@NAR2008 - Keep In Touch At The 2008 Realtors® Conference

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I felt like I needed to say that. :) I have no idea whether the @nar2008 GroupTweet account will work as I hope it will, but i think it's worth the effort. And the only way to test it, is live and with a large group. 

Here's how the @NAR2008 GroupTweet for The National Association of REALTORS® Annual Conference came to be.

At the last few real estate conferences, reBarcamp, Inman, reBlogWorld, the twitter crowd used hashtags to help people keep track of events and conversations taking place. This allows you to more easily follow conversations around an event using tools like Twitter Search. While this is fine, for what it does, it still requires active involvement on your part. You have to "check in."

What I wanted was something that would allow me to be passive.

Tatango LogoI wanted a system that would be "instant" and alert me to the events and updates of the people attending the event found important or interesting. So, text messaging seemed like a good option. The first application I turned to was Tatango. I set up a NAR2008 Tatango Group and invited a few of my closest Twitter friends to come and help me test it out. It worked, but it doesn't have the right model for this purpose. What Tatango does is allow a "leader" to communicate with the group. It is a "one to many" solution. So, it would be put to better use by someone like Hilary Marsh (@hilarymarsh) at NAR. She could use it to send out updates about changes in venues, times or event cancellations. Hilary was one of the first few to sign up to test and that account has now the NAR2008 Tatango Group has been turned over to her for her use.

The Beauty Of Social Media And Public Discussions

DeanAlertWhile publicly testing Tatango, I was followed by @deanalert. The CEO, Matt Beck, had picked up on the conversations and wanted to let me know that DeanAlert was working on a real estate specific group texting option. Matt and I have yet to get hooked up on the phone, but I will come back and update in another post when that happens.

And... while preparing for this post this morning, the founder of Utterli, Michael Bayer, followed @nar2008 and that made me realize I had not considered Utterli's recent (10/22) launch of a Group Text Widget. We haUtterli Logod a private discussion over on Utterli and I'll share this much of his conversation with me, "You ain't seen nuthin' yet." Knowing the Utterli gang like I do, I don't doubt it for a moment. "This new app lets you send text messages to your friends (one or many) in Facebook, Bebo, and Utterli. This is the first app to bridge your friend connections on all three networks. Recipients of your text messages can receive and respond from within their social network interface or on their mobile phone."

And then there was GroupTweet.

Ultimately, I decided that I'd like to test GroupTweet. How does GroupTweet work? I'll use the text right from their website:

GroupTweet Faces"GroupTweet piggy-backs on the Twitter service via the Twitter API. Setting up a Twitter group is simple:

  1. Create a new Twitter account specifically for your group (e.g. initechwebdevs or smithfamily). If you want to make this a private group, make sure that updates are protected in the settings.
  2. Register your group's new Twitter account at GroupTweet.com
  3. Tell all group members to follow the group account you created at Twitter. Note that the group account must also follow the group members.
  4. Members can broadcast a message to the whole group by sending a direct text to the group's Twitter account. For example: 'D nar2008 Just committed the latest code to the repository'

That's it! GroupTweet is constantly listening for direct texts sent to your group's Twitter account. When a direct text is received, GroupTweet instantly publishes it as a tweet from the group account. Since all of your group members are following the group's Twitter account, they will each receive the message. Easy-peasy!"

Here is a quick "tutorial" video that describes how this all came about and will show you, visually, now this all will work.

Intro To The NAR2008 GroupTweet Account On Twitter from respres on Vimeo.

Have I piqued your interest? I hope so. Setting it up this way allows each of the followers to determine they level of involvement. You may just want to listen in using Twitter, or you may want to turn on device updates and receive text messages in real time. It's up to you. Let me repeat, I don't have a clue how this experiment will turn out. I'm hoping the members will keep the "noise" to a minimum and use the site for it's intended purpose. If we all do that, I think it will go well. Some have already begun using it to announce other social media efforts, like the NAR2008 Flickr Group.  Want to join in? Go follow @NAR2008 on Twitter. Then direct message NAR2008 during the conference to keep us all up to date on the events you find interesting or important.




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Ann-Marie Clements
Dubai International School, UAE - Saint John, NB
M.S. Ed., Innovative Proactive Principal

I'm in, it sounds GREAT!!!


Oct 24, 2008 01:53 PM #18
Laura Monroe
Inman News - San Francisco, CA
Dir. of Industry Engagement & Social Media

I'm in too, cuz I'm gonna miss you guys this year:(  Hopefully this will be the next best thing.

