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What Constitutes 'Approved' Content for Localism?

Real Estate Agent with Fathom Realty West Sound WA State 52404

(Note: The following editorial criteria is only being implemented temporarily until Localism is made open to public membership. At that time, a new revised criteria will be provided)

Since the newly revamped Localism was released, and is becoming fully functional, our editorial staff has been busy reviewing and approving articles that our members have written and categorized "For Consumers" and further geo-targeted for specific State, County, City, and Community locations.

One of the main complaints that we've fielded from our members since the early beginnings of Localism has been a concern over the amount of sub-standard or poor quality content that has been published to Localism. This content not only bears a poor reflection on our Network as a whole, but doesn't aide in attracting consumer readership or encourage their involvement in the conversations. Reviewing and approving content is a response to a majority opinion of our members, and will help to ensure better quality of content on Localism.

Initially, when the new Localism was launched, we were reviewing your articles first, and then, if they were approved, they would show up on the relevant community, City, County, or State pages. If the post wasn't approved, it would become part of your archive that shows up on your Localism blog profile.

As of just recently, your posts will now be automatically and immediately published to Localism. They will remain on the relevant geo-target page until such a time as the editors can review and approve it. If it is not approved, it will continue to show up on your Localism blog profile.

So this now begs the question, what constitutes 'approved' content for Localism? What specifically are the editors looking for to help form their decisions?

ActiveRain Co-Founder & CEO, Jonathan Washburn, shared some initial insights in the official Localism Q&A post:

"We are still establishing a written set of guidelines.  Right now I am instructing the editors to accept posts that they would find interesting and valuable if they were looking for information on that particular area.  It is important to note that the more granular the post is tagged the less picky the editors are.  For example, a marginal quality post will likely be accepted on a Community blog, but a very good post may not make the cut for the state blog page.  To have a state level post accepted, it needs to be exceptional."

Jonathan also shared some helpful tips in "10 Steps to Localism Success."

Initially, we're asking our members to focus their writing on content that isn't specifically 'real estate related.' Our goal in the first phase is to attract consumer readership/participation (neighbors & residents of our communities). In order to achieve this goal, we need to have a wider variety of topics. There will be a separate link/tab on each Community Page to direct people to real estate specific posts, such as Listings, Market Reports, etc..

~    o    ~    o    ~    o    ~    o    ~    o    ~

With those things in mind, allow me to expand things further. Let's take care of some of the technical aspects first:

1) Spell Korecklee:  Use the Spell Check function. It's working now, thanks to our resident stud, Jorgen. If we claim to be professionals, we need to convey ourselves as such.

2) A Blog is NOT a BILLBOARD:  A blog post is not an ad. While some aspects of your post will naturally be self-promotional in nature, that doesn't mean that your entire article should read like one massive billboard touting how awesome you are, and plastered with every conceivable means of contacting you, along with a link to every website and web-page you own. Less is more.

3) People Like Pictures:  It's a proven fact - good relevant graphics/pictures improve/enhance blog readership. Take your digital camera with you wherever you go. Take your own good local photos and you'll never have to be concerned about copyright infringement.

4) Aim for the Bullseye:  Be as specific or niche-oriented with your geo-targeting as possible. By that, I mean, post your article to the most narrow and specific location, as applicable. It will be much easier to have an article approved for Poinciana, than it will be for the whole State of Florida.

5) Use Your Own Voice:  Don't 'Copy & Paste.' There are no 'quick' & 'easy' shortcuts to effective blogging.

Now for the more 'creative' aspects (think 'DO-BEE's of Effective Local Content Blogging):

1) BE YOURSELF:  It's not rocket science. Sometimes we have a tendency to over-think these things. Most importantly, be yourself. That is one of the foundational aspects of conversational blogging - to convey your own unique personality, perspective, and passions. Your readers want to know who and what you are; what makes you tick; how you conduct your business. Allow 'YOU' to always come through in your writing.

