t see a feed icon/link because I’d like to keep reading.

    @Keith – let me know when the site is up, I’d love to see what you’re doing.

  4. teresa boardman

    February 15, 2009 at 4:33 am

    Interesting about the camera thing. Who knew. I get frustrated, it is hard to sit still and it is hard to keep quiet at some of the events. I attend a lot of technology events but have been attending local events outside the real estate industry. I am learning how other businesses use the same tools that we do and am getting ideas. I hope that I can bring some new ideas into the real estate arena next time I speak.

  5. Vicki Moore

    February 16, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I try to go to everything within a reasonable distance. But I’ve definitely left early – in fact, at the last one I went to where they were explaining that you shouldn’t steal someone else’s content. Do people really need to be told that?

  6. Danilo Bogdanovic

    February 16, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    I’ve been in classess/presentations where I know as much or more than the presenter, but I still stick around. Why? Because there may be somethin later on in the presentation that I don’t know about and I don’t want to miss it.

    It’s foolish to assume that you know more ahead of time. The time you think you “already know that” may just be the time you don’t and you miss something that could make you more successful.

    I agree that NAR isn’t the best at hiring the best presenters and is big on sales pitches, but not every conference/convention is by NAR.

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Failure to launch: Quibi’s short-form platform is short-lived

(TECH NEWS) Despite receiving major funding from big players, Quibi is shutting down only 6 months after launch. What led to their downfall?

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A mobile phone open to Quibi in feminine hands with decorated nails.

Only 6 short months after launching its platform, Quibi has decided to pull the plug.

The mobile-only streaming service’s vision was to create short-form videos with higher production value than that of competitors like YouTube or TikTok. Having enlisted big names such as Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, Jennifer Lopez, and Lebron James, Quibi had high hopes for what the service could accomplish. In an open letter posted to Medium, founding company executives Jeffery Katzenberg and Meg Whitman cited timing and the idea of mobile-first premium storytelling not being strong enough as the primary reasons for shuttering.

“As entrepreneurs our instinct is to always pivot, to leave no stone unturned — especially when there is some cash runway left — but we feel that we’ve exhausted all our options.” The letter stated, “As a result we have reluctantly come to the difficult decision to wind down the business, return cash to our shareholders, and say goodbye to our colleagues with grace. We want you to know we did not give up on this idea without a fight.”

The move is somewhat surprising considering that back in March the service managed to raise an additional $750 million in funding, bringing its total fundraising to $1.75 billion. At the time, Quibi CFO Ambereen Toubassy had touted that the second-round of cash had provided the organization with “a strong cash runway,” that would give Quibi “the financial wherewithal to build content and technology that consumers embrace.”

Originally called “New TV”, the initial investors of the service included Hollywood titans Disney, NBCUniversal, and Sony Pictures Entertainment just to name a few. While the amount of money raised was minuscule compared to services like Netflix, it was still an impressive start for an untested idea.

The service did itself no favors, however, in trying to gain new subscribers. Along with being mobile-only, the service started at $4.99 per month for an ad-supported subscription, only slightly cheaper from more robust offerings like Hulu and ESPN+. While you could pay $7.99 per month to get rid of ads, you were also forbidden from taking screenshots, limiting the ability of content on the service to go viral.

Quibi was also financing content, meaning that ownership would revert back to creators after just a few short years. This means building a growing library of content owned by the service was an uphill battle from the start.

“This was flawed from the start, down to the idea of financing content and then giving it back to the creators after a few years.” Said a veteran producer who refused to work with the company, “There is anger in town right now, because it just makes it harder to raise money.”

Quibi is set to be inaccessible starting around the beginning of December, according to a post on the company’s support site. While much of the service’s content will not be missed, one still wonders what might have been had the company managed to gain some traction, or the COVID-19 pandemic had not come to pass. Either way, Quibi’s business partners may want to read up on some of these tips as they discuss where things should go from here.

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Tech News

Acorns launches job searching tool, but is that what job hunters need?

(TECH NEWS) When it comes to job searching, many people are able to find jobs online, it’s getting the interview where people need help.

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Woman doing a job search on laptop seated on floor

If you are currently job searching, you are likely going to sites like Indeed (250M unique visitors monthly) and LinkedIn (260M users monthly). You may also be checking out ZipRecruiter because they’ve advertised on every single podcast you’ve ever listened to. Just for fun, you might also be looking at jobs on Craigslist for your local area. This could have excited you or depressed you.

If you want an easy way to aggregate several job search sites, you may like the app Huntr that will pull in job postings (after you put in some preferences) from Glassdoor, Google, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, GitHub, the muse, Dice, Monster, Indeed, Angel.co, Dribbble, etc. so you have them all within one place.

