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Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
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I am co-hosting a show on BlogTalkRadio now! - 12/31/08 04:18 PM
I wanted to get a few shows under my belt before sharing this with all of my ActiveRain friends. Ken Cook and I have been hosting a weekly show on BlogTalkRadio on Tuesday mornings for the past few weeks. The show's basic surface theme is about social media, real estate, and mortgages, although we are both pretty goofy and seem to enjoy sound effects, so it often devolves into a "morning zoo" type of atmosphere, as it did yesterday morning. The "live" show is from 11am to noon Central time (12pm-1pm Eastern), and the recordings are available in the archive for listening (27 comments)
As a six-year resident of the Blackhawk area and a 13-year resident of Pflugerville, I like to keep an eye on the market values here in the area. When the toll roads opened two years ago, the prices started trending upward and they have continued to appreciate overall, although more slowly right now, with some tough economic factors at play. As a fellow homeowner in Blackhawk, this stuff is important to me, too! Currently, there are 14 resale homes available on the MLS in the Fairways, with an average asking price of $239,303. The average square footage for these homes is (1 comments)
Currently, there are 22 homes available in the Meadows, with an average asking price of $210,576. The average square footage for these homes is 2,450, for an average price per square foot of $87.59.
Presently, there are 5 homes under contract in the subdivision, with an average (0 comments)
Just a Few Suggestions that Might Help - Real Estate Sales Tips - 12/27/08 09:57 PM
I had a few recent experiences that made me want to write a post with tips for new and newer real estate agents who are trying to make it in this challenging business. TIP #1 - MLS PHOTOS Keep in mind that the goal of your MLS photos is to get someone to take a look at the house. Well over a year ago, I wrote a post called Worst photo contest. It was one of my first attempts at humor, and it still brings in an occasional comment. With that in mind, I would like to share a photo that (93 comments)
Funniest Christmas-time Quotes from my Kids - 12/25/08 07:35 PM
As I have shared repeatedly here, my kids have a knack for making me laugh. The Christmas season is no different, of course. I just wanted to share a few of the humorous things that they said this year. Abby is two and a half years old now, and she is a natural performer. Several times lately, she has appeared on top of the ottoman in our living room, or perhaps behind the puppet stage upstairs, proclaiming, "LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! WELCOME TO DA SHOW!" When I then ask her to perform, she seems to be out of ideas, but she will sing if prompted (55 comments)
Our Night at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar in Austin - 12/25/08 05:36 PM
Each year since 1975, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar has been open for fun, live music, and art shopping. My wife and I try to go every year, and we usually find a few "treasures" there that we can't live without. In a nutshell, the Bazaar provides an opportunity for local (and not-so-local) artists to showcase their work. Yes, you can buy stuff, too! There is live music during most hours of the event, which is typically open every day for 12 hours for about two weeks leading up to Christmas. One year, we purchased a beautiful painted photograph of archways which (5 comments)
The Price of December - A few stray thoughts - 12/21/08 10:39 PM
December 2008 is one that has presented a few challenges for my family. I am ready for Christmas (well, not totally ready), because it has to be an improvement over some of the stuff we have dealt with this month. For example: 1. My wife and I both experienced a stomach virus (she had it worse than I did, which was compounded by the fact that she is five months pregnant). 2. My son's Nintendo DS case and all of his games were stolen from our van as we ate at one of our favorite restaurants in north Austin on December (49 comments)
Reclaiming my "rookie" enthusiasm.... - 12/19/08 11:48 PM
I first posted this just over 13 months ago, which was about 3 months after I started blogging here on ActiveRain. I thought it was timely, so I decided to re-post it tonight, as we are fast approaching 2009. I think the message is still a good one.
