I am still trying to figure out what the San Diego Home Blog wants to be when it grows up. We originally rolled out in April of last year with the goal of providing an online resource for local real estate news and trends, and to provide a forum for discourse on all things real estate. In my innocence of youth and in my blogging infancy, I envisioned droves of consumers hungry for real estate information participating in a question and answer and opinion sharing free-for-all. Now, these many months later, we have a healthy audience of consumers; this much I know from the emails I get from past clients, the feedback I get at appointments and the statistics on my hit counter. Unfortunately, getting this readership contingent to move from outsider-looking-in to active participant has been more difficult than I imagined. We have an even healthier industry readership, and we of course have our “trolls”, or rabble rousers, all of whom add value to our site.
Out of this diversity has sprung my challenge – the challenge of content. I have made a conscious effort to mix it up, knowing that each audience is vastly unique. One may have interest in one topic while no stomach for another. In trying to engage both cats and dogs without alienating either, I have been accused of being too dry, too funny, to local, too global, too industry and too Mom and Pop. In the end, I suppose I will just continue to write on a variety of topics that interest me, and hope that