New Localism: Understanding Sponsorships

Industry Observer

I learned the following about what a sponsored community will look like from listening to the two audio interviews. 

Do try to set aside about 90 minutes or so and listen to both of these, they are very informative

Brian Brady's here:

Real Estate Radio USA here:  )

First, here is an unsponsored community, River Bend, North Carolina

Now, here is a sponsored community, La Jolla, California.

In the Radio USA interview, Bob Stewart tells how they set up the sponsorship here as a demo to show what it will look like:


I circled the sponsored area in red.  It is not flashy, in-your-face advertising.  The sponsoring person contributes a description of the community sponsored.  The description contains the sponsor's contact info and it can contain a text link to the sponsor's blog or web site. 

The sponsorship does NOT affect the top contributors who show up as Top Neighbors, regardless of whether or not they are sponsors.

And speaking of in-your-face advertising, the Brian Brady interview touches on whether or not contributors should be allowed to include "contact me " buttons in their posts.  Brian is Pro Button.

I am a Ban The Button gal.  I think if you are reading and scrolling through the text column, having the buttons jump up in your face in between posts is very annoying.  Just my two cents.


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Cheryl Johnson





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William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi Cj, You did an exemplary job of laying this all out. Have you ever set up a folder on your desktop for saved links that you want to look at ,at a later time? I did this about a week ago and it is working out very well. I wanted to listen to radio shows you posted here so I copied the links, pasted them to the desktop and dragged them into the folder. Then, when I get time, I will go listen to them and I thank you very much for providing them. I gave up bookmarking posts as often as I now can just copy the link and drag it to the folder and then I have them handy without having to remember why I bookmarked the post. Nice job and congratulations on the feature.

With all your skill in technology, perhaps you have a better way of doing this. I will check back and see if the way I mentioned is good over the longer term.

Jul 12, 2008 06:54 AM #35
Cheryl Johnson
Highland Park, CA

William,  That's a good system.  I tend to use the desktop for all kinds of temporary storage, then when I'm done, I just drag whatever it is, a link or photo usually, into a folder for permenant storage.

Jul 12, 2008 07:20 AM #36
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Cheryl- Again an excellent resource for all of much info, and I had looked at the La Jolla one, only because I had just done a blog on La Jolla and wanted to see where it went.  That's when I saw Roberta and wondered how she had that I know.  They still have a lot of work to do on getting the right infor into the right spots though....and for new info maybe we need to better tag them or something if they are moderating everything.

Jul 12, 2008 07:46 AM #37
Irina Netchaev
Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc. - Pasadena, CA
Pasadena CA Real Estate

Hey Cheryl, sorry to annoy you with my buttons, but I love them.  Buttons call to action.  And, action is what we want in our real estate blogs, right?

Of course, when they do not work correctly, that's annoying ME also!  :-)

Now... I need to figure out which of my posts has a broken link.  Thanks for bringing that to my attention!

Jul 12, 2008 07:47 AM #38
Cheryl Johnson
Highland Park, CA

Irina, I even painted over the name hoping no one would recognize where the buttons came from.  You let the cat out of the bag. :-)

I think the call to action buttons are great on an individual blog; but on a group blog, like Localism, where the reader is scrolling down thru posts from several different people, and sees a bunch of blue buttons, then brown buttons, then yellow buttons, and the buttons are all different sizes and placed differently on the page ... the overall look is just,,,,  I don't know ... "unprofessional"??  

Not meaning the individual buttons are unprofessional, but the effect of all different buttons of different colors, shapes and sizes seen together.....

I think Jon said something to Brian about offering standardized buttons that agents could use so the overall effect isn't so jumbled.....

Given the "look" of the Localism site,,, kind of slick and minimalist, I would think "calls to action" in a plain text link (without the button) would be just as effective.

Jul 12, 2008 08:28 AM #39
Tracy Santrock
Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. - Cary, NC
Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge


I just love your clean straight forward posts with lots of graphics that help everything make sense to me. Thanks for this post.

Jul 12, 2008 10:25 AM #40
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

I've yet to dive into the new Localism, but have been reading the blogs that the majority seem to be against it in it's present state.  Your example doesn't seem too intrusive... as long as the "Contact Me" button doesn't appear.

Jul 12, 2008 11:02 AM #41
Irina Netchaev
Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc. - Pasadena, CA
Pasadena CA Real Estate


No worries...  :-)

Now that Active Rain is syndicating posts to Localism (in a different format) and the new outside blogs, it does open the subject for discussion.

I guess I do not feel too strongly either way.  On one hand, I wouldn't mind standardized buttons to keep a professional look for Localism as a whole.  On the other hand, personalized buttons are part of my branding and ties directly into my outside blog creating an easy transition from Active Rain/Localism.

Good post, as always and excellent feedback!

