State of The Blog Report- Know Your Identity

Today, I respond to the following articles:

*Realtor Genius' Web 2. Oh No
*BawldGuy's Adios Blog
*Greg's Line in the Sand
*RSS Pieces' Style Thesis
*Athol's Neener Neener
*Lockwood's Hate/Love Affair

Because I am friends with 4 of the 5 blogs mentioned above, I will speak in generalities...

1.) I am noticing a heating up of pee contests online (so what if I've used this phrase before?!?!). Some of you know that you are agitating the pit bull that is chained up, but listen well- when the chain breaks, you won't be able to run fast enough and I predict you'll lose parts of your pants. Sure, your friends think it's funny because they don't like the pit bull and your making funny faces at it is entertaining, or they do like the pit bull and they are just bored. However, the pissing contest is one that has an eventual winner (and loser) and I for one squat, so I won't get into the urine launching arena. Just remember though, someone has to lose. I just hope that everyone calms down- we're blogging for business, not for fun. If you want a fun blog about pants and music, get off of the RE airwaves.

2.) I have also noticed a great deal of Web 2.0 observations going on and I am loving it! Lockwood does a great job of bringing this topic up, and Realtor Genius tears it a new hole (yeah, that hole). While they talk about the merit (or lack thereof) of the Web 2.0 movement, I have to pause to affirm that it is a means to connect with your clients by being more natural and by being yourself which is a great benefit to those with relatable personalities. The problem that Realtor Genius notes is that many bloggers put on a sideways hat and say "whattup dawg" to attempt to relate rather than being themselves (which he asserts is the point of Web 2.0).

3.) Jeff Brown and I had an off-line conversation about RSS Pieces' article regarding style and he made the distinct note that style and voice are not the same thing. He and I have voices that are recognizable even if we don't put our names on our articles or comments- it's inescapable. My style, however, changes with each article. My style can be the Troublemaker (see Point 1), and I can be authoritative, but my voice is usually silly and I don't take myself too seriously. I AM a 20-something non-Realtor, and I write as such. I never pretend to have a voice/style that is one of a Realtor with 20 years worth of experience (like Jeff). To complete my stream of consciousness point on the RSSPieces article, your style is not your voice (as the piece asserts) and the two should not be confused. I may have a silly style in one article and a condemning style in another, but my voice is constant because of who I am- you are always able to point me out in the blogosphere (even if I play the anonymous card).

I am the first to stand up for myself and others, but I think we should all get back to what we were doing- blogging about real estate (usually for the consumer). Some of you can pee further than me (and others can't), but who cares? I don't blog to clients- my niche is more for Realtors (and the occasional spouse), so I remind those who ARE blogging to clients to relax and get your eyes back on the ball. Please. I mean, now. :)


Jonathan Dalton said...

Gee, mom ... what's the fun in that?

Jay Thompson said...

Well said.


JD- mom? Come on... okay, it was commanding, but this pissing back and forth is getting a little boring.

JT- gracias and Hook 'Em! (Oh, and two words- that's a first for the Phoenix Real Estate Guy... haha!)

John L. said...

Wow, thanks for the links. That's really nice. I do think your husband had a much better article on Web 2.0 recently. Like the guy selling 25 cent apples at four for a buck, I'm just trying to make it up in volume. :)

john harper said...

Thanks for stopping by The Harper Team

I almost added you to my list because of all the peeing, but got sidetracked over to Realtor Genius which I added to my blogroll and subscribed to.

Returning here to ponder some more - it was the skunk that did it. Truer words were never spoken.

Blogrolled and subscribed. It's people like you that are keeping me up late at night!


My dang husband is quite the distraction, I know! :) He's a great writer. JL, he'll be with you on exposing Web2.0 over the next few weeks (or however long it takes).

JH- you're the first real estate blog that was added to my first feed reader (fyi)- you had me at "McDiscount"...

btw, I have WAY too many readers who have "J" names...

