Are You A Watcher Or A Reader?

Real Estate Agent with I.V.P.G. - Inland Valley Professional Group

Hi All,

Week fourteen's judging came out for Project Blogger today and the judges, who I know worked very hard on it, decided to post their comments as a video blog.  This was interesting to me for a variety of reasons.  I had a hard time viewing the comments because my connection was so slow that it took a while for things to even start to load, and by the time it did, my ADD had kicked in big time and I was ready to go chase butterflies or build a rocket-ship, but not to watch a video.   However, that was not the main difficulty I had with a video post.  The main difficulty I had with a video post was the fact that I am a reader not a watcher. 

Now, this is not a surprise to me, or anyone else who knows me.  I read everything that I can get my hands on - literally.  I read the ads in the Pennysaver, I read the walls in public restrooms, and when I am at home, if there is nothing else handy, I read the back of the cleanser can in the bathroom (I don't use it, but I do read it). 

I take great joy in being presented with a wall of words.  I revel in the chance to lose myself in a good book, or on occasion, a not so good magazine.  I love to read and I always have.  I know that the entire world is not like me, but as the recent release of the latest Harry Potter tome and the resulting deserted streets on Saturday following go show, there are a whole lot of folks just like me out there.  And, where I happen to live and base my business, more of them are like me than are not.  I know my audience pretty well, they like to read and I like to cater to them. 

Ines made a comment that said that video blogging was the wave of the future, but I really don't think that is true.  I think it is a great component to integrate within a site, much like a virtual tour is a great adjunct to a written description of a property, but I also think that much like a virtual tour, a video post will not work for everyone.  And, where blogging is concerned a video post can create more challenges than it can solve.  

You can't print off a copy of a video post to look at later when you have time.  You can't watch a video blog post in the privacy of your cubicle without everyone knowing what you are up to.  You can't easily cut and copy a portion to integrate with your text if you want to quote them.   You run the risk of having your sound and your look not agree with your "voice".   And, if you decide to do it sitting in your bathrobe, stark naked, with a cigarette between your lips at two in the morning, you may get clients, but I am pretty sure that it won't be your real estate acumen they will be interested in.

A blog, by it's very nature is and should be about the words.  It allows the reader to build a relationship with the writer that is deeply personal and, when unfettered by visuals, allows what you have to say a much better chance of being heard when it does not get hidden by how you happen to look and sound when you say it.

We have all heard that "Content is King", but when it is buried under poor sound quality, a bad hair day and a tendency for slower connections to pull the pictures so far out of sync with the audio that everything looks like a badly dubbed Japanese movie, there is little that the best content can do to overcome that.

And, unless my blogging education was sorely lacking, Google and Yahoo don't have an effective way to "crawl" video.  They can tell how many times it gets viewed, but I am not sure how valuable that is for SEO.  In the time that I have been writing here and on my site I have seen my content trump almost every picture I have published and almost everything else others have offered as well.  It is my content that has gotten me clients and it will continue to do so for a long time to come.

My site is currently seventh on the first page of a Google search if you ask for "Claremont California Realtor" and I got there based not on the pictures that I took with my camera but on the ones that I painted with my words. 

Another thing to consider about video versus the written word is that pictures become dated in a nanosecond and words can live forever.  Sure, there are some "looks" that are "timeless", but show up just once in a skinny leather tie, a Member's Only jacket with the sleeves pushed up to your elbows and a Flock of Seagulls hairdo and you are dated beyond repair.

And unless you tend to favor trendy phrases like "swell" "neato" and "so's your old man" words don't show their age nearly as quickly as pictures do. 

So, for all you watcher's out there, your day may be coming, but as for me and other's like me, I will happily prefer to read about it until it does.

Take care all, help lots of people and have a wonderful day!



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Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate - Los Gatos, CA
CRS, CIPS, ABR, SRES, Silicon Valley
Hi Tisza,

Just so you know, I had to try three or four times to add a comment here. Each time before this one I got an error message.

I left a (too) long response under the rankings summary page which expressed my frurstation. I know a lot of agents here on AR don't appreciate links in post comments so I'll let you find it without a link.

What can I say. Maybe it IS good that it's 14 weeks and not 4 since so many judges have such strong and unpredictable biases??? Did they (this week) at least judge YOU on week 14 or did they look at 15 or 16? I'm just curious.


Looking forward to celebrating with you soon - no matter who wins!

Jul 26, 2007 01:43 AM #1
Tisza Major-Posner
I.V.P.G. - Inland Valley Professional Group - Claremont, CA

Hi Mary,

I saw the comment and responded so take a look... No, it appears that they looked at things that were created outside of the competition end dates on my site as well.  And, as you are quite aware, they clearly had no interest in what we offered here on AR.  Who knew AR had so little value to some?  I could have sworn that someone mentioned somewhere participation on AR was part of the game... Silly me, there I go reading again... clearly I have to stop that LOL.

I have already begun celebrating... I started when I found Active Rain and kicked it into high gear when I met wonderful people like you here.  And I am dying to see Los Gatos and to meet Your Jim, Brian and Clair.