I have been working from home most days lately, which is a real blessing in my opinion. I could go to the office, but many days my work involves catching up on emails and perhaps a few phone calls (and blogging, too, of course). As a result, I often get my writing (40 comments)
Google Views ActiveRain as Even More Valuable Now - My SEO Perspective - 12/18/08 07:56 PM
I don't want to make this post overly rudimentary, but I would like to start out (for those of you who are complete newbies) by stating that "SEO" means "search engine optimization". Each time I have written a post with SEO in the title, someone inevitably asks. Now that we have that out of the way, I wanted to provide some anecdotal evidence for you that Google is indexing ActiveRain more frequently. First, I need to explain that I have Google Alerts set up for a number of keywords and phrases that I am interested in, such as "austin texas homes" (121 comments)
Update on Our New Church! - 12/15/08 11:20 PM
A few people had recently asked me about how our church plant was proceeding, so I thought it would be timely to give a quick update on things. For those of you who don't already know, I am involved as a core member of a brand-new church that we're starting in Georgetown, Texas, called ChristChurch PCA. We are part of the Presbyterian Church in America. I felt strongly led to participate last spring when my spiritual mentor and friend of 13 years passed away at age 49. One of the biggest hurdles has been cleared at this point: we have (11 comments)
A few months ago, I heard about www.budurl.com, and how helpful it was. They are based right here in Austin, and the company is run by one of my web hosts. I first heard about it from someone at my SEO company. I was not particularly enthused. Later, while I was on Twitter, someone else recommended it, but I still resisted because I assumed that anything truly useful couldn't be that easy to set up. Now, I'm not sure how I got along so well without it for so long. So, what IS BudURL and how can it help your business? (73 comments)
How My Twitter/ActiveRain "Family" Made My Son's Difficult Day a Little Brighter - 12/12/08 02:39 PM
I took the day off yesterday, so that I could just spend time with my wife and kids. My son Brandon's 10th birthday is today, and we also wanted to spend some time cleaning around the house in preparation for his party. We went to a book fair in the late morning, then had lunch at Golden Wok in north Austin. The lunch was lovely, and Brandon even tried sesame chicken for the first time, which was a hit. We were going to head home and do dishes, laundry, etc. to get a jump on tomorrow's festivities. However, our day took (39 comments)
It SNOWED in Austin last night! - 12/11/08 12:22 AM
I realize that many of you reading this will not find the idea of snow appealing or noteworthy, but my two older children have only seen snow ONCE in their lives. Keep in mind that my son will soon turn 10 years old. I have never seen snow this early in the season before. I think every other time that it has snowed (at least in my memory) it was in January or February. The last snow which accumulated here was on Valentine's Day about five years ago. Unfortunately, it didn't really "stick" very much at all, but it was beautiful (49 comments)
"Jason, I don't mean to be difficult, but...." - 12/08/08 11:35 PM
It's been too long since I vented properly on my blog. Rant starts..................now. Today, I was dealing with a contractor whom my buyer found to help with some repairs on the home he is purchasing, which is set to close in two weeks. The inspector found evidence of termite damage in two places, and this contractor/handyman/dude needs to remove two pieces of wood to determine if there is any further damage. He emailed stating that he wouldn't be able to do it today (we have through tomorrow to finalize everything - our option ends then). Fair enough. Let's work on making (74 comments)
ANOTHER Bookworm Meme - Why the heck not? - 12/06/08 10:33 PM
I already did this meme one time (tagged thrice), then I got tagged with it SEVEN more times, so I decided to do it once again. I'm sorry that I don't remember every person that tagged me, and I pretty much never tag anyone else with these anymore. THE RULES (just in case you've been under a rock lately) 1. Grab the nearest book.2. Open the book to page 56.3. Find the fifth sentence.4. Post the text of the next two to five sentences.5. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one. Pick the Closest.6. Tag (19 comments)
"Blogging and Social Media 101" - My first podcast - wanna hear it? - 12/05/08 06:08 PM
I was invited by my SEO company (www.volacci.com) to be interviewed about blogging and social media a couple of days ago. It was actually the second attempt, since we had relatively severe audio problems the first time around. We are not professionals at this (yet), but I think it went really well. I had some feedback from a few people already, and I would be anxious to hear what you think. If you are a social media guru already, please understand that our target audience is those who are just getting started in this arena, along with some who still need (17 comments)
How Many Hours of Re-Runs Must I Have Watched as a Child? - 12/04/08 02:05 PM
Recently, I wrote a post about my kids' bedtime routine, and how I have begun to incorporate stories from my own life into this time with them: Sharing the "Stories of My Life" With my Kids A few nights ago, I was telling them about my own grandfather, who passed away when my son was very little. I told them that Grandpa used to pick me up from school, and feed me dinner while we watched TV together and just sort of hung out. We watched "Gilligan's Island", "The Andy Griffith Show", "Leave it to Beaver", "Father Knows Best", and countless (82 comments)
So, you wanna be a social media and online marketing guru? Here's one way to learn how! - 12/02/08 08:06 PM
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post that garnered quite a bit of attention: Are YOU a part of the revolution? If not, be prepared to be left behind by those who are. In a way, this was meant to be a manifesto of sorts, in order to encourage two distinct groups of people: Brand-new members here on ActiveRain Anyone who happened to read it who had not already grasped the importance of social media/marketing yet With that in mind, starting this Friday, you have an opportunity to be part of a very thorough 12-week webinar series via Domus (19 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.