Group-Blog Etiquette

[photopress:e.jpg,full,alignright]Will the Emily Post Institute add a section on Group-Blog Etiquette someday? Maybe. But in the meantime, we all are creating that which future generations will write, and possibly adhere to, so let’s “have at it”. I will post my views on the topic, and maybe we can all pick this apart and come up with some acceptable norms for others.

Just like the other “blog rules” like no deleting, and striking out instead of straight editing…and other Blogosphere Guidelines (vs. Rules), the Group Blog introduces a whole new bailiwick of issues to be struggled with and ironed out.

For those not in a Group Blog, some of these issues still exist for you. As in when do you or do you not go into someone else’s blog and start disagreeing with the “host” of that blog? Do you jump in with your opposing view, different view, or do you read and lurk?

So while I am tackling this from a Group-Blog standpoint, there are ramifications for all bloggers in “the Blogosphere”. Dustin and I have discussed this topic from time to time and our feeling, generally, is let it run its course so we all learn from the experience. “All” being “The Blogosphere” generally. So while I am touching on it here…this is a scenario that will play out differently in different places.

My thoughts are that a Group-Blog should avoid Fellow Writers tripping over each other by the structure of the blog itself. I’ve used this analogy with Dustin, “Would you rent three stores in a 10 store shopping strip to three different Pizza Places?” But then, everything goes back to real estate for me, so maybe that’s not a reasonable analogy 🙂

We have two attorneys. But Craig and Russ pretty much have different areas of interest. I never see them tripping over each other. So that’s a good mix, and in my opinion, two attorneys in a room is always the limit, though I have had three at once, but only once.

I think the same theory applies to lenders and agents. A commercial and a residential agent…good…no tripping. I’m not going to tell a commercial real estate agent how to do his business, and he’s not going to tell me how to do residential. Elaine’s focus was not the same as mine for the most part…so not much tripping.

The mix of people, I think is the main key, as it will keep blog etiquette issues to a minimum. With two commercial agents or two residential agents, that they work in different areas is not sufficient, but helps. When Greg Swann first added agents from different states, I have to admit I thought it was strange. But at least if they disagree on strategy or principle, they can say “Well here in San Diego things work differently. So in hindsight, Kudos to Greg on that one. (though I do not mean to suggest that is WHY they did that) Greg’s having come from the writing industry, I think, gave him the foresight to consider this the way one might divvy up the topics in a writing establishment. She’s gardening tips, he’s sports, etc… Though he has a mindset mix in AZ mixed in, they understand “their space” as far as I can tell. Whether it’s because they are just sharp dudes about it, or had an actual undertanding? I think they are just “sharp dudes about it” 🙂 Maybe a little of each.

However, we cannot do that nor do I suggest we do that, because we are Seattle. We are “Rain City”. So as much as I admire BloodhoundBlog’s format, I don’t think we can handle our blog etiquette issues in similar fashion. Having 12 real estate agents in the same marketplace, coming from all different directions, can turn into a very interesting thing to watch, along the lines of mud-wrestling in bikinis or a constant smack-down. Exciting, I guess to some, but…hmmmm.

I have been asked by some hefty blog sites out there in the Blogosphere to be interviewed on this issue, and have declined, as I think we need to talk it out here, where it happens. And not there, where they want to discuss it for other reasons. So this is just a beginning point, as I know for sure that “The Blogosphere” is inquiring into this issue.

In fact if anyone knows of any articles already written on Group-Blogs, please provide the links in the comments.

My thoughts are this. You run it like a combination of a Newspaper and an Agent Office Meeting. You try to keep the “group” going as cohesively as possible by keeping the mix a true mix, as in no “three pizza parlors”. We’ve already, though recently, stepped out of that advice/mindset, so obviously not all agree 🙂 I won’t go into what you do when you already have three pizza parlors in the shopping center, other than my comments to this scenario in comment #35.

Hashing out industry issues like Redfin’s treatment of the Buyer Agent Fee, whether or not to use written contracts with buyers and a host of other industry wide topics, is great.

But to give the consumer the transparency of strategy and procedure and detail, that they want, and not always be wishy-washy generic BS, will create a lot of differences of opinion. So if we are going to stop tripping on each other by not raising the topics the consumer yearns for…well, let’s just say that is my worst fear.

Ok Blog Etiquette Junkies! “Have “At It”!