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“Here Ye, Here Ye, Read All About it”

here ye, here ye

Marc and I were chatting this evening about the lack of substantial discussions on the web over the past few years. The discussion started off by me mentioning the brilliance I see in AirBnB’s community sourced Hollywood & Vines video – yet all you get is haters when there is a thoughtful piece about it posted, people don’t seem to think through the strategy that went into it prior to commenting.

Remember the age ol saying…”Here Ye, Here Ye, Read All About It“?

It’s the phrase from the late 1800’s to the mid 1900’s that immediately brings to mind the teenage paperboy standing on the corner trying to get your attention (& your money) to read the latest breaking headlines in the day’s newspaper — then the only source of news available.

Fast forward to today. It’s not just the paperboy standing on the corner trying to get your attention.

It’s the whole damn crowd.

Every person you walk by on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook (or the thousands of other social sites in existence) — is trying to get your attention.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it.

You know what?

No one is fucking listening.

No one is reading.

And, certainly, no one is discussing.

The attention economy (no shortage of writings on the topic). That’s what we’re left with when the whole entire internet is given the opportunity to be a publisher. Sure, society ends up with some great pieces that otherwise wouldn’t have seen the light of day from underground sources that never had a voice before – but we end up with a whole lot of crap to wade through as well. Too many people want to run around firing off 140 character Tweets without giving them a 2nd thought. What people don’t seem to want to do is actually think, and put time into formulating real opinions and solutions.

We’re all busy. I get it. But — are we too busy to think?

What do Marc and I want? I can’t speak directly for Marc of course, but I want real discussion that will move this industry, and world, forward. Real strategic thinking, and potential solutions to the problems we face.

How do we — both as an industry and as a society — make that happen? Ideas, and discussion, are welcome…

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About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • Marc Davison

    I tell you what I want, i’d like people to read then think before they publish. Those ridiculous comments on our blog post about AirBnB made it abundantly clear that those people never read the post which had very little to do with the AirBnB video and everything to do with marketing. This is but one example of people’s need to publish something, anything, regardless of whether it adds to the intended conversation or not.

    • “This is but one example of people’s need to publish something, anything, regardless of whether it adds to the intended conversation or not.”

      Sadly, I really don’t think there is any turning back. *sigh*

    • The video did not appeal to me either, but the blog post itself got me thinking about how to create more user content on my Website and I am glad I read it.

      I don’t think there is a need to label agents as haters and complain about the commenters just because they have a different opinion than you.

      • Marc Davison


        Read my comment. I never called them haters or referred to their comments as ridiculous. I wrote two simple paragraphs that perhaps you didn’t read.

        • Looks like the “haters” comment was by Drew, but you say “Those ridiculous comments” but then say you never referred to them in that way so that has me confused.

          • Yup, the haters mention was me. I just marked that out in this post, as I don’t think “haters” is the right way to think about this. So the video was bad in your opinion…that’s fine. But think through the actual high level strategy that went into that video, the exposure it got the brand, and think….shouldn’t real estate brands do the same type of marketing strategy, & execute on it like AirBnB did? Why aren’t they doing things like that? The video being good or bad, is not the point.

          • I agree with you. I guess AirBnB is a lot more tech savvy then most Real Estate firms. Perhaps that is the reason. Not sure I have a solution, but it is making me think. Thanks

          • I would like to add I have a small team of 4 agents and 2 VAs, so I am not really qualified to comment on the big brands like Coldwell Banker. I try to use as much technology as possible and it has worked well for my team, as we processed more transactions than any other team on our island last year.
            The thing that interested me is the idea of using user created content. I am not sure how to add that to my Website, but am looking for ideas. As I mentioned the commenting on specific properties was too negative, so I am trying to think of other options.

          • Marc Davison

            I see I did write it and I agree with myself.

  • Is it ironic I shared this post BEFORE making a comment (broadcasting before conversing)?

    There are some places, such as groups on FB and at least one RE forum, that sometimes can have decent conversations. But it seems people just want to argue instead of debate/converse/share ideas/brainstorm when they are online.

    Or even worse, use the conversation as a prelude to a sales pitch.

    • Ironic indeed…

      Yup, there are some smaller, private communities where great convo exists. It’s no secret why that is…it’s a self-selecting group of people that have ended up in those communities.

  • Brian Tercero

    Drew thanks for posting this today man, good stuff.

    Here’s the thing, people ARE listening, people ARE reading… but only when there is something of SUBSTANCE to read and listen to! Like this blog post for example.

    When social media was new and shiny, there was a WHOLE LOT of talking going on. Hidden under the premise of “moving the industry forward” I believe most of the talking was done simply to make a name for themselves. There were people leading the industry in thought but many of them never did much of anything to help move the industry forward and they never took action on their thoughts. Heck, we had leaders telling Realtors to do things to sell houses when they themselves had never sold a house in their life. Not only that but they had no data to back their ideas of whether or not it would be successful. But they pushed it and sold it as truth and fact… people got burned.

    Fast forward to today, the people that are moving the industry forward in thought are still here. They show up every day and work. They are still freely sharing their ideas and they have a loyal following. But here is the kicker… they are STILL inspiring normal people like me to take action and DO things. What good are all these ideas if you don’t have anybody willing to invest the time and energy to implement them and see them to a conclusion? That was always my frustration. Yeah sure people have great ideas. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Who is willing to test them? What were their results? I always wanted to know the end game, but there were no answers, just all these possibilities. So I decided I would test them and find out for myself.

    Three years ago I was an employee of a real estate brokerage. All the posts that I consumed on a daily basis, all the searching for what I should do next, all those late night twitter conversations, they changed me. They changed the way I think and the way I live my life today.

    Now I spend less time looking for ideas or for inspiration, I was crippled by the searching. I still follow very closely the people I personally see as thinkers AND doers. But I have also learned to rely on my own intuition. There are a million ways to make a million dollars in real estate. There is no one right way, I only have to discover what works for me. It takes a time commitment down any path I chose to see if it leads to success. But 80% of it is showing up and working! Its the commitment. Being willing to invest 12 months of my life to implement one brilliant idea that someone shared that stuck in my head.

    I’ve almost entirely abandoned Twitter and I have to admit, I miss those conversations, the “social” interaction. But I look at those days as a personal incubating period. Now I’m focused on doing things. Perhaps other people are in the same boat?

    “We’re all busy. I get it. But — are we too busy to think?”

    This hit me pretty hard. I think about all the wonderful, FREE knowledge I picked up in the golden age of social media when the brightest minds were sharing their thoughts with no hooks. It made such an impression on me I quit my job and started my own real estate team. At some point people like myself that have benefited from the knowledge have to start paying it forward and help others that are stuck searching.

    But where do you begin?

    Thanks for making me think this morning amigo.

    • In meetings for next few hours so will respond in more depth later, but this is why I write this blog. To engage with doers such a yourself. Glad I got you thinking..

    • “the people that are moving the industry forward in thought are still here”

      I’d love your take on exactly who those people are. Maybe a guest post here that gets at a lot of what you are getting at w/ your comment?

      “I’ve almost entirely abandoned Twitter and I have to admit, I miss those conversations, the “social” interaction. But I look at those days as a personal incubating period. Now I’m focused on doing things. Perhaps other people are in the same boat?”

      I wouldn’t say I’ve abandoned Twitter, but I will say that I’m with you — the return on time isn’t there to justify a bunch of time spent. I’ve learned a LOT on Twitter and built amazing relationships from it, but there are diminishing returns to more time spent there.

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