Joseph Ferrara. Sellsius said...

Why does anybody want to watch someone else peeing anyway? Or maybe they do and that's why they have to put up those little walls between urinals (the boys have to stand).

Athol Kay said...

For my part of #1, I'll go egomanic again and assume it's aimed at me at least in part.

I'm just not sure how much I agree with you. If you read my post carefully I don't actually insult Greg all that much. Mainly I'm declaring the differences in style between BHB and Reagent and passionately make make the case for my own.

If you read my comments you even see me say that the BHB is the best of it's genre. I have BHB on my A-List.

I've linked to and commented on the BHB copiously despite apparently being on Greg's personal blacklist for as long as I can remember.

I certainly didn't call him a chained up pitbull.

This much I know. Everyone has an agenda and when you post something that remotely agrees with their agenda, magically they appear and post comments on your blog. I see it so clearly when I post on Zillow, Redfin etc.

Anyways thats all I can think of. I'm late for my own posting.

kris said...


Thank you for saying it. It needed to be said. Athol, I don't sense that you were being singled out. To the contrary, I think it's easy to get sucked in to the playground fight, and even I have my moments of weakness (read: stick figures). By the way, I thought your post was funny at any rate.

I find some irony in that my first week at BHB, I was pulling my own "Lani" and threatening to send some stand-up guys (get it?) to their rooms for name calling and general bad behavior.

The pissing match is boring, agreed. And it is also a distraction. However, challenging each other on ideas, concepts, content - That is healthy stuff. If we could just keep the name calling to a minimum and ignore the inclination to resort to "Your Mamma" retorts, I think we would all be better off.

John L. said...

Oh, is this thread still going on? Lani pinged me in a realated matter and now here I am again.

Ladies, by all means, "stand up" (can we get away from the urine metaphors for awhile, please?) for Greg all you want.

I'm happy to see anyone but me take on the Eigth Spiritual Act of Mercy: Teambuilding for the Troll.

Oh the poor man. The poor, poor man. He has half the Internet standing up for him, and the other half writing about him one way or another.

Defending Greg against the consequences of his posts is getting to be a real cottage industry.

I tried it for awhile, even though I can't stand the guy. I decided poking myself in the eye with a sharp stick was a more productive use of my time.


The problem online is the application of Web 2.0- if you're supposed to be yourself (I'm not speaking directly to anyone), you shouldn't kick up dirt and don a gangsta accent to get attention (unless you believe what you're spewing). I'm "friends" with some of the popular and less popular bloggers and because I'm not a competitor (or even a Realtor), it's easy to stay "neutral."

Kris- your stick figure stand up schtick was great! :)

Chris Lengquist said...

I just logged in to see if anyone actually knows the distance of peeing contest winner.

I would like to practice before joining in. I'm thinking of getting that perscription medicine that increases uring flow before beginning.

Chris Lengquist said...

Darn it all!

I misspelled urine...doh!

John L. said...

Sorry, Chris -- I hate to discourage you because you clearly have a lot of ambition, but you seem way too level-headed and socially agreeable to win on this one. :) :)

John L. said...

This thread's official logo:


The resemblance to its inspiration is not perfect, but here's the PNG if someone wants to get it right:


Athol Kay said...

Kris if only "However, challenging each other on ideas, concepts, content - That is healthy stuff" actually generated readers.

I do that and "crickets chirping".

I put jokes in my URLs and I get comments.

I wish it were otherwise. After I won the CoRE and got zero reaction for it, I changed a great deal of my content to short "whatever" pieces devoid of high brow.

Readership is up 200% in about three weeks.

Athol Kay said...

Oh and I am glad you liked the piece Kris. You're important to me.

(Lani too of course)

Joseph Ferrara. Sellsius said...


In order to challenge each other on ideas, concepts, content, we must be allowed a little leeway to poke fun(or stick figures). And we must be allowed to SPEAK in order to challenge.