2) BE 'CONSUMER-CENTRIC:'  Don't talk all about yourself. Share information/resources that consumers will find helpful, interesting, and valuable. Put yourself in the consumer's shoes. What would attract them to your post? What would they find most engaging?

3) BE 'LOCAL MINDED:'  Remember to stay focused on relevant local information, news, events, points/places of interest, etc. Think Little League, church happenings, interview local leaders, fund raising events, profiles of everyday people, neighborhood merchants & business owners, garage sales, local politics, school activities/sports, local neighborhood flavor & ambiance.

4) BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR:  Find meaningful ways of giving back to the community, i.e. volunteer work, charity functions, fund-raising, etc., and then blog about it

In a nutshell, our editors are going to be reviewing your articles through the eyes of the consumer. They'll be looking for articles that:

  • capture the consumer's interests
  • are aesthetic (well constructed & formatted)
  • read well (convey thoughts intelligently)
  • reveal the writer's personality
  • provide value to the reader (relevant local information)

By incorporating these aspects into your hyper-local blogging efforts, you'll generate good local content, attract greater readership to your blog, and improve your chances of having your posts approved.

Posted by

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Rich Jacobson is a REALTOR® and licensed Broker with Fathom Realty. He's a Crab Hunter, Clam Digger, and Oyster Shucker, skilffuly vanquishing anything in a shell! He is the Social Media Evangelist for Life on the Kitsap Peninsula & The Western Puget Sound in scenic WA State.


Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

In other words, a good blog like we should be writing for ActiveRain!  LOL.

Jul 30, 2008 04:32 AM
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

It's interesting to re-read this a couple of weeks later. Perspectives change over time, and I think now that we're through the initial barrage of Localism questions, we can focus a little more on good content.

Jul 31, 2008 03:49 PM
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

John: Like we used to say as kids on vacation....."Are we THERE yet?"

Jul 31, 2008 03:59 PM
"The Lovely Wife" The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


Hang in there Gracious...It will be quite awhile before we can actually say we're there yet :)


Aug 01, 2008 03:44 AM
"The Lovely Wife" The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

I think this one (CLICK CLICK) is a fine example of what Loco wants.

Interestingly enough she did it without even trying. You gotta respect the natural talent there :)


Aug 01, 2008 03:47 AM
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

Like my competitor John, it was better to come back and reread this one :)

Aug 05, 2008 10:27 AM
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK

Rich, you said,


Okay, I posted a couple of articles to Localism that fit all four.  One article was about the logo of our town.  One is about school starting, one is a welcome to Owasso, and another one is why someone would choose to live in Owasso (with pics).

If you ask me, these types of things seem to fit the four criteria you outlined and yet NONE OF THEM WERE ACCEPTED.  I'm sorry but I don't understand this at all.  And quite frankly I'm rather PO'd about it.  IF YOU WILL NOT APPROVE THESE COMMUNITY KINDS OF THINGS THEN WHAT WILL YOU APPROVE???  We are a small town where these kinds of things are relevant to every single neighborhood and person.  I'm sorry, but your editors are absolutley clueless when it comes to smalltown application of approved content - especially when they approve some of the things that they have approved for our page. 

I'd love to hear an explanation 'cause right now it sure doesn't make any sense in this part of the world.


Aug 08, 2008 11:00 AM
Pam Jank
Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro

Bob, I feel your pain.  I followed ALL the criteria for an acceptable post.  I took great time producing excellent quality community interest bogs (one was even featured twice) and they didn't make it into the state, county, city, neighborhood, nothing (only my about me page).  Yet several other trivial, not near as good, not near as informational or beneficial did make to the state, city, county & neighborhood sites. I am still baffled.

