WEB 2.0 vs. WEB 1.5 and Blogwars

“Web 2.0 can be defined as “the philosophy of mutually maximizing collective intelligence and added value for each participant by formalized and dynamic information sharing and creation.” Web 1.5 is where the information is conveyed differently by the industry practitioner, but the industry practitioner doesn’t understand that .5 of the “added value” comes from the commenter who disagrees with the post or adds more info than the post itself conveys.

Many of the blogwars going around, and not just the one involving Sellsius and BHB and 4Realz, are actually based on a growing separation involving the meaning of WEB 2.0. Just as every industry and activity since the beginning of time divides into 80% vs. 20% groups, so does the meaning of WEB 2.0. 80% will grab it as a new way to make money off of it. 20% will try to “get it” and apply it properly to the betterment of the industry as a whole. Such is life and no one can change that or stop the fights over it.

It really boils down to interpretation of “added value”. Is that value monetary? Some will erroneously assume so, as they think everything is about how to make more money. No one can change that. But the principle of WEB 2.0 is about the change in the way information is presented and BY WHOM it is presented. WEB 1.0 is a commercial – a one sided mirror. WEB 2.0 is an exchange of ideas where the general public is not the “reader” only, or the one “information is conveyed TO“, but the most important part of the information process and where the “added value” comes from.

If you argue your right to control information, as the information may not be conducive to your monetary objective, then you are at WEB 1.5, not WEB 2.0. It’s as simple as that. If you still want a one way mirror where you control the information in the comments, other than pure flaming deletions and spam deletions, and not transparent glass where more value comes from the anonymous commenter than the post writer, then you don’t “get” WEB 2.0.

Of course that’s my definition and how I understand it. Perhaps a Buyer’s Perspective is likely the best example of WEB 2.0 as far as the real estate industry is concerned, available on the internet today. ALL of the lesson learned is learned by the agents, and not the potential buyer of real estate. The potential buyer of real estate is the one doing the teaching, not the agent.

RCG is one of the best examples of WEB 2.0. Not because I am more transparent than many agents. Not because Rhonda conveys tons of good lending info to consumers. Not because Jillayne presents the underbelly of what is happening out there in her inimitable style of presenting that information. RCG is the best example of WEB 2.0 because of what readers learn from Tony Chase in the COMMENTS section of the Popcorn Ceiling Removal post. It is the best example of WEB 2.0 because of what we all learn from czb, and Biliruben, and Sniglet, and Polly and Adrianna and Jack and yes even Synthetik 🙂 to name just a few. They are WEB 2.0, not us. We cannot create WEB 2.0. We can only create an environment for WEB 2.0 to thrive in, so those commenting can create WEB 2.0 by the value added via their comments.

They, both the named and the anonymous commenters, are WEB 2.0. Not us.

Until agents and lenders and industry practitioners and vendors of services to agents, understand that “mutually maximizing collective intelligence and added value for each participant by formalized and dynamic information sharing and creation.” is NOT about what THEY SAY in the post itself, but what they learn from those commenting on what they say, in particular from those who add more to the info in the post and often those who disagree with the information in the post, there will be blogwars.

Change never happens without disruption, Rome wasn’t built in a day and rarely do more than 20% ever “get it” at all. Most will stop even trying to “get it” at the point where they find a way to make money off of it. That’s how innovative principles become “buzz” words only, because the buck stops there.

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: ardelld@gmail.com cell: 206-910-1000

58 thoughts on “WEB 2.0 vs. WEB 1.5 and Blogwars

  1. Well said Ardell. Well said indeed.

    My only question is how do you “get it” without “getting caught up in it” (blogwars) or is it a necessary evil in wevolution?

  2. It’s not an evil at all, Brad. No change or enlightenment comes without its struggles. The falacy is that struggles are evil.

    Forward motion keeps going. Only a few want it to stop while they are ahead, or view themselves as having “got it”. Those who embrace change know that it keeps changing, and no one has it who thinks they hold it in the palm of their hand, as in stillness.

    Innovation continues, greed stops itself when the buck stops here.

  3. I agree ‘evil’ is not the right word, but your answer does acknowledge that the struggles are a part of the change (I can accept that fact). I sometimes consider myself addicted to change. I feel if you aren’t changing, then you’re stagnant. Now you go and point out (wonderfully) that greed is one of the quickest routes to stagnancy.

    I’ll work hard to continue to embrace change and avoid stagnancy. But if you see me standing around, feel free to put me back in motion.

  4. Hi Ardell
    Thanks for the definitions.
    What would you call the aggregating of web site visitors to one site through 300 partnerships, search engine marketing spend, natural visitors and a dash of SEO visitors and the distributing of those visitors to thousands of realtors’ web sites?
    No information is transfered just the visitors.
    Web 1.0? 1.5? 2.0?
    Or do the terms only apply to the dissemination of information, not the dissemination of unique visitors?
    Ha capito la mia domanda?