The blacklisting (it is not moderation to censor ALL comments)of bloggers on BHB forecloses ANY challenge whatsoever. IMO, THAT is not healthy--- yet it does not seem to offend anyone's sense of fairness (at least no one is on record). Not a whit. Instead, it's play nice boys. (BTW, Greg is on record he does not blacklist. He does folks).

IMO Greg's doing the pissing we all should find offensive---pissing on free speech by silencing his critics--- and it stinks.

And if you subscribe to the notion that free speech does not apply to blogs, and blacklisting does not bother you, then name calling should not disturb you at all.

If you want to stand up, stand up for a principle, not propriety.

kris said...

Boys (and girl) - Please make no mistake about it. I am not here - or there - to defend anyone. Yet, I get so tired of watching the childish mischief. Do you disagree with a post or a poster? Then disagree on conceptual grounds. Do you tend to dislike a person, their personality, their thumbnail likeness? Then dislike them, but don't publicly share your personal biases. This is Psych 101 - You don't say "I hate you", but "I hate what you say".

What has and hasn't been moderated at BHB is not really my business. Stand up for principles, Joseph? The problem is that all of my information is hearsay, and to "stand up" for anything would be the same ol' "taking sides" that I am seeing and abhor. I post on BHB, but my mere presence does not signify an allegiance to an individual or individual points of view. I enjoy the other contributors and contributions there - That is the sum-total of my knowledge of the inner workings of the "evil empire". For me to insist to Greg, "Allow all of JF's comments or else!" would not only be presumptuous (since I am not privy to your past comments or the motivation for the alleged "censorship"), but it would be an act of blindly choosing teams without all of the facts. And for me to begin questioning content and admin decisions, whether they be Greg's, yours or anyone's, would be just another assault on the freedoms which you profess to defend.

Lani is intimately familiar with one frequenter of my own blog which was initially amusing, then confrontational, and finally offensive. I started with moderating selected comments but then had to blackball him altogether. He has since, admittedly and with a bit of a sense of self-deprecating humor, returned under a different name and remains a participant. The point is not that I am making parallels (I do not have enough information to do that), but that we each have our own reasons for managing our sites as we see fit. No one questions my decisions, and I will not question another's.

Having said that, I do understand your position that you should be given the courtesy of responding when you find yourself or your remarks the subject of a post. My question therefore becomes, are you indeed being singled out and "silenced" for unfair reasons or is there some history that led to this silencing? Is the moderator truly trying to eliminate divergent opinions and criticism, or is it just an administrative decision intended to keep the discourse on higher ground? That's a rhetorical question, by the way, which only you (and Greg) can answer.

Joseph, in a couple of emails we exchanged, I indicated that while I understood and respected your opinion, I am just not inclined to get involved in this. I feel like I am being inserted in the middle of something where I have no place. I want to be Geneva - Please respect my wish for neutrality.

Athol - On the lighter side of things, there is nothing wrong with either the substance-and-crickets or the levity-and-hits approach. They are just different styles with different goals involved. I love your blog - Keep it up.

Dang, it's hard being a floater.

Joseph Ferrara. Sellsius said...


I will say that I am not the only one blacklisted on BHB. There are others. But I leave it to them to take their own stand. I urge them to. My blacklisting occurred sometime ago, in a sublter form (Greg would wait until the post drifted off the front page to publish my comment). It later became an official blacklist after Weeniegate. [You will recall Greg never debated the issues (claiming they were not worthy of debate) and left another to wield a sword in his defense.]

I have screenshots of my censored comments on BHB, if you did require proof beyond my (hearsay) words. (Some I have published (link below)--read them (they are not hearsay) and decide, if you care to, whether they are blacklisting offenses--the comments weren't even directed at GS. Or remain secure in your neutrality, as is your right.

