Today, I spent some time tooling around the blogosphere to explore new worlds with my cursor on assignment for my entry into the Laurie Manny challenge. It was very interesting to visit a number of sites in tandem with reading the cover story on social networking & Facebook in the latest Newsweek magazine. (August 2007)
You see we've been having an on-going, aggressive discussion in our home ( I live with two teenage veterans of Facebook) about if it is appropriate for people of a "certain age" to be on Facebook. They are adamant that anyone over 30 should be banned from Facebook.
To be honest, Active Rain is about as much social networking as I can handle with a full time job. However, I am surprised at how strongly my kids feel about what they think is their propriety network for teenagers and college kids. I am thoroughly enjoying giving them moments of indigestion through expressing, out loud, my ruminations about joining.
Anyway, I discovered fresh ammunition today in the latest Newsweek (August 27, 2007) article by Steven Levy entitled "Facebook Grows Up." Apparently Facebook wants ME! Last year Facebook instituted an open enrollment policy. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is twenty three years old, in speaking with Newsweek indicates that " Facebook is not just for college student and in fact it's not just a social networking site...it a "utility" a tool to facilitate the information flow between users and their compatriots, family members and professional connections." (Yes, the word compatriots is an exact quote)
He also refers to an intriguing concept called the "Social Graph" a mathematical construct that maps the real-life connections between everyone on the planet; describing each individual as a node radiating links to people we know. Now...I'm pretty sure my teenagers didn't know that! .
So, when I visited my First Choice of Blogs for the Contest, Transparent Real Estate, I was intrigued by post entitled WEB 2.0 Ahead of the Curve. because it was talking about Facebook. The initial discussion about widgets and their customization morphs into a fascinating discussion of two very different elements.
First, using a unique standard of measure called a "Geek Index", there is a good discussion about how different websites are applying elements of Web 2.0. Facebook is the most user friendly of the sites mentioned...thereby lowest on the Geek Index, I would presume)
There is also an interesting Life Style website for real estate; Second Space which is connecting real estate consumers through lifestyle choices. Although the Web 2.0 interface for Second Space is in it's infancy, I thought this was a very important development and may be a good indicator or one of the ways in which Web 2.0 will function very effectively in the mainstream real estate community. Second Space is a website which is striving to be more "all inclusive" of the full spectrum of decisions people make when they purchase or sell a home or vacation in a resort community. Very interesting stuff.
My Second Recommendation is a wild departure from the first. The blog OffBeat Homes is a fun and interesting look at unusual homes all over the planet as well as cool things to put inside your home to make it an interesting place to be a little eccentric.
Imagine my surprise to find an Airplane home featured from Nigeria, West Africa. You've got to see this home to believe it. The owner built his own version of the Taj Mahal to keep his lovely wife off of airplanes and safely in his own house. You'll have to read the post "Its a Bird, It's A... to see if it worked! (Yes...the picture is actually a concrete airplane built on top of this home!)
My Third Choice of Blogs I would recommend for a Visit is the Real Estate Bubble also known as Real Estate Decline.com. This blog covers the serious stuff which is happening in the real estate and mortgage industry. It is highly opinionated collection of articles from around the country tracking the "implosion" of the real estate industry.
You may wonder why I would recommend this blog. Well, it is one of the most famous real estate blogs in the blogosphere. Obviously, misery loves company. But, it also provides a concise and clear documentation of news-feed which is relevant to the challenges faced in our industry.
Don't expect to find many solutions to solve the problem here though. The article which I am selecting is: "There's No Way I'm Going to Make that Payment" which is linked through the blog post to an article from the Eagle Tribune. One of the best ways to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past is to really understand how they were made. The Real Estate Bubble is an astute chronicler of the mistakes that have been made in the mortgage and real estate industry.
Visiting other blogs is something I enjoy doing because it exposes me to interesting and creative ideas. I think you'll be enriched and enlightened by time spent on any of these blogs.