The Golden Rule and Blogging: Are You Taking the High Road?

By
Industry Observer

For me, one of the most interesting things that blogging accomplishes is the open sharing of opinions.  I can’t even count how many posts (especially those related to religion and politics) I fail to agree with.  One thing you can definitely say about REALTORS® is that we are a diverse bunch, bound by our common love of our profession and helping others.

Often when I disagree with another blogger on a given topic, or how they choose to manage their blogging (which, on AR, is usually an extension of their business efforts) I am inclined to want to respond with something along the lines of Dan Ackroyd’s famous SNL Weekend Update line, “Jane, you ignorant slut!”… But I don’t!

When commenting on someone’s post, I believe that it really should be kept focused on the topic, NOT the person who posted it.  You might ask “Why?”  Well the reason is that the blogger is entitled to their opinion the same way that you are entitled to your opinion.  While the blogger may, indeed, be an “ignorant slut” they are posting their positions to the business focused blog.  Whether they are targeting consumers or other agents who may refer business to them based on shared principles or beliefs, (within the parameters of law and Community Guidelines) they are entitled to share their views with their target audience without being personally attacked, just as you are free to share a dissenting opinion.

Remember, if you make a dissenting opinion, it is possible to share your thoughts without accusing or attacking the original blogger.  Sometimes self restraint in commenting on emotionally charged topics is difficult, but a differing opinion should never personally attack the original blogger.  Taking the high road may even mean that you write your own post on your own blog to share more colorful thoughts, or sending the person who posted something you disagree with a private message if your challenge is more personal and less topic related.

When you comment on someone’s AR Blog, remember that any personal attack you make on them (rather than their opinion on the given topic) is may impact their livelihood.  Read your comment before you hit the “Submit Comment” button.  If you would not like it if someone challenged you on your blog in the manner that your comment challenges another blogger, think about practicing some self restraint. 

Comments (10)

Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR
Steve, Everyone is entitled to their opininon and rather than blast away at someone, carefully decide what kind of response - if any - is warranted or move on. I tend to stay away from political, religious or extremely controversial subjects due to the nature of those types of posts and do not wish to be the subject of misplaced hatred or anger. I have seen some posts get way out of hand...
Sep 26, 2010 10:27 AM
Rodney Mason
Guaranteed Rate NMLS# 2611 - Atlanta, GA
VP of Mortgage Lending - AL, FL, GA, SC, & TN

You are definitely going to encounter a variety of opinions.  I always avoid political and religious topics.  The posts that really get me are the ones made by agents about something that happened to them regarding a mortgage approval/closings.  As soon as something doesn't go the way that they "think" that it should, its always the lender's fault. 

When they go on to write a post about it, the others often always jump on the same bandwagon about the big bad lender/bank before seeing if someone responded with some facts first.  Very often its a real policy that they have just not encountered before.  Its really hard to believe when some of the agents actually suggest contacting an attorney about it.  Seriously?? How would an agent like it if loan officers started playing that card right back.  It would be like us suggesting that a buyer or seller should sue their agent because they should have been able to negotiate a better price for them.  Some forget that we are all in this industry together.

Sep 26, 2010 10:48 AM
Gina Nugent
Donohue RE - Palm Beach, FL
Real Estate Agent - Palm Beach, FL

Aren't we all ignorant sluts once in a while??? I know that I AM!

As Rodney mentioned, people have opinions about things without knowing the facts behind a subject like mortgages. Financial matters, bank issues..etc are very complicated and I always wonder how these things really work behind closed doors...

Sep 26, 2010 12:09 PM
Marcy Moyer
eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales - Mountain View, CA
Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist

Steve,

It can also impact yor livelyhood.  I have read many posts where rude bloggers are attacted verbally by fans of the blogger the rude one was insulting.

Sep 26, 2010 12:30 PM
Jon Elshaug
Sinacore & Associates - Fallbrook, CA
Independent REALTOR 760.390.8396 - USMC (Ret)

Steve,

Some good points, and those that attack the messenger historically get bit in the end.

Sep 26, 2010 01:01 PM
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

I think a dissenting opinion is fine to express in a comment, but anything that is critical (as opposed to dissenting) should probably be sent in a private email.

Sep 26, 2010 01:26 PM
Troy Funk
Allison James Estates & Homes, Sarasota 941-957-3737 - Sarasota, FL
Broker / Associate

Blogging certainly gets the dialog going.  Yes, it seems everyone has an opinion, however is not necessarily qualified to give advise. 

Sep 26, 2010 02:07 PM
Charles Edwards Bentonville
Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney & Faucette 479-253-3796 - Bentonville, AR
AR REALTOR, Bentonville Real Estate Agent and Broker

Steve. I alwyas enjoy your posts. Active Rain is a tremendous forum. I tend to think of A.R. as a teachers lounge where the give and take is of a better quality than it is in most places. That said there can be disappointments. Views unlike mine are welcome in my world when presented well and by a person that has shown respect for others. 

Look at the business we are in. Am I to believe that if an agent is out showing property and he finds out the client has opposing views on any given subject the agent is going to get riled up and insist the client shut up or withdraw their view? No way. Civil discourse needs to be a hallmark of our society.

Sep 26, 2010 02:26 PM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

Amazing how that sketch has held up and is even more appropriate today. Unfortunately some people don't know how to express their opinions without personal attacks and name calling.

Sep 26, 2010 02:51 PM
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

You're right that every opinion if stated online, or Member's only could someday be read by someone who's business decision could be depended on the comments made. You're right that although it may hurt the person for which the comment is intended for, the marks it leave can hurt the commenters too.

I dont know why people do that and it's just not right. Everyone can have an opinion and it's just a blog. If it doesnt struck a chord, moving on may be the high road.

Sep 26, 2010 02:58 PM