There is no question in my mind that the online market is changing. I read The Cluetrain Manifesto nine years ago. I'm reading it again with the exact same awestruck feeling as if it were the first time I've ever read it but with one huge difference. The first time I read this book, I felt: "WOW! These guys are right!". This time, I'm thinking "WOW! These guys WERE right!" The basic premise of that book is that "Market's are conversations" and the internet is giving people a new voice. How that plays out in your business is truly amazing ... and frightening to some.
I don't want this blog to be a book report, so go read this book! It's not too late. And since you know how to interact with ActiveRain, I'm assuming that you know also how to interact with FaceBook, LinkIn and some of the other major social media sites. How's that working for you? My guess is that's it's only working for a relatively small percentage of you master bloggers. The rest of you are wallowing in social media madness. And you're in good company. Some six million people use twitter and it seems that nobody can figure out the attraction.
So just when you think you've got Google down and Craigslist, the whole thing is changing AGAIN. What an opportunity for Real Estate agents to be part of the whole conversation going on right now. What conversation? Haven't you heard about the whole housing crunch? Well of course...but who are you talking TO? A few people in my neighborhood are all talking about how they hate the idea of paying for someone elses mistakes. Why did the banks give out all these loans, were they coerced by the government? Why should I pay to fix someone elses failure to act responsibly? Don't get me started on the bank bailouts! It actually would be nice if we had someone in the housing market in the middle of this conversation. But alas! we don't! But the conversation must (and will) go on.
As we move forward, wouldn't it be cool if we could jump on the next bandwagon before it got moving too fast to catch. I'm not saying the Google train has ended. Nope: there's a market there if you know how to use it. You can also lose your butt on Google especially if you're trying to pay-per-click your way to fame and fortune. The one thing Google has done right is to find good content for people that are looking for it. And they did that primarily by focusing on sites that had a lot of inbound links - the proverbial internet referral. That's worked well but now we have SEO companies who make a living generating links (my company included). Long term, commercially generated links has got to have the opposite of what Google intended. Google wants people to link to good sites because they have good content, not because they have a lot of money to pay for inbound links. So is it a shock to you that Google is taking a strong look at social networking venues?
The next trend is coming and by virtue of the fact that you're on Active Rain, you get it (hopefully). The next bandwagon isn't something you jump on. It will be something you jump in...and it's something you already know how to do. It's called a conversation! Go ahead, start one! I dare you.