Because I followed all the guidelines, I even posted a BLOGand begged for someone from Localism to explain to me what it was that stopped them from going through.  (I asked for help in all the localism sites and included a copy of the link).  I'm a newbie, I need to know so I don't make whatever mistake again... If I don't know, I can't fix it.    I Followed all the proper criteria for Localism.  This throwing it to the wind thing doesn't seem right.

I never got a response from Rich or anyone else.   So It will be very interesting to see if anyone responds to yours. 

If there is something mysterious we are doing wrong.... we really need to know so that we can get our quality posts into the Neighborhoods we Claimed/Sponsor.  

Still felling your pain. Pam 


Aug 08, 2008 12:00 PM
"The Lovely Wife" The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


I think I'll wait it out. Sounds like posting ASAP comes with a bit of frustration.

T-iiiiiiiiiii-me is on my side. Yes it is. La La La.

Pretend I'm singing...It works better like that :)


Aug 08, 2008 12:57 PM
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK


Thank you for chiming in.  I've complained before also only to feel like it felt on deaf ears.  Been a couple of hours now and no response.  Hmmmm.  Rich?  Oh Rich...where are you Rich?  Rich??? Come out and talk to us...PLEASE

Broker Bryant's Wife...I'm hoping time is on our side!


Aug 08, 2008 03:56 PM
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Great post, I have actually seen some incredibly well written material here and It's been eyeopening and along with some of the great information and support I am improving and learning more all the time. Hmmm...this is starting to sound rah-rah but I am just glad to have found this place!

One thing. for some raeson I do not have spell check but when looking at another persons computer I noticed it was there. I am not sure whay this is happening!

Aug 08, 2008 04:05 PM
n d
Naoma Doriguzzi - Virginia Beach, VA

I love it!  What a great list to go by and hopefully we can get everyone on the same page for localism posts

Aug 09, 2008 12:51 PM
n d
Naoma Doriguzzi - Virginia Beach, VA

I love it!  What a great list to go by and hopefully we can get everyone on the same page for localism posts

Aug 09, 2008 12:51 PM
n d
Naoma Doriguzzi - Virginia Beach, VA

I love it!  What a great list to go by and hopefully we can get everyone on the same page for localism posts

Aug 09, 2008 12:51 PM
Mauricio Navarro
AOVZ.COM - Miami, FL

Thanks for the tips!.. I'll be sure to implement them next time a post blogs on localism..

- Toronto Mortgages

Aug 10, 2008 03:44 AM
Deb Brooks
Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX

Rich, has it gone public now? When is it scheduled for? Thanks, Deb

Aug 10, 2008 11:23 AM
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate

Hi Rich.  I have written lots of posts for Localism, and I think that every one of them have fit the whole scope of the site.  I was browsing the new site a few weeks ago and was pretty turned off by the fact that a post about how to be a great kisser was right on the front page for SC.  Definitely NOT something I would be looking for if wanting to find out about SC.

Aug 11, 2008 04:10 PM
Dave Thomas
William Raveis Real Estate - Mystic, CT

I love the concept of Localism but the towns and communities in my area are a mess.  I replied to "Errors on Localism, Let's Get Them Fixed" on August 10th (as I did want to sponsor additional communities) but still nothing has been corrected.

I realize that this is a big undertaking and I am hoping that these issues will get worked out.



Aug 16, 2008 01:25 PM
Dave Thomas
William Raveis Real Estate - Mystic, CT

Abusing Photo Upload

FYI...I recently noticed...what appears to me to be abuse to uploading photos...some are uploading photos of themselves, listings with visable signs, and realtors logos.  Is this permitted?


Aug 17, 2008 08:24 AM
Mary Ann Daniell Realtor
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Subsidiary of NRT LLC - Killeen, TX
Delivering Successful Results Since 1999

What is approved content might vary from market to market, possibly?   My content wasn't the absolute best, but I was getting leads and closing transactions from it.   Will those who "approve" articles take different market needs, demographics, etc. into consideration when reviewing articles for inclusion in Localism?

Aug 19, 2008 03:53 AM