  5. web 2.0 is really the use of ajax or similar technology to create rich application interfaces that do not have the shortcomings of the classic form post/refresh style of old.

  6. WEB 2.0 will have different meanings to different fields of endeavor. There are both practical and technical applications and definitions. For agents and lenders and bloggers generally, the practical application is my only concern.

    I’ll leave the technical interpretations to those in that field.

    Louis? Aren’t you a real estate agent with Corcoran Group? Sorry, I’d lose the comment to click on it now myself. But that is my recollection. So for agent bloggers, I’d say welcome the exchange of ideas from the public in your comments…as that is WEB 2.0 Not only welcome them, but learn from them. We have much to learn from that which we perceive as non-expert advices.

  7. Louis,

    Sì.Capisco la sua domanda However seminars and discussions regarding WEB 2.0 and what agents choose to pursue in their blogs and blogging relationships, involves how they choose to conduct themselves in this new environment.

    Just as WEB 1.0 meant “having a web site” for an agent, vs. all of the technology that was behind that WEB 1.0 site, WEB 2.0 from the agent perspective, involves a bit more skill and knowledge. As “having a blog” is generally not something your hire someone else to do for you.

  8. LOL Louis! You lost me at the first paragraph: “In, addition, I am aware of just three blogger/professionals making money directly from their craft – Jay Thompson, Diane Cohn and Brian Brady (all HomeGain guest bloggers”

    You need to get out more. Weren’t you at Inman Connect in San Francisco or NYC? Clearly there is much information available, beyond those three people who happen to write for Homegain.

  9. Hi ARDELL,

    It’s so true. Web 2.0 is about how the conversation develops, grows, changes, and evolves over time as people contribute to it.

    Although if you really think about it, TRUE web 2.0 should really be web 3.0 because it develops over time (“Time can be added as a further dimension: as a 3rd to a 2D space” – Wikipedia) because people can add to the conversation over time. Maybe your web 1.5 is the web 2.0 and what you are posting about is really web 3.0?

    Your Popcorn Ceiling Removal post has been going on for sometime now and many people have added their questions and answers so that the post has huge DEPTH. Tony Chase who has contributed so much was someone who just entered the conversation one day.

    Dustin’s post “10 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Seattle”


    has been going on now for almost two years! That is incredible to think of all the contributions that so many have made on that post. What is really something to think about is that the conversation could well continue for another 10 years (20, 50 years ??? ) it’s ALIVE! 🙂

    Just think, someday someone may make a comment on your post wondering what a popcorn ceiling is, because those ceilings no longer exist.

    I have been thinking for a few months now about the longevity potential of blog posts and the comments generated over time, it’s an interesting to think that a conversation could last decades.

    The article in REALTOR (R) Magazine only acknowledges that web 2.0 exisits. It really only touches on the topic, it’s really limited to pointing out to the real estate community that they may want to check it out and participate, although they even include a paragraph with a caveate. The article does not even get into what it really is… a living growing, evolving thing!

  10. No Louis, you don’t. That’s an important part of blogging. Saying the three Homegain writers are the ONLY bloggers you know who earn money as a result, is like an agent saying It’s ALWAYS a good time to buy. You lose the interest of the reader at that point where credibility is challenged and info is slanted toward the surreal.

    Not a personal attack, of course, but this post and thread is about the future of blogging, and credibility is key.

  11. Ardell
    You are absolutely right-credibility is key. However, when I wrote what I wrote I truly was only aware of three bloggers who made money blogger. This highlights my ignorance not my intention to discredit my self with head in the sand type statements.
    What I told you was tongue in cheek. Indeed I selected those three bloggers to guest blog on HomeGain because I was aware that they were successful.
    My point still remains, I doubt there are thousands of successful bloggers. I take comfort in Pat Kitano’s statement that only 5% of real estate agents are suited to blog.
    While the number is certainly more than three and I will learn of them, the number is not so large that I can’t learn them all by name!

  12. Louis,
    I’m a big fan of Pat’s, but that 5% number…where the heck did that come from?

    “Suited to blog?” That’s pretty elitest, no? Everyone and anyone can blog. Whether their blog gains the agent/originator clients is another thing.

    When I started blogging in Miami one year ago, there were no real estate bloggers speak of. Now, I’d say there are about 10. That number will quadruple by year’s end and on and on.

  13. Louis,

    The reason all agents need to blog is not only so consumers know which one they want, but also which ones they don’t want. WEB 2.0 is for the benefit of the readers…don’t you think?

