Clooneygate and Real Estate Blogs

I just read a fascinating story in the the NY Times (subscription required) about a “post” by George Clooney on a liberal Blog, The Huffington Post.  Seems that the Blogger, Ms. Huffington, cobbled together some responses that Clooney had made in news interviews and created the post.  She then ran the content by Mr. Clooney’s PR folks for approval and was given the right to publish the post (as written by her) but attributed to George.  When it was discovered that George did not really pen the message, all hell broke loose in the Blogosphere.   According to the story, even confirmed loyalists to The Huffington Post were upset.   Seems that the medium carries a significant representation of authenticity to it and despite the content of the message, the authenticity that the thoughts were the writer’s thoughts carries more weight. 

So, you ask, what do we learn from Clooneygate as it relates to real estate bloggers?  Be real.  People reading your Blog are interested in the context of your thoughts as they relate to information.  It is not the information so much as what you think about the information.  Your spin.  Your opinion.  

All too much, real estate brokers and agents all want to look and act the same.  Differentiation has, many times, been frowned upon.  Just look at most agent web sites.  Take the name and picture off and most of them look the same.   Blogging is different because of the medium.  Resist the urge to do things like everyone else, especially if it means copying information written by others.  That is not interesting.  You are! 


20 thoughts on “Clooneygate and Real Estate Blogs

  1. Very true Russ.
    I came up with this idea to provide free web sites for our agents (my boss liked it) – we’ll do the whole custom sites with anything they want (of course some limitations apply). ..well, here is surprise – out of 100+ agents I’m doing 6 custom sites… about another half of a dozen bought template based sites with canned generic content (the existing content was the key point). Some people came to me and asked how I’m going to write their content with my poor English…? 8-| Well, I told them that they will have to write it themselves.. well, they turned around and bought a generic site. People do not understand the Internet, the communication process, that it is live – they still treat it as a business card or a flier. (I need to look up if there Internet for Real Estate Professionals: for DUMMIES)

    Good read Russ, thanks.

  2. I’ve been hesitant to teach others what I do because it is such a differentiator for us. I’ve done a 180 on that position because of the herd mentality to this business and not many will have the stamina or creative thought to create a successful blog or anything else unique. Agents spend a tremendous amount of money annually on the next “secret to success” that worked for somebody else. The REALTOR® mags are full of the ads.

    Quoting and commenting is good. Sad that so many of us want success canned or the given the right “formula.” So many of us really don’t know who we really are.

  3. I havn’t still made up my mind about blogs yet. I think most Realtors don’t use them correctly, but I’m not sure the most effective way to use them. I think a good blog has information and comic relief all mixed into one. Being different is good, it makes you stand apart from others and maybe I’d come back and read the blog again.
    Granite Bay Real Estate

  4. I found a fabulous blog that was started and abandoned in 2002 that wasn’t at all “authentic”, but I thought it was a great idea.

    It was a guy pretending to be Tony Soprano and it was called:

    “Woke Up This Morning, Got Myself a Blog”

    I guess it’s OK to pretend you are a celebrity, if the celebrity is a fictitious character anyway 🙂

  5. Ardell,

    I was talking with a lot of people this weekend about blogging and your name came up more than once. You’re now a celebrity blogger! 😉

  6. I’m a realtor who started blogging in May ’05. We’re now up to post #117 and the goal is to write daily. Frankly, it’s hard work to create decent content on a regular basis (1hr+ per post, and the best take several hours). Most realtors simply don’t see the value in the time required to blog daily (not to mention have the endurance or writing skills).

    Taking a cue from Rain City, we’re working to add guest bloggers in the next few months and more. And on the advice I’ve read here (and other places), I’ve taken steps to be more personable and authentic. My blog is still heavy on the analysis (at times) because that’s my forte, but I try to add a little opinion (“I think..” ) to each post as well.

    Thanks for the tips Rain City. Oh, and comments/ideas are very welcome.

  7. It’s great to get ideas from each other, but we don’t have to all be the same. A blog is very personal, and if the way you do yours, Osman, is personally fulfilling, then I don’t see any reason why you have to change your style. I type fast, so my posts generally don’t take very long. Since it is my goal to simply sound exactly like I do in ral life, I rarely edit. Right now I’m typing without my glasses on so I can’t see a thing I’m typing 🙂 I’ll check it in the morning.

  8. I am a Broker who is new to blogging and I enjoy the personal part of the medium. The public knows what politicians think, what the press thinks, what forecasters and analysts think, and what major companies think…what they don’t know is what someone within the trecnhes of day to day real estate practice thinks. Blogs are the best way I have to found to give true insight to the public. Allowing the public to determine the value of the insight makes blogging the best tool for shared knowledge.

    Knowledge is Power!

  9. Excellent Blog, Brad! Remember though, that’s not a techie opinion. From a real estate agent blogger standpoint…I LOVE it! Your peronsality comes right out at me! To me that’s what sets one blog apart from the rest. So many are afraid to be themselves and reveal their thoughts and use a blog like an ad or to show other people’s thoughts. To me a blog should be like a conversation with the “author” and a “community”.

    I do notice you are not a big name, another proof that the best blogs are from independent types who don’t have company rules about what they can and cannot say in public.

    Anyone know about a real “in your face” kind of blog that is from an agent with a national company?

  10. Thanks for the taking the time to check out my Blog Ardell. It’s always good to hear positive reinforcement from a fellow broker. Before I began my blog I did months of research and must credit you and everyone at as my best inspiration and motivation. You guys set the standard for real estate blogs!

    I am learning the technology side of things, but I have never been short on opinions. The best part about blogging is that it keeps me focused on the market and encourages better insight from myself, which only rewards my clients in the end. The problem I am having is how to grow into a viable “community”. Any tips would be welcome.

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