Take care,


Jul 26, 2007 01:59 AM #2
Cheryl Johnson
Cheryl Johnson, Bob Taylor Properties, Inc., Los Angeles, CA - Highland Park, CA

Tisza -- I am definitely a reader not a watcher .... and this question inevitably leads to a second ... do you visualize scenes and images when you read?  I don't very much.  As I read, I sense the "emotion of the idea" for lack of a better way to phrase it.

There was a conversation on Bloodhound recently about books becoming obsolete.  Teri Lussier brought up the excellent point that one thing you have with a book that you cannot get reading (or watching a video!) on a computer screen is a sense of of "privacy". 

I agreed.  Anything you are reading or watching on your computer screen feels like it is right out there for all the world to see.  To read the words on a page in a book is to enter a secret, private place.

That might be a key to this whole reader/watcher seer/feeler thing.


P.S. I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Tuesday morning.  Wow.  Have you finished it yet?

Jul 26, 2007 06:06 AM #3
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing ( - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

Nothing like getting lost in a good book that let's you paint your own pictures in your head.

Keep writing.  We'll keep reading.

Books themselves may sometime become passe' but then we'll just be reading on the screen.

Jul 26, 2007 06:55 AM #4
Tisza Major-Posner
I.V.P.G. - Inland Valley Professional Group - Claremont, CA

Hi All,

Cheryl - Somehow this does not surprise me :-)  I actually tend to see things as well as feel them (I am also a very vivid dreamer and usually remember them.  I actually compose a lot of poetry and write a lot of song lyrics either in my sleep or just at that point before waking.  Actually, I'll let you in a little secret here, I have never in my life written a poem that did not have a musical score to go with it, but being unable to save the music as I don't know how to write it down, I am only able to keep the words.)

I agree with Teri that books are a much more private world if for no other reason than the fact that when you put down the volume, unless you mark the page, no one knows what you read thus far.  As for Harry Potter, I finished the book at 11 AM Sunday morning (I was trying to savor) and My Mel finished it at 1 AM on Monday after reading straight through for 13 hours.  I will be listening to it on cd in my car on the drive to SF and am currently re-reading book two and re-listening to book one in addition to other books that I am at various states of "readness" in. 

Erby - Thanks for the kind words, I don't think I could stop writing if I wanted to.  I think there will always be a place for paper printed, bound books if for no other reason than the fact that screens don't like bathtubs or beaches :-)

Take care all, help lots of people and have a wonderful day!


Jul 26, 2007 01:33 PM #5
Michelle DeRepentigny
Success Realty - Athens, GA
Broker Athens, GA
All I can say is Amen!  I don't even have speakers connected on this to see the video I have to go get my laptop out.  I print everything I want to save to pdf files on my computer and just cannot get enthused over videos inserted in blogs.  Of couse I also prefer books to tv so I guess that just follows.  Tisza you paint such a living picture with your words that video would detract from your content in most instances, IMHO.
Jul 26, 2007 06:40 PM #6
Fred Light
| Nashua Video Tours - Nashua, NH
Real Estate Video Tours for MA and NH

I am a reader AND a watcher.  But let's face it... many people read the book, but a WHOLE lot more go to see the movie!  And I can tell you I meet MANY people who just don't like to read - period.  They're 'visual' people, and would rather watch a video or see pictures than read.  Especially online.  It's difficult for many people to read a computer monitor, especially for long periods of time.  That's why most web designers will tell you that its' best to have pages designed with bullet points, because most people will look at a page filled with text, zone out and click NEXT!  Right or wrong, that's how it works with the majority of people. 

I can say I'm the same way.  If I see a page that is just an electronic toilet paper roll of text, I absolutely won't even start - unless it's something I'm REALLY interested in.  I just don't have the time.

But there can be good text that's well written, and bad text that is nearly impossible to read.  There can also be BAD video that is nearly unwatchable, and good video that is interesting, emotionally involving and captivating - just like TV and movies can be.

Search engines "see" text, and that's why text based websites usually outrank picture/ graphic based sites.  Search engines don't 'see' graphics and photos.  

In regards to search engines 'crawling' video, I do video tours and they rank on page ONE of Google within 2 days after filming.  I can almost guarantee it! 

I actually met with someone who is manager of Crawl Systems for Google a couple of weeks ago.  He said that Google LOVES video and is making it a priority (noticeably with the purchase of YouTube for $1.5B!).   They have recently instituted their "Universal Search" which combines the regular search results WITH the blog, news and video searches - all in the main index.  And guess what ranks best?  Blogs and video!   

You can also monitor the number of views by using a site such as TubeMogul.

As far as words living 'forever' - that's true.  I hope that most sellers don't hope their home 'lives forever'... I think they want it sold NOW.  LOL

I absolutely believe that if video was possible in 1995 when the internet first gained popularity, it would be almost totally video based today.  And now that broadband is the norm, rather than the exception, I do believe the web will be primarily video in the not so distant future - like it or not.

Jul 27, 2007 12:38 PM #7
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Tisza Major-Posner


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