Oct 24, 2008 03:14 PM #19
Petra Norris
CDV TransAtlantic, Inc. - Lakeland, FL
Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale

Jeff - I noticed the conversation on Twitter and now I'm in. Looking forward to the follow. BTW - the Mass (Glass) Bier (beer) does look really good right now - too bad it's only in picture

Oct 24, 2008 03:43 PM #20
Sarah Nopp
South Sound, WA

I wish I was going to the NAR Convention now! What a fun experiment.

Oct 24, 2008 04:41 PM #21
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

We are now following NAR2008 since I can't attend the convention. Looking forward to the goings on in sunny Orlando!

Oct 24, 2008 05:54 PM #22
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Hey Jeff thanks for the latest tech solution as usual YOU ROCK - I'm in and looking forward to meeting everyone in person! Thanks for doing this for us all
Oct 24, 2008 07:07 PM #23
Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

I'm following now and looking forward to Bloodhound, NAR and the gatherings. Tweet Active Rain party info!

Oct 24, 2008 11:04 PM #24
William Collins
ERA Queen City Realty - Scotch Plains, NJ
Director of Property and Asset Management


Thanks for the post. I won't be in Florida, but signing on to follow along. Thanks.

Oct 25, 2008 12:20 AM #25
Neal Bloom
eXp Realty - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

I'll be there so you can all look at my ugly face.

Oct 25, 2008 12:23 AM #26
Debbie Summers
Charles Rutenberg Realty - New Smyrna Beach, FL



Hey Jeff...  Just clicked to follow - I'll be there, I'm really looking forward to meeting you.

RES Rock!

Oct 25, 2008 02:25 AM #27
Jeff Turner
RealSatisfied - Santa Clarita, CA

Debbie... I'm looking forward to meeting face-to-face with a whole bunch of my AR friends I've not met in person yet as well! Even Neal. :)

Oct 25, 2008 02:31 AM #28
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
Jeff - As I said on Wednesday, it was a pleasure getting a chance to meet you at the Barcamp here in Houston. I am returning to Austin today. Thanks for the idea about prayer requests - I am definitely planning to try this. Take care and have a terrific weekend!
Oct 25, 2008 02:56 AM #29
Justin Williams
Independent - Virginia Beach, VA
Loan Officer

Hey Jeff these are all great ideas and applications to accommodate the need for Group Events.

Heres some food for thought though.  The solution to all the avenues and applications is that Twitter should implement a "Group" "Channel" like Plurk already does.  People have been demanding Twitter to utilize a "Groups Channel" recently.

Here's some inside info over at the twitter world.  Word has it that the "Groups Channel" will be implemented 1st quarter of 2009.  Just imagine like the "Election2008" Group channel being implemented by tweeting a hashtag and if a group hasn't been already created yet, twitter will ask if you want to create one.....

Until then, these are some great alternatives!  Thanks for sharing!

Oct 25, 2008 10:11 AM #30
Sabrina Kelley
ERA Herman Group Real Estate - Woodland Park, CO
Woodland Park Colorado Mountain Homes and Land

There are now so many social internet networking tools that I am overwhelmed. How do we choose which ones to embrace and which ones to pass on?

Oct 27, 2008 07:18 PM #31
Jeremy Blanton
Myrtle Beach Homes Blog - Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com
Happy Birthday Mr. Turner! May it be one of the best ever!
Oct 28, 2008 03:27 AM #32


You are  a great source and wealth of information. I would love to get a hold of you and figure out how to put the copyscape, the yahoo bloglog, and the linkin, twitter, and such on my blog. Why is it I can go to school for science, learn all those languages like Fortran, pascal, Basic, and more ( all dead languages) and yet I cannot grasp the concept of HTML code pasting?

I do wish you a wonderful birthday, and was wondering how the best way to contact you would be.

Sincery Yours

Tom Braatz 

Oct 29, 2008 03:48 AM #33


Sorry for the spelling error in the name and Pascal. I caught it s it was going off.


Oct 29, 2008 03:51 AM #34
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

Was so relieved to read Braatz's comment...cuz he is one smart guy and doesn't get this HTML code pasting either either... maybe we could start a tweet account for the html challenged??

Oct 30, 2008 11:07 PM #35
Joeann Fossland
Advantage Solutions Group - Tucson, AZ
Master Certified Coach to Motivated Agents
Hi Jeff So cool we are finding more and more ways to connect, learn and play! Looking forward to seeing you at NAR!
Nov 01, 2008 03:34 AM #36
Jeff Turner
RealSatisfied - Santa Clarita, CA

Joeann... and the telephone comes in handy too. :)

Nov 01, 2008 04:01 AM #37
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