Twitter on a Real Estate Blog?

Over the slow Christmas weekend, we added a new feature to RCG and it generated so many interesting conversations on Twitter, that I thought I’d bring the conversation to a blog post.

The new feature is the Twitter widget on the sidebar. Here’s a snapshot:

Picture 5

The current implementation shows all the tweets from this Twitter list: @tyr/rain-city-guide, which takes all “original” tweets from current contributors plus “replies” to others on the list.

The type of feedback I *though* I would get from the other contributors was: “awesome! More Seattle people reading my tweets!” but instead, the reactions were somewhat more tame… with initial reactions being along the lines of Ardell’s reaction: “I have lots of fun on twitter and say things inappropriate for RCG.”

However, the contributors were kind to me and seem more than willing to play this out a bit, but now it’s time for feedback from the rest of the community… Here are some of the options I see for including Twitter on RCG going forward:

1. “Do Nothing” option. i.e. keep “as is”

2. Show all replies from contributors. If I add each author individually to the backend of the plugin (instead of use a Twitter list), it should include all their replies so the feed would include more people and not look like “RCG contributors talking to each other.” (However, if you check out my twitter feed, you’ll see that I talk with people from all over the country, so it will add a lot more noise to the list. Ditto for Ardell)

3. Remove the Twitter feed from RCG. (Kevin Tomlinson voted for this option when he said: “@ARDELLd mixing mediums ain’t the way to go. imo

4. Include larger Seattle community. I could use a much more general list (i.e. more than just RCG contributors).  I’ve created a bunch of “Seattle” lists associated with the Rain City Guide Twitter account. We could modify one of these lists and include the updates from anyone on one of these lists, the benefit being the feed wouldn’t just show RCG contributors talking to each other, but the negative being there’s likely to be a lot more “noise” in the updates as more people are contributing to the feed.   As someone in the RCG community (yes, that’s you if you’re reading this!), would you be interested in being on the list???

Do you have a better option?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the best way to bring Twitter into a real estate blog!

Retweeting RCG just got easier

backtweetsI was at an tweetup last night with some great guys who run social media strategies for some pretty hefty newspapers and one of the tools they recommended I look into was BackTweets WP plugin

I like to think of myself as ahead of the social media curve, but I hadn’t played around with the BackTweets much, but after just a few hours of use, I can tell I’m definitely going to be able to enjoy how easy it makes following twitter conversations around websites… and in the case of RCG, around RCG posts.

To try it out the new tool, you only need to click on the button that says “retweet” that’s at the top-left of every RCG blog post (just under the title!).

Seattle – What’s Happening “today”?

newsseattleTwitter is fast becoming the best source of “What’s Happening?” in any given area, on any given day. If you are one of those people who thinks it is “silly” to record “What are you doing?”, think about it from the perspective that you might be doing what someone else would consider doing, if they knew it was happening.

You become the “news” source for local events, when you report your whereabouts at a local event. You become the restaurant critic when you tweet from a local restaurant about the food and service.

Like it or not, the collective “we” values real information from people on the street, having the experience and noting that experience in “real time”.

So what IS happening in Seattle? Twitter has a “search box” into which I will now put the word “Seattle” and this is what we learn:

@MyWashingtonSt tells us “The Bite of Seattle” Open til 9pm tonight!! Premier Food Fest FREE ADMISSION

Now that we know that there is an event today called The Bite of Seattle and that it is open until 9 p.m., we might want to know if it is “worth” going to? What do people who are actually there have to say about their experience?

To dig deeper into real time info on the event, change the words on the search box to the event title. In this case I change “Seattle” to “Bite of Seattle” and find:

@Mr10K: We will be reporting to you live from the bite of seattle today people. The Neema taste tests will show no mercy on any booths today!

Maybe you and Mr10K don’t have the same tastes in food, but at least you know you can get a “merciless” review of the booth offerings by him throughout the day, so you can try to hit the “best” booths when you head out to “Bite of Seattle” later today before 9 p.m.

“Using Twitter” is not simply about telling people what you are doing at any given moment. It’s a huge and growing way for people to get the news THEY want at any given moment in time, and pretty much just about any where.

Using Twitter is not all about “I have an appointment at 2 to show a house in Bellevue” from @ARDELLd 🙂 It’s a way for people to use search terms to help them get a glimpse at what other people are doing, that they themselves might like to join.

Twitter has become my news source. Twitter reported that Michael Jackson passed, before CNN could “confirm” that. Twitter told me that Walter Cronkite passed away. Twitter told me that I could catch a radio show with Jeff Turner @respres, 5 minutes before it aired so I could turn on the audio while continuing to work.

Twitter can make you more productive and keep you on top of everything that is happening. You can control how much or how little “noise” you want, by limiting the people and news sources that you choose to follow, or by using a “sort” application like TweetDeck (just one of many).

The search box opens a door to over 2,700,000 people talking about…and you choose which topics are of interest to you, when you pick a search term.

If you have never, ever been to Twitter and have decided you are not going to…it may be time for you to think about why…and what that says about you vs. Twitter.

The Day Twitter Died

#fixreplies “Drove my Chevy to the levy, but the levy was dry…”

Marshall says it best, “Goodbye People I Never Knew” <tear>

The hustle and bustle of Twitter slowed to the level of a party gone flat…no bubbly. At first people just thought everyone decided to take a nap, all at the same time. Then there was a mass uprising…but no one can see it, because you can no longer see the @replies of people you don’t follow.

Last week, Twitter added a great new feature called Trending Topics.  Little did they know that the #1 Trending Topic would be turned AGAINST them and their recent decision to quiet down the party.

#1 Trending Topic is #fixreplies and here are  what some of the people are saying, as they are charging up to the castle to put the stake in Dr. Twitterstein’s heart.

“Oh gee that’s right @ev & @biz don’t follow most people, so they won’t see THAT WE’RE FREAKIN’ PISSED…#fixreplies

Checking @ev the CEO of Twitter, it would appear that they didn’t notice until #fixreplies hit #1 on the Trending Topics list, as all @ev had so say during all this was “Lunching w/@BertDecker at Yank Sing. It’s been a deem sum week.”

Talk about clueless. Did they think people woudn’t notice that someone turned off the light switch?

Seattle’s own @Shih_Wei says: “Dear @ev, the only alternative is to put the options back in users’ hands. Newcomers will figure it out, too. #fixreplies”

Some hearfelt pleas: “Twitter is now hiding messages from people you follow, if it’s a reply to someone you don’t follow. How am I supposed to discover people now? #fixreplies

Lots and lots of complaints, like this one: “Looks like Twitter will kill itself w/ stupid un-social changes like #fixreplies

Given the comment above, maybe the post should have said The Day Twitter Committed Suicide.

Some of the Coders who write Twitter Apps, like Seattle’s @dacort see it as an opportunity: “dacort  Twitter taketh away, and small angry developers will provideth.

I’m going to go to sleep and hope I will wake up to find it was all just a bad dream.