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!

38 thoughts on “Twitter on a Real Estate Blog?

  1. Dustin,
    I’m THRILLED to have the comments back in the side bar with more “meat” for us to grab onto–I really think this will create some great conversations.

    And…I don’t mind having the Twitter feed on the side bar… it won’t change what I say or how I behaive on Twitter since I have my @mortgageporter twitter comments displayed on my personal mortgage blog. Personally I don’t mind the extra exposure having it here at RCG 😉

    With that said, it could look a little funny in the evenings on the weekend if we’re all blippin’ or doing what ever we do. The snapshot you have is during the day and is very reflective of our business.

  2. @miacupcake just started a #tweightloss group where we are supposed to post our weight every Friday. A dozen ladies may not like their weight displayed on Rain City Guide, so I’ll have to be careful what I retweet 🙂

        • Most people don’t use twitter like we do. They only see a handful of people that they follow, and most people are not viewing their tweets. They technically could…but practically speaking, don’t. Over 2,000 people view my tweets, which still is no where near the number of people who view Rain City Guide.

          It’s like saying something at lunch with a group of people vs. saying it in the Seattle Times. Sometimes no difference, but other times, big difference.

  3. I know this is crude, but the old saying “even a dog knows better than to poop where he eats” is coming to mind. I guess you can say one should never poop…but how practical is that?

    • Ardell, I think we can agree that there’s no doubt that people should be more careful about what they tweet… as even if they tweet behind a “private” account, they are only one retweet away from a hell of a lot of exposure.

      I was genuinely surprised to hear having tweets featured on RCG would change behavior. My gut says we’re all already well enough in the spotlight that we know that everything we write can get picked up, shared, blogged about, retweeted, etc, so we shouldn’t say anything we wouldn’t want the world to know about… With that said, I’m totally willing to rethink how Twitter is used on RCG, although at the moment, I’m inclined to think that bottling up our tweets and pretending they’re not for public consumption would be a mistake…

  4. Also, I posted this article to my FB Page, and had some interesting feedback from people over there that had a completely different flavor than the conversation here. If you’re interested in seeing some different takes on how to integrate twitter into a blog and/or why not to, check out this thread

  5. Dustin,

    Right or wrong…I know it has had an impact on how I use twitter. I interact with a lot of people there that have absolutely nothing to do with real estate. Lots of local Seattle people. Restaurant owners, the guy at The Comic Stop, The Lady who had the Twitter Baby. The young man who just lost his Dad. It just isn’t a good fit for me…but then, that really doesn’t matter much. You do what you want, and I live with it.

    • Ardell,

      I think it’s worth repeating that I was definitely not looking to change how you use Twitter in any way. As I’ve been said in the post and a few times since then, I’m not sure I like this implementation, but I do like the idea of bring local relevant twitter conversations to RCG. Because it seems like you’re completely uncomfortable having your tweets show up on RCG, I just took you off the list of accounts that get sent to RCG. However, I don’t like that solution either, so if you’d like to be re-added at any time, just let me know!

  6. I have A.D.D. so when I see all that “noise” in the sidebar it kind freaks me out. Especially since the posts are substantive in nature—it makes it harder to focus on the actually content.

    Some/or a good portion of the tweets are extraneous and thus may dilute focus.

    I think the ability to “focus” in 2010 will be cherished. I would go as far as to say that we may be at info overload. I know I’m here in Miami and not in Seattle–but the chirps, tweets and FB’ing are distribution channels of the message, mainly.

    Mixing up the message and the distribution (on a blog) on one page may detract from the medium’s message.

    I have a feeling that it will really show in lack of engagment in the comments.

    Whaddya think?
    (OMG a REAL comment from Kevin. Is the world ending?)

    • Kevin: I agree that focus is definitely critical… that’s always been the case and always will be the case. And I agree there’s a fine line between adding “noise” and adding to the conversation.

      However, where I think we differ is that I’ve never viewed this blog, my twitter accounts, or my Facebook accounts as a “distribution” channel and I think it really short-sells the power of conversation in building up a professionals business. That doesn’t mean there’s not a great opportunity for a few folks like yourself to be the key distribution channel for real estate information in their local markets, but that’s simply not a skillset that most agents have or even care to learn.

  7. You really have opened up social media.

    What I have always questioned is the content. The tweets are looking very frivolous.

    Residential Real Estate is now a quarter, to a half, million dollar transaction. Many people have over paid for properties across the country.

    There is so much bad information about pricing that Real Estate really has become a commissioned sales position.

    Millions of people will lose millions of dollars again this year by paying too much.

    With all the information available, it seems the message has been lost in the social media.

    • David: I’m not exactly sure where you’re going with your comment… Are you suggesting that RCG should be laser-like focused on the idea that many people have over-paid for their properties since that’s been so lost in social media and all other comments are frivolous?

  8. Thanks Dustin!!! I wake up working, I go to sleep working. One of the few places I go for diversion is twitter. Thank you! …and especially thank you for doing it before I posted my weight on #tweightloss this morning 🙂

  9. Yesterday I met an agent who was tweeting while we were talking, literally. This was a nice person who had been site sitting for a developer for three years. A year ago they hung a license in a Real Estate office.

    They are social networking into the Real Estate business.

    We were, or I thought we were, discussing preparing the property for sale.

    The details aren’t really that important, the sales aspect of the Real Estate business is.

    If people continue to be sold town house units as if they are building a Real Estate then they need to know they have a very long road ahead before they get to an equity position. The facts of a joint ownership are bad enough without full disclosure that at some point maintaining those units will be up to the individuals to figure out. What happens the day I paint my town home lime green with purple trim?

    We have a credit crises, and global economic melt down which, if I understand it, is traced to mortgage backed securities. should mortgages be based on asset value or the buyer’s ability to pay?

    I like your site. It has the potential to become something. I would prefer to see discusssion about how you got this site so far, and the directions a site like this can have.

    As an example, the other day I saw how a site, like redfin, could become a pay for services site. What if they had a membership section for home searches with comments? How about Zillow and the mortgage service sections? How can that progress?

    On the contrary I’m think your site should be more cutting edge to the social media aspects of it.

  10. Dustin (or @tyr) very cool feature on the Twitter side-bar…I didn’t know I could reply right from RCG’s site… I just saw @jillayne’s comment about dinner while commenting on one of Ardell’s posts and just with a click, replied to Jillayne’s tweet via Twitter.


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