Hate Speling Misstakes And Bad Pictures in the MLS? Support My Campaign For NAR President And Put an End to this Nonsense once and for all
July 28, 2008
Having a little too much post-Inman fun and excitement…
Tags: Humor, Industry, NAR
Hey, Real***-Genius.com, Need An Attorney For That Bomb NAR Just Dropped On You? I Think The Sellsius Boys May Be Available
October 2, 2007
Nothing like a good cease-and-desist letter to tarnish the reputation of an institution with an already low public regard. The National Association of Realtors, the protectors of the real estate industry and the trademarked term Realtor (r), has decided that RealtorGenius.com has to, well, stop using the phrase “Realtor” in its domain name. Which pretty much means…it’s going to have to shut down.
Fortunately, the Sellsius boys, fresh from their cross-country trip and a fishin’ expedition, are ready to do battle. Coincidence?
Tags: Industry, NAR
Reaping The Fruits Of Others’ Labor? Or Adding Value To It?
September 28, 2007
For those who care about such things, the big recent news is, of course, the Move.com vs. Active Rain dustup. While much of the commentary amongst Active Rainers has been supportive of their fearless leaders, there is also an underlying angst about the notion that while the content of Active Rain is provided by its 50,000-odd members, the windfall from the prospective sale would have accrued not to those members, but to the owners of Active Rain. Were Messrs. Mardini, Heaton, and Washburn indeed going to enrich themselves with the fruits of others’ labor?
The question really boils down to this: wherein lies the value of a community network such as Active Rain? I say the value is twofold:
- The community itself
- The ecosystem that provides value to that community
Without the hard work of the community, Active Rain would be just an empty shell. Conversely, without the ecosystem that the Active Rain platform provides, many of the 50,000 participants’ blogs would be a fraction of what they are now.
So is it fair for the owners of an ecosystem to profit from the contributions of the members? Fair or not, that’s the way our capitalist system works: unless Active Rain was structured as an online collective, it is unlikely that the members would have seen a personal windfall.
Think of two other similar ecosystems: Ebay and Craigslist.
At Ebay the sellers do all the work of getting a product ready, advertising it on the site, shipping it to the winning bidder, and rating the buyer. The buyers do all the work of bidding, submitting their credit card information, and rating the seller. Ebay simply provides the ecosystem that makes all this possible, and intervenes to deal with disputes and fraud. Buyers and sellers do all the work, and the only benefit they get is the ability to buy and sell stuff — a great benefit, to be sure, but nowhere near the benefit that Ebay gets of being a multi-billion dollar company.
Craigslist provides not only a platform for buying and selling goods and services, but also for matching employers and employees, renters and landlords. Again, the community does all the work. The founder and majority owner of Craigslist, Craig Newmark, could be a multi-gazillionaire many times over, but has chosen to settle for merely millionaire status. Again, its the owner to whom the economic profits accrue.
We can argue all day — and we have been — about whether Active Rain is worth $30M or not. What we cannot argue with is the notion that, whatever its monetary value, it rightfully accrues to its owners, not its contributors.
Tags: Active Rain, Craig Newmark, Craigslist, Ebay, Industry, Move.com, NAR
July 31, 2007
With due apologies to my civilian readers, my content over the next few days will be heavy on the geeky-technology-side of real estate — you know, with the Inman conference starting tomorrow and all.
Personal highlights included…
1) meeting The Incomparable Kris Berg (her new official title)…here pictured with Dan Green. Despite her travails during the long trip here all the way from San Diego, she appeared in good spirits.
2) Connecting again with David G from Zillow, complete with a t-shirt that read “I’m DavidG from Zillow. Who the hell are you?” Here he is shown with special agent Therese Swan of Alain Pinel Realtors.
3) Scoring a t-shirt from Trulia, here modeled by none other than CEO Pete Flint. First the front (”Find me on Trulia Voices”), then the back (”because I’m too old for Myspace.”) A rumor was circulating that earlier versions of this t-shirt had the punchline “because I’m not creepy enough for Myspace.”
4) Getting a look at the fabled Sellsius blog mobile, fresh from a cross country trip:
5) Meeting the Sellsius twins again…Joe here pictured with Ardell Dellaloggia and Dan Green…and then with Mark Lesswing from NAR. (Mark graciously forgave me for asking some tough questions during his presentation a few months ago at an Opes Advisors-sponsored event.)
7) Comedic highlight of the evening was this somewhat futilely-posted sign, missing perhaps at least a zero, judging by the size of the crowd.
Tags: Inman, Mark Lesswing, NAR, Pete Flint, Trulia, Zillow