Business blogs will take off - Active Rain is a harbinger

Real estate agent network.
(don't I get Active Rain networking points for this link?)

Word is getting out about the utility of business blogs for real estate professionals. Active Rain, the real estate blogging/networking community grew from 3,158 members to double that - 6,306 in the just 45 days between August 15 and October 1.

Blogging took a while to take hold in the non-tech business world... blogging pioneers became fashionable a couple of years ago but I can understand why it took so long for business. The masses had to get used to blogging - the exposure of one's thoughts and personality to the world - as something normal people do. And now normal people do it on MySpace.

Similarly, business networking had to overcome the same hurdles - to network well is to publicize your life and career details to a defined set of relevant individuals. The masses understand business networking sites like LinkedIn because they function like online resumes. Active Rain lent blogging some credibility by posing as a networking site (you'll notice most members don't blog yet).

Just for kicks, here's my informal time table on how business people "networked" themselves (from my perspective after graduating college) -

1980's - Rolodex marketing. Business networking was not formalized beyond the Lions' Club (and other old worldly organizations to which I never belonged), alumni events and the industry cocktail parties (as far as I knew)
1983 - Although PhoneMate introduced the first 10-pound answering machine in 1971, I did not own one until 1983 when attending business school. Up until then, your office receptionist took pink slip messages. The answering machine launched 24-hour availability when coupled with the call-in playback functionality (which I remember I paid a lot extra for in 1983). Even then, quick response time became a gold star for an interviewing B-school student.
1984 - Everyone I knew was adding contact details into the PC "Address Book".
1985 - 1993 - during this time, it seemed like business networking still hadn't changed - it was done privately and sometimes used letters for introduction to higher up referrals. Needed to purchase engraved Crane letterhead every time I moved. Focus during this time was on the art of the interview ("don't skip the details, get an expensive pen and umbrella") which became a precursor to the focus on the art of "working a room".
1993 - Susan RoAne's "The Secret of Savvy Networking" and their ilk top business book charts
1994 - John Guare's 1990 play "Six Degrees of Separation" inspires the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon . Networking becomes a numbers game where 3 degrees of separation between people becomes acceptable and informal. "Hi, Larry, our friend Moe tells me you're working with Shemp".
1997 - While researching internet plays as an IB, I joined, the first online social network. I compiled a network of about 10.
1997-2002 - Networking hits its peak, especially with the dotcom crowd. I recall an absurd article (even then) about the most networked doctom individual who had this elaborate email system to track everyone with an occasional "high five" missive. Interestingly, I can't remember any social networking sites between 2000-2002. They succumbed to the dot-bomb as no-revenue-model plays.
2002 - Invited to Ryze by a friend with an apologetic note saying something like "it may not be for everyone, but it is interesting and growing fast". Here's my first guestbook signing (still at my dormant Ryze page)>

Adrian Scott, 03/14/02:
 Alright - Blaxxun alum! Welcome!

Social networking is now institutional with sites catering to the masses and to small verticals... business blogging by individuals should follow suit. These days, I advise kids they better learn how to write, because when they are ready to join the workforce, their academic work will be exposed for all to see and judge.

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  • 10/10/2006 4:34 AM teresa boardman wrote:
    Pat, your pattern of blogging is common. read my post, for members only on active rain. Sometime this week I want to see something made transparent.
    Reply to this
    1. 10/10/2006 7:06 AM P Kitano wrote:
      I see what you mean... (anyone reading this comment should sign up at Active Rain and read Teresa's post here. If you're not signed up, you won't be able to see it, it's members only).

      In my case, I am consciously repositioning Transparent Real Estate towards addressing my client base - Realtors and mortgage brokers. Over the past two weeks, I had to develop a lesson plan for clients who want to start blogging, and posting the plan seemed the most convenient. Most of my readership are in two camps - my client base and the RE blogging community, and the blogging posts just happen to be targeted to the client base; I've received good feedback from my email-based clients, they still don't comment on blogs yet...

      I realized early on during blogging that Realtors like could cover consumer issues much better than me because you're close to them. Many of the article topics I chose related more to issues faced by Realtors. I appreciate you help greatly on lead generation - you recruited an advocate to find another solution for Realtors in generating their own leads instead of buying them. I've also enjoyed writing about technology and ways Realtors can improve their business.

      Thanks for the advice... I will soon go back to more informative topics after this wave of introductory blogging posts.

      PS -

      I also like the way you've separated your writing to your two audiences - your St Paul blog (oops! I just realized you got knocked off my blogroll when I changed the url for "in the trenches", this is a bug in this blogging platform. I'll fix it now) for your home buying and selling clients and Active Rain  for your blogger audience. I will do that, probably with a new blog associated with SaveonClosingCosts, our consumer facing site.

      Reply to this

  • 10/10/2006 9:42 AM Jeff wrote:
    Geeze are always one step ahead. Just subscribed to ActiveRain and was linking TransparentRE to my list of favorites when...bang! here you are writing about them too. lol!
    Reply to this
    1. 10/10/2006 10:02 AM P Kitano wrote:
      Jeff, we're on the same wavelength / simpatico / in accord / like-minded

      Reply to this

  • 10/10/2006 11:46 AM teresa boardman wrote:
    I miss your transparent stuff. There is a Realtor audience for reading about transparency wenn it comes to the internet. Just a tought. I still like your blog and did not mean to get you going.
    Reply to this

  • 2/1/2008 11:11 PM Kredyt Mieszkaniowy wrote:
    It was hard to find such Blog. At last! So many usefull info
    Good work!
    Reply to this

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