Acorns has joined in on the job postings board by implementing a Job Finder within their app, in an effort to help people find work which makes sense if they want more people to save through their platform. “Acorns is an American financial technology and financial services company based in Irvine, California that specializes in micro-investing and robo-investing. As of 2019, Acorns had over 4.5 million users and over $1.2 billion in assets under management.”

The article from The Press that describes it tells consumers about adding in a Job Finder to help millions of people find jobs. But really, it’s great as a positive public relations initiative (and likely will drive more visits to ZipRecruiter postings) since it’s within their app. The gesture is nice but will it really help?

“Within a few taps, Acorns customers at every tier can find millions of full-time, part-time, and remote job opportunities, set job alerts, and explore custom career development content to support their financial wellness at no additional cost. By introducing Job Finder to its financial wellness system, Acorns is looking after the financial best interests of the up-and-coming and removing a main barrier to its customers achieving their money goals.”

Most people know where to find job postings. What they don’t know is why they aren’t hearing back from their applications or how to be invited for more interviews. It would be great if companies really wanted to help make an impact on unemployment by:

  • Offering career coaching services or references to candidates that do not fit what the hiring manager or HR person is looking for.
  • Giving people access to what key skills they need on their resume within the job posting (less vague and generic descriptions).
  • Within the automated rejection letters, including a referral or resources that will help them break through the clutter or introduce them to current employees or how to get to know the company better – in case there’s a position that is a better fit.
  • Ensuring that all job postings are for real jobs and real openings – it should be made clear to candidates if the job posting is for pipelining talent and/or not going to be offered to an external candidate.
  • Bringing back some humans in to the automated process. Yes, ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) are great for the employers and companies who are fielding hundreds of applicants. They are terrible for the 40 million currently unemployed. More about ATS here from Jobscan if you are curious. They are built to knock out candidates.
  • Considering hosting webinars, educational speakers, or events where candidates can get in front of you versus solely relying on online submissions.
  • Contemplating implementing an apprentice program so that less experienced applicants may gain knowledge and learn from more experienced workers – but you would also be getting fresh ideas and new talent for growth within your organization.

There are many caring people and organizations out there so it would be great to see some more assistance for job seekers versus just more places listing job postings or the same job boards but in different formats.

There also seems to be a mismatch in looking to hire someone based on what they have done in the past – when really, the best qualified candidate may have a different background and be looking to make a switch to continue to grow and learn. The perfect match of key words in a database to a resume are not always the best way to find the right fit.

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Tech News

Bet you forgot about them: Yahoo Groups is shutting down

(TECH NEWS) After over a year-long process, Yahoo is finally shutting down Yahoo Groups for good, marking the end of an internet era.

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Yahoo Groups is shutting down.

For a long while, most of us forgot that Yahoo Groups still existed in a very limited way, of course. But now, it’s going to be discontinued for good. Yahoo announced that the Yahoo Groups website will be shutting down on December 15, 2020.

The removal process of Yahoo Groups is one that began in October of last year. At that time, Yahoo decided to no longer allow new content to be uploaded to the Groups site. Features that allowed for sharing files and photos, creating polls, etc. were all removed. However, users could still view and download any existing content. On its website, a statement read, “Don’t worry, though, Yahoo Groups is not going away…” But, we all knew that was never going to be the case.

In December 2019, the Yahoo Customer Care Twitter account tweeted that content on the Groups site would no longer be available or viewable. Users had until the end of January to download their data before it would be permanently deleted. All public groups became private and would require administrator approval to join. Also, admins had limited access to other administration tools, but group members could, at least, still send messages to each other.

Earlier this month, the creation of new groups was disabled. And now, the end of Yahoo Groups is on the horizon. On its site, a pop-up message reads:

Announcement: End of Yahoo Groups
We’re shutting down the Yahoo Groups website on December 15, 2020 and members will no longer be able to send or receive emails from Yahoo Groups. Yahoo Mail features will continue to function as expected and there will be no changes to your Yahoo Mail account, emails, photos or other inbox content. There will also be no changes to other Yahoo properties or services. You can find more information about the Yahoo Groups shutdown and alternative service options on this help page.

Yahoo said, “Yahoo Groups has seen a steady decline in usage over the last several years.” As a result, this is why the company decided to shut it down. “While these decisions are never easy, we must sometimes make difficult decisions regarding products that no longer fit our long-term strategy as we hone our focus on other areas of the business,” Yahoo added.

What became of Yahoo Groups isn’t even a bare-bones version of what it was during its prime. And, frankly, I don’t think it will ever be resurrected. Sometimes all good things must come to an end.

But, if you are a former Groups user and want to stay connected with your groups, the Yahoo Groups’ help page, hopefully, has all your answers.

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