    A blog as an agent selection tool, can go either way, same as meeting an agent at an Open House. I know just as many agents who can’t find someone who wants to work with them when doing years worth of Open Houses. That doesn’t mean Open Houses are not a good way to meet clients anymore than your three or Pat’s 5% means that blogging is not a good means of revealing yourself to those who may choose you…or choose you not.

  14. Louis,

    If you only know three bloggers, who happen to write for you, who have been successful bloggers, than maybe you should not be the one writing the post on how successful it is or it isn’t. Just a thought 🙂 I have to do my Sunday Night Stats before Careful Observer goes to bed, now that the Oscars are over.

    Ciao for now.

  15. Ardell
    We all write from incomplete information. As we learn more we add the additional knowledge to our base and perhaps we change our minds. Isn’t that what web 2.0 is about also?

  16. LOL…I’m not buying it Louis. Naming only the three who write for you is pandering to them. Clearly there is more info available, and writing an article like that deserves more research than just saying “Hey you guys who write for me, you makin’ any money at this stuff?” OK, that’s good enough 🙂

  17. Sellsius did a post on it some time ago. I just did a search but couldn’t find it. I think top money makers were between me and Teresa Boardman at the time. Ask Joe about it. I see he’s writing for you now. I don’t think anyone gave him actual numbers.

  18. Pingback: With Ardell, don’t expect to… « 4realz.net

  19. ARDELL, I agree completely about web 2 being about the consumer/conversation. Lately I’m seeing way too much deleting, censoring and even disabling of comments. I don’t get it! If folks don’t want to have a conversation on their blog then why bother having one.

    BTW only 3 people making money off their blogs? I would venture to say that I am way up at the top of the class. But of course I live in my own little blog world. As do many others.

  20. Great article, Ardell. FWIW, I think you’re right on point.

    I just posted on this in a roundabout way — I think it might be time to develop it further. “Web 2.0” has really damaged the concept because it’s a misnomer that doesn’t actually mean anything.

    I am calling for a return to the source: The Cluetrain Manifesto. Understanding that will illuminate so much about Web 2.0.

    Not to be nitpicky, but for example, even using the word “consumer” might detract from the central insight: Markets are conversations. Maybe not. Like I said, I think I’d like to develop this theme a bit more.


  21. Broker Bryant,

    Closed Comment posts have their place in the world of blogging. I did one the other day on ActiveRain as it was an announcement with no RSVP required or permitted LOL!

    Rhonda does it here on Friday Rate Post as it is our policy to answer all or most comments, and she would never get any work done or get to write anything except the rate post if she didn’t close it to comments.

    As long as you use that method appropriately, it has its place. If you are writing to consumers in ActiveRain and don’t want a bunch of agent comments on your Localism Post, you can close it to comments. Not necessarily a good thing, but sometimes the only alternative to having a consumer effective post for some people Not you, of course, as you invite the bizarre 🙂 But for others who want to give a strict appearance of professional, having the option to keep Rainers off is important. Though a shame that then no consumers can comment either.

    Unlike many sites that don’t want any anonymous commenters, I would tend to be the reverse and value the anonymous commenter more than the linked to website commenter. I like them both, but given a choice, I’d rather have the anonymous commenter.

  22. Notorius,

    I think elevating from “lead” to “consumer” is an upgrade. I have always said when answering the phone and someone asks about a property “are you an agent or a person” LOL as if an agent isn’t a person.

    There has to be a label for everyone who isn’t a client and isn’t in the industry because those are the most important people that you blog to and for. I’ve seen all of the stuff about “I’m not a consumer”, and yet since my motto is “Consumer First, Client Second, Agent Third and Company Last”, I have to use some word and haven’t found a better one yet.

    Also we MUST, MUST, MUST make the distinction for agents to be “consumer-centric” vs. “agent-centric”, so lacking a better word… consumer is it for now.

    I agree that one day we will look back on the consumer tag to be a dirty word like “deal”, “lead”, etc is today. But not yet. Not until there is a new term for “consumer-centric”.

  23. This post addresses very important issues, most important of which, to me, is the role and value of dissent in “adding value” to the conversation.

    I agree with Ardell that it is a matter of philosophy as to what web 2.0 means. Just because we say we are changing from a monologue to a dialogue does not mean we’ve defined anything of real value. We must decide how much of the other side of the conversation we are willing to hear and allow others to hear.

    According it one definition, a dialogue is a “reciprocal conversation”. Reciprocity implies equality. So if you dish it to me, I should have the equal right to dish it to you. If you open the dialogue, my freedom in the conversation should be equal to yours. If you insult me, you have given me the right to insult you. Simple. But few can play it that way. They will want to have the right to insult you but prevent you from insulting them. As Elbert Hubbard said “Every tyrant who has lived has believed in freedom – for himself.”

