Addiction to technology can be damaging to your mental health

Yesterday’s list of ten stories was fun to write… So in cleaning out the 400+ unread stories that had accumulated in my feed reader, I came up with these ten stories for today:

  1. I’ve had countless people ask me about how to set up a wordpress blog, so I was glad to see Matt point out that CNet now has a video that details the steps of setting up a WP blog. It’s a simple video, but that is appropriate since the instillation of WP is simple. However, if terms like “FTP”, “domain” and “web host” don’t mean anything to you, then skip over this video and go straight for a hosted blog like blogger or
  2. Technology bloggers are so much more advanced in their blogging problems that they have to worry about things like the Echo Chamber. Since linking is still a novel enough concept in real estate, this is not really an issue within the real estate blogosphere. None the less, advice like “say something original once a day” is good stuff that we could all benefit from.
  3. I include the next article only for the last paragraph: ‘Employers provide programmes to help workers with chemical or substance addictions. ‘Addiction to technology can be equally damaging to a worker’s mental health’. (It’s one thirty in the morning as I type this, I obviously need help.)
  4. In an effort to separate addiction from hype, Seth Godin reminds us that “just because people know who you are doesn’t mean they’re going to buy what you sell… the best way to succeed is to have a really great product.”
  5. In relation to real estate technology, I can’t imagine why anyone with $17M would think that is a good idea… How do they justify the business model that they are going to allow anyone to make an offer on any house? From their CEO: “every home in the country is for sale – for the right price!” The idea seems like a fun exercise for a graduate level economics course, but an actual product??? I don’t get it. Please feel free to let me know in the comments if I’m missing something…
  6. Also, Joel points out that Reply’s product is not likely to make Glenn very happy since he’s working on a similar service and even taken a patent out.
  7. More web technology that seems misguided to me: I can think of plenty of people who are in search of a good blog, but I can’t think of any other blogs that are in search of a good blogger
  8. And then sometimes, people take misguided to such a different level that I start to doubt my own sanity. How smart do you have to be to refuse $1M? (Really! What does he know that I don’t???)
  9. Barely on topic… There is an interesting house that was recently (re)listed in the NWMLS. Turns out the owners were not doing a good job showing the house from 1000 miles away, so they took it off the market while they reorganized their efforts. During that time, a friendly conversation on staging turned into a full-on listing for one RCG contributor. So far, the owners have been blown away by the difference that this one woman can make in preparing a listing for sale. If you saw the place before, please considering checking it out again because the changes are phenomenal. A neighbor said she barely recognized the inside of the house.
  10. On a related technology note, I found out that the previous listing was “live” again because it showed up in my feed reader based on a listing feed I created for my zip code from Robbie’s fantastic Zearch tool. Anyone in the Puget Sound area can use this tool to be easily updated every time a new listing shows up in their zip code, city, neighborhood, etc.

UPDATE: After playing with the service, Joel goes so far as to give the 3-finger salute.

10 thoughts on “Addiction to technology can be damaging to your mental health

  1. For the life of me I can’t understand why so many people think sending unsolicited offers to people not currently selling their home is a winning strategy. Certainly not as a standalone business, and IMHO, not even as a money-making feature.

    I think the “fantasy” that sells it is the idea that people will make high offers to home owners that will entice them to sell when they’re not otherwise interested. The reality is that homeowners will get blasted with all kinds of low-ball, worthless offers and the system will be gamed by commercial entitites (like an unscrupulous agent placing “bids” to get clients for listings) in short order.

    We’re all inundated enough with offers to buy everything under the sun via legitimate mass mail, catalogs, emails. Then you add spam to that and it’s enough. I don’t need another source for people I don’t know to ask me about something I don’t want to do.

    Frankly, it’s one reason why zillow’s gonna be more successful than HouseValues. You don’t have to sign up for anything. You don’t have to wait for a response. You don’t end up inundated with commerical mailings for bi-weekly mortgages, or “neighborhood reports” from every agent, etc.

    Enough. I’ll list my home when I want, and look for homes when I want. The features that put the consumer in control are the ones that have a future.

  2. Reply is my new favorite site!

    I love the fact that you can put reply up next to zillow for a good old side by side performance comparison of a site running windows/IIS/asp and a site running linux/apache/java.

    Thanks Reply for showing how good an open source stack can be in such a directly comparable way!

  3. Don’t associate Reply suckiness w/ the Redmond software giant.

    Do you forget that Zillow had perf problems when it launched? I think this just shows that the engineers at Zillow have spent more time tuning their app or the operations team at Zillow has spent more money on hardware than Reply has done to date. Since 3 of the 5 busiest sites on the web (MSN, MySpace & eBay) run on Windows/IIS, the fact that Reply is slow doesn’t prove anything in the great platform wars. A true craftsman doesn’t blame his tools.

    I do think it shows that Zillow has smarter engineers though. Time will tell if the engineers at Reply have a clue. I would’ve at least used instead of Classic ASP (which scales FAR better).

    FYI – Zillow currently uses MS SQL 2005 on the back-end, and linux/apache/java on front-end & middle tier.

  4. You have to watch out for statistics like that, Robbie, they’ll backfire on you. While it’s true that 3 of the top 5 English(US) sites may use Win/IIS, you’ll only find another 3 in the whole of the top 20… and only 3 total that aren’t Microsoft properties. It’s even more bleak when you look at global numbers.

    And thanks for the link showing that it took Zillow somewhere around 6-8 hours to get back to full operations (view the very next entry on your link for context). Did Reply just launch today? I mean they haven’t even been dugg recently and they can’t return a simple lookup without a script timeout in the middle of Wednesday morning?

    Yes Zillow uses MS SQL 2005, not a bad product. But what really makes it sing at Zillow is their in-house-rolled Debian to parse the data.

    I love you Microsofties because you make my property worth more, but often you believe your own press too much.


  5. I’m not trying to start a flame war, but just trying to point out that some Windows/IIS based sites are capable of handling ridiculous loads (misleading statistics aside). The fact that some Linux/Apache based sites are also capable of handling ridiculous loads doesn’t change the fact that some of the busiest sites on the net are using Windows/IIS successfully. It’s not Microsoft’s fault that Reply is having a bad datacenter day.

    That said, it also doesn’t change the fact that Reply isn’t up to load that it currently has. You’d expect a start-up w/ $17 million in funding to a) hire enough test engineers to stress test their app and fix obvious bugs before they launch, b) have enough hardware on hand to handle the load, and c) hire design engineers smart enough to take full advantage of their respective toolset. Clearly Reply has had a bad first day. The real litmus test will be if/when Reply gets out of Beta.


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