What Drives an Active Online Community?

You do with your comments!

When I give talks about the value of blogs, I always brag about how active the rain city guide community is, but I hadn’t thought to try quantify it until I saw John Cook’s post this morning.

Over the past 3+ years, we’ve had 30,802 comments from 1,744 posts!

This is an average of over 17 comments for every post!  That’s pretty darn impressive!

It’s kind of fun to look back at the posts that have generated the most conversations, so I thought I’d list all the posts that have generated over 100 comments:

* 200+ comments

So much great stuff thanks to the entire RCG community!

7 Ways to Make an Impact

Getting people to visit your website and read your blog post is interesting, but the most successful bloggers I see seem to get a kick out of having an impact on the industry. With that in mind, I came up with seven ways to make an impact by blogging:

1. Be more consumer-focused: No one loves an argument about buyer agency more than Ardell DellaLoggia (Here’s her first post on RCG a year-and-half ago to give you some perspective). While she may appear to loose an argument with real estate insiders from time-to-time, she always comes out ahead with consumer by arguing for what she consistently believes is their best interest.

2. Be more principled: Whether it be refusing to accept Brad Inman’s gifts or going out of his way to disclose meager earnings from his site, Greg Swann insists on taking the high ground. Add a prolific personality and the ability to say the right words at the right time, and Greg has clearly earned his reputation as a leader in the RE.net.

3. Be more consistent: Whether your interest is real estate blogs or the architecture of doors; Whether you are Beattles’ person or a Dylan person; Whether you like Odd & Crazy or Odd & Ends, Hanan Levin has been searching out the edges of the internet to return with blogging gold. Despite threats to quit and/or move to New Zealand, he continues to delight with multiple updates every day.

4. Be more fun: Is there a business plan behind traveling the country and playing with photoshop? Who cares. The Sellsius boys have shown us all how to make a huge impact by simply having more fun that the rest of us!

5. Be more credible: Whether taking on short sales, professional status, or subprime lending, Jillayne Schlicke always finds a way to offer the voice of reason by providing an interesting perspective filled with interesting solutions

6. Be more unexpected: With stories ranging from the real estate happenings of Sanjaya, little towns in Austria with unusual names, and hard-hitting coverage of Redfin, one can never know what you’ll get when you land on a post by Marlow Harris… except that it will be interesting and probably provocative.

7. Be more up-to-date: No one else follows the online real estate industry better than Joel Burslem of the Future of Real Estate Marketing. Whether he is analyzing the new guys like Terabitz or the old guys like Zillow, he never misses and interesting story and consistently does a top-notch job putting developments in perspective.


If you’ve made it this far, then I might as well tell you the genesis of this article…

After my presentation a few weeks ago in Austin, TX, the folks at KW asked if I’d like to submit an article on blogging for the next issue of the KW newsletter. Rather than succumb to the usual “5 reasons you should blog” type article, I thought I’d try to be a bit more interesting and profile some of the bloggers that have made the largest impact on me.

I still haven’t figured out how I’m going to deal with the links (which obviously don’t translate well to a written article). I think I’ll just add one link for each individual back to their blog, and include some text that says the article is best viewed “blog” format on Rain City Guide with a link back to this article. If someone has a better solution on how to deal with lots of links within a printed article, I’m definitely open to suggestions…

As always, I’d love to get your feedback. Should I re-phrase things? Should I include another blogger who has made a strong impact on you?

And, no surprise, I put off writing this article until almost the last minute (the article is due by the end of the month!), so if you have some suggestions, you’ll need to make them soon in order to get into print! 🙂

A New Kind of Real Estate Company Visited

A couple of weeks ago I blogged on a new real estate model where I try to match real estate agent strategies to the agent’s personality.  I call the different strategies “games” (www.getstrategic.com/agents).  I’m going to share my progress with you, the highs and the lows to let you know how it is going since there’s no other company that I know of doing this sort of model. It may be like picking a carrot to see how it’s growing. But this carrot is an unknown species. Sticking with this metaphore, the only way I can observe it is to grow it hydroponically in a glass beaker to watch it grow, the glass beaker being this blog!

Here’s what I can share with you so far:

I’ve had the poorest results with the 3 experienced agents I had to let go because they wouldn’t put time into activities that they’d never done before. I think they must have joined because of the word “free leads

Top 10 List of Real Estate Lists

That’s right, I’m going meta-meta. Or better yet, I’m going mega meta (unlike Greg who went mini meta! 🙂 ).

  1. Hanan’s irregular list of new real estate blogs. Beautiful idea, perfectly executed. It is interesting to note that almost none of blogs from his first installment are still around writing interesting content…
  2. 10 Best Women Bloggers. Because it matters.
  3. 3 Easy Steps to Stop Zillow from Publishing the Zestimate of your Home… Because it doesn’t matter (and it still generates a ton of hits).
  4. Curbed’s Broker Boys and Babes Contest. No one else could have done this right.
  5. Curb Appeal Enthusiasm. Simple. Relevant. Useful. Interesting.
  6. 21 reasons to bank on the Phoenix real estate market… Should serve as a great warning to agents writing about the bubble… Be prepared to take the issue on like Greg or don’t even go there… (and I simply can’t ignore his list of blogs that feed a hungry mind.)
  7. The consistently growing list of neighborhood videos from TurnHere… I’m addicted.
  8. The PMI Group’s list of cities with the riskiest housing market. (This is a personal favorite since they traditionally rank Seattle as one of the least risky places to invest in real estate.
  9. Another ego item for the list… I check out the technorati site multiple times a day to find out if anyone is linking to RCG. But technorati provides so much more like keyword searches of blog posts and keyword searches of blogs. I similar argument could be made for del.icio.us since it is so darn useful for finding good content!
  10. Ardell’s list of posts for buyers and for sellers make up an incredible, wild, colorful, useful list of content.

And the worst real estate lists?

  1. I have only one: PubSub. This great concept is in desperate need of some algorithm love. For starters, if they are not going to count blogrolls each day, then they have to be consistent. For example, the Seattle PI Real Estate blog shows up #1 day in and day out because PubSub thinks that all the PI blogs are giving a fresh link to PI Real Estate blog every time they post a new blog entry. In reality, it is simply a function of their blog being on the blogroll of all the PI blogs. In addition, many features (like their URL detail page) have been broken for most of their existence. Lazy-coding issues like this make their tool nearly useless.