    IMO RCG, 4realz and Sellsius give commenters wide latitude to dissent, in keeping with principles of free speech, unfettered (within the bounds of the law) debate, and democracy, even in the acceptance of anonymous commenters (which I see as a recognition of the right of privacy). We believe the conversation will expose the truth if allowed to. Like steel forged in the furnace, truth comes from a hot debate, often scorching. Some folks can’t take the heat.

    BHB has tighter controls on commenters, taking the view that yes, there is a conversation taking place but it is on “my property” so I can control it. BHB also discourages anonymous commenters and prejudges their point of view or motives as suspect solely based on anonymity. That is their right, of course, but I think it is stifling and lessens the value added to the conversation there. It usually becomes a high five circle jerk (can I say that?). Nothing wrong with that (i’m talking about the high-fiving), if that’s what you enjoy.

    But I submit that, even on BHB’s “my property” blog (which happens to be on community internet land, with no walls or windows so all can enter & the fact that whatever is said there goes out into cyberspace), you should honor the “reciprocity of the conversation”. So, if you can swear at me, you should grant me the right to swear back at you. To use strong language in your posts but prevent others from doing the same in the comments, under the pretext of “protecting” guests on your blog, is not only parochial, but patently unfair. Also, it is unfair to attack someone who cannot defend themselves. For example, BHB’s Greg Swann challenged me in a recent post, but because I am banned, I was unable to defend myself there. That has nothing to do with free speech or private property. THAT is simply hypocrisy. But there is a greater danger.

    Here is the REAL DANGER:

    I believe that reasonable comment policies ARE used to control the conversation so that the blog owner does not look bad in front of his readers. That might be good for the ego, but it is deceptive to the reader, who has no idea that a dozen voices are gagged in moderation. The reader is misled into believing the conversation is “real” when it is actually sanitized and biased. Herein lies the real danger, as far as I am concerned. It is turning the conversation into propaganda. It becomes Web 1.0 in Web 2.0 clothing. That is BHB, IMO. A nice little Orwellian Animal Farm where “all animals are equal except some animals are more equal than others.”

    The problem with this type of censorship is it is hard to prove– but not impossible. I have screenshots of many comments that were not published on BHB that were NOT in violation of the comment policy. Anyone who wants to do the same, can.

  24. ARDELL, The interviewer nailed it with this “You’re not a good blogger…you’re a good agent, and the blogging just reveals that”

    By being a good agent, by necessity you are a good communicator. Blogging effectively is all about being a communicator. My spelling and grammar are terrible. My writing skills aren’t much better BUT I am an excellent communicator.

    I too took to blogging like it was just a natural thing to do. And still I haven’t put much thought into what I do. I just throw it out there. It’s genuine and that’s what folks appreciate.

    You are good because you are REAL. And you can’t fake real.

    Thanks Louis!!!! Welcome aboard. Don’t be too shocked when you run acroos my alter ego “Blogging Bertha”.

  25. Pingback: Getting On the Cluetrain, No. 1 « The Notorious R.O.B.

  26. Thanks, Ardell. 🙂

    I think we in the RE.net are kinda like blind people in a stadium trying to find our way to the light. We’ll get there, eventually, with a few bumps and bruises. The journey itself is likely to be challenging and interesting, and if you’re a bit of a twisted soul like me, fun as well. 🙂

    My latest musings spurred on by your post is now up — a bit more of an outright elaboration on Cluetrain and real estate. I’d love to get your thoughts on that. I’ve likely made many mistakes and flawed assumptions, but as you’ve pointed out, it ain’t the saying, it’s the learnin’.


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  28. Rob,

    I’ll go check it out, but I just noticed in the trackback to your first post that you mis-spelled Louis’ name. I can’t pronounce it unless you have all the vowels. It’s Cammarosano…easier for me to say than my cousin Joe Smyth.

  29. Pingback: The Network — No Easy Duality | BloodhoundBlog: Real estate marketing and technology blog | Realtors and real estate, mortgages, lending, investments

  30. Bob over at AR posted on Louis’ infamous blog post a few days ago and Louis also lost me at the “three blogger/professionals making money directly from their craft “. My response to that was I make money from blogging, so I don’t have to pay for leads, even though some pretty well known blogging agents, like Missy Caulk, are HG members.

    Maybe Louis needs to come out and socialize with us more often. ARDELL, I really like your definition of Web 2.0 more than any other I’ve come across.

  31. I agree with Ardell that it is a matter of philosophy as to what web 2.0 means. ARDELL, The interviewer nailed it with this “You’re not a good blogger…you’re a good agent, and the blogging just reveals . I was just good at what I did for a living, and that wasn’t blogging, it was real estate.

  32. Water for fuel,

    I think everyone likes to work with someone who likes what they do or even loves what they do, and who has a passion for excellence in what they do. Blogging often separates the men from the boys in that regard. Even comments can reveal much.

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