Jul 12, 2008 12:48 PM #42
Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor
Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC - Mesa, AZ

Cheryl, great tutorial again! I'll be reviewing your post and the others in depth before jumping out of the Rain. ;-)


Jul 12, 2008 02:46 PM #43
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

I'm still open and looking for info thanks for the links to the information.

Jul 12, 2008 02:51 PM #44
Lynn Pineda
eXp Realty - Boca Raton, FL
Real Estate Promises delivered in SE Florida

Cheryl, what I don't get is...the fact that you can sponser communities in a city but you'll see posts in a community that talk about another community.  If you enter a community, you should only have posts that talk about that community.  If a consumer wants to hear about a particular community and they go to that communities page only to be reading about an entirely different community that doesn't make the page relevant and I would think it would turn the consumer away.  For example, if you have the Community of Miami and you go to the community and are reading posts about Pembroke Pines - ?????? Do we know if this will change or not?

Jul 12, 2008 04:31 PM #45
Esko Kiuru
Bethesda, MD


Going over what you explain here gives me a little better understanding of what the new Localism is all about. I'm still going to wait and see what will evolve in the next several weeks and then decide how to approach it.

Jul 12, 2008 05:29 PM #46
Cheryl Johnson
Highland Park, CA

Lynn ... That one you will need to run by Rich or Bob.

I would hazard a guess along these lines: 

When someone writes and geo-tags a post, the author geo-tags it however she or he thinks is appropriate... maybe some Localism contributors have incorrectly tagged some of their articles?  (Ya think? No way!!!)

Localism has "counties" and "cities" and "communities" ....  a county is made up of a group of cities .... a city is made up of a group of communities. 

Initially, the sponsorships will only be offered at the "community" level.

The County-City-Community hierarchy probably needs a little tweaking in some areas. 


Jul 12, 2008 11:20 PM #47
June Lewis
Northwood Realty Services - New Castle, PA
Realtor Northwood Realty - New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571

Thanks so much for the information. I will definitely check this out. On my outside blog on the New Localism has absolutely no reference to the locality only blogs that should have been posted to members only. It is very frustrating ...especially when I have check others and your samples and they are done correctly.  My locality is not a huge important or big metropolis.

 Because of what our area has to offer and its location to Pittsburg and Cleveland and a huge

multi million dollar project coming to town, I would like  Localism to be able to benifit us.

If  only 10 % of the post have been edited and their on 10,000 post and we are a smaller

locality, my guess would be....we are in for a long wait.  I wonder if buying territories will cahnge the content and get rid iof the personal blogs sooner than what AR could edit the post?

Great post that I bookmarked

Jul 12, 2008 11:50 PM #48
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Cheryl, Thanks for providing more clarity on this. When I think about Localicm as a "group blog" it makes much more sense. From what I understand of the "sponsorships" they are really nothing more than a blurb about the community that is being sponsored and I understand the blurb has to be approved by the editors. It will not be advertising.

I do use buttons on some of my post. I agree with you that "buttons" shouldn't be on Localism.

Now I still feel we need the ability to decide which of the 3 sites (AR, Localism, Outside blog) our articles get posted to. Being able to chose all 3, 1 or any combination would really help with giving the 3 sites a distinct look. I would also be much more inclined to write hyper-local stuff that's not related to buying and selling real estate if it didn't show up on my AR blog.

Well done Cheryl.


Jul 13, 2008 12:56 AM #49
Cheryl Johnson
Highland Park, CA


"Now I still feel we need the ability to decide which of the 3 sites "  That's a biggie on my wish list.  I would like to be able to post to Localism only, and not have the post appear on AR.

I have stuff that belongs on AR only, I have stuff that belongs on Localism only.....  :-)

And, yeah, once you make the paradigm shift to thinking of Localism as a group blog, everything else about it starts to make sense.

Jul 13, 2008 01:15 AM #50
Mike & Kathleen Kelly

I have been avoing watching the videos, I guess I will have to throw some popcorn in the microwave and actually watch them.

Jul 13, 2008 03:35 AM #51
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks, Charyl. I listened to most of Brian's interview but ran out of time. Haven't listened to the other one yet. I like th idea of call to action buttons but would not be opposed to a standard button for consistency sake. The buttons I use do not who up the same way in all platforms anyhow.


Jul 13, 2008 03:42 AM #52
Courtney Cooper
Ben Kinney Brokerages Leadership at our Keller Williams North Seattle Office - Seattle, WA

Nice layout really:)

Jul 13, 2008 09:04 AM #53
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I think localism is going to be tweeked a bit.  I don't personally see a problem with the contact buttons so long as they are not huge and interfer with the content.  I can see both sides to that argument, however.  It will be interesting to see what works.

Jul 13, 2008 02:37 PM #54
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