You obviously are free to take a stand or no stand on blacklisting at BHB. But consider this case in your neutrality: Greg Swan instigated a war with persons he maligned in toto as "bubbleheads" (OK by me, but labeling groups to discredit them is not my idea of intellectual strength). What followed were virulent comments and a malignant discourse which Greg seemed to relish, since most commenters were aligned with him (who knows for sure the reality since blacklisting skews the results). But here's the kicker and some insight into the man (for me)---He later took pride(?) in saying no one complained "when I "dissected him". Well, if he can dissect, he should be able to take a few scratches.

Despite my long winded digression (my profound apologies readers), my point was--- to concern ourselves with pissing contests & name calling (we are all free to look away, but like a car wreck we do not) seems to pale when compared to whether critical points of view are being muzzled at BHB. But that's just my opinion.

BTW, Greg used the term "evil".

John L. said...

Oh well, Joseph, as long as you're urging others who have enjoyed Greg's hospitality to take a stand, I'd be happy to.

My experience was that Greg told me "You're done on BHB" after I made two comments. (Two comments ever). Granted the first was not my prettiest comment, and according to some sources, "aggressive and mean" is just what I am. Yet after the first comment, I had had my clock cleaned pretty well by someone else there, so free speech was operating beautifully and instantly.

However Greg refused to let me stand up to that, giving my opponent the better of me, and he furthermore also refused my request to remove my original comments as a courtesy, clearly opting to let the record stand as though I had acted inappropriately, been told off by one of his sycophants, and backed down because I had nothing to say. It was enormously obvious to me that according to Greg, all animals were given free speech, but some animals were freer than others.

Now maybe "aggressive and mean" is a reasonable summary of my character. Nevertheless, whatever personality defects I suffer from, I am, in the parlance of social workers, at least a "high functioning" jerk. That is to say, I enjoy relative freedom of movement. On one of my own blogs, I've given Joseph as much roasting as I could come up with over the whole heads on a bus thing, but he seemed to get through it OK. (Maybe because I let him respond by way of a discussion rather than trolling with my distaste for the idea and then yanking his comments as Greg did?) I go to Sellsius and throw in a comment whenever I like, and he does the same at Sacramento-Home.

You and I, Kris, have certainly had our share of disagreements and hurt feelings, yet when I came over and said an encouraging word to a team mate of yours, not only did you not censor me just by virtue of past grudges, you had the kindness and generosity of spirit to welcome me back.

Unlike Joseph, Kris, I'm not arguing that you should do anything at BHB by way of standing up for free speech. I strongly believe that by paying the hosting bill, a webmaster can delete whatever he doesn't like, with or without cause. But in an open society, if you slam the delete key often enough on anyone who fails to kautau to the superior intellect you affect, then it seems to me the victims of that enjoy a certain liberty to lampoon your reputation as the tyrant, coward, and bully that you are.

Now perhaps you feel that by that last remark, I failed psych 101. Maybe so. But US Government 101 taught me that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Free speech, as you know, is an important check on power.

Joseph and I have certainly gone over this one privately, and I don't want to make too much of this little Ethernet Napoleon trying to conquer France with a PR5 web site. But on the other hand, just as I am libertarian with respect to his right to abuse the delete key, I don't feel any particular compunction to limit my freedom to express my displeasure using whatever colorful language strikes my fancy.

I believe Joseph's position that you should intervene, much as it discomforts you, actually stems from more kindness than I'm likely to extend toward the guy. I have no interest in dealing with Greg or writing his web site for him, so the fact that BHB is a closed society doesn't really impact me. To me, this whole blogging gig is either prospecting or it's social entertainment. Trying to keep that ten dollar Napoleonic tricorn from falling off of Swann's five dollar head is neither.

kris said...

>To me, this whole blogging gig is either prospecting or it's social entertainment.

That says it all. 22 comments later, and it really does just boil down to this succinct and enlightened little statement, doesn't it?

John, for the record and on a personal note, I never did have hurt feelings, but I was upset that our verbal sparring apparently upset you. It was never my intent that my differences of opinion with you be taken personally. Glad to know we have buried the hatchet. *End of public apology*