Rainers: This is an encore presentation of a post that was first appeared exactly one year ago today. I repost it because much of it is still relevant. In terms of milestones, this was the first ActiveRain post to ever cross 100 comments. At the time, it was very controversial. I confess that it made me squirm and lose sleep, as the comments became increasingly volatile. Would it still be controversial one year later?? It is completely unedited from the original 2006 version.
If you are serious about wanting to be a real estate blogger, there are lots of great resources out there and tons of good people you should be reading. Some of those good people 'on the outside' of our ActiveRain cocoon are reading some of our ActiveRain blogs, and they aren't impressed.
This week, Christine Forgione and I had a little conversation about this piece from a very fine blogger, Greg Tracy from BlueRoof.com. Greg writes:
It upset us both a bit, but upon reflection, I have to say Greg makes a very good point. Sometimes the truth hurts. Ouch.
"ActiveRain is a real estate industry network and has some great real estate bloggers, but they also have a lot of crappy ones who post up to a thousand posts every day trying to earn points on the network."
Personally, I've used my delete button to erase some posts that were bad. I've gone back and edited some things that I should have said differently the first time. I've put up some things that have embarrassed me in retrospect. They are gone now, but still... People read them. People haven't forgotten them. And they are likely cached somewhere if anyone really wanted to find them.
Greg goes on:
"Anyone thinking of getting into blogging ... I would counsel you to go Blogger, Technorati, and ActiveRain and search around so you can find some [blogs] that aren’t so good. This will allow you to consider whether you are willing to put in the work, and also allow you to think about whether you have a talent for writing or not. If you don’t have the talent for it at least read some good ones and get some tips before posting a dozen times every day to write about how you had to bring your dog to your open house or how much you like your new chair at the office."
Very few of us have the gift for blogging that Broker Bryant or Kristal Kraft have. Just because we can put out 3 posts a day and get points for them, does not mean we should. We need to keep our eyes on the real prize: a referral, a new client, or even google pagerank. Having a lot of points is POINTLESS if you haven't learned anything along the way, or shared something that helped others.
I am not saying that if you cannot blog as well as Kristal or Bryant that you shouldn't. I like the learning aspect of ActiveRain. I like that people are encouraging the newbie bloggers. Its exciting to watch people's blogging skills improve. And I don't think the site has to be all serious and boring.
This week someone pointed out to me a blogger who is reposting his own old material, literally unchanged. Why bother? It wasn't even that good the first time. Ahhh... the points. I've seen tons of 4 sentence posts, banged out 3 in a row by bloggers who then disappear and don't seem to read what anyone else is writing. Again, I don't get it. Copy and paste from a news article--not acceptable. That's not blogging its laziness and plagiarism.
I think Greg's point leaves me with a bigger message. We have a responsibility to each other, and to the site owners, to keep this a site filled with quality bloggers. Otherwise everyone gets dragged down. The good bloggers will run off and stop posting here. They'll move their great material on to their own separate blogs so they don't have to be so closely associated with the muck. I've heard people muttering about just this behind the scenes in the last week or so. But I don't want to see them leave!
I think there are a ton of great bloggers here. I am proud to be associated with most of you. Please, keep up the good work, because I love reading what you have to say. This message is not about most of you. And, most likely, those who it is about will never read it anyway. But if you would like to send it on to anyone you think needs to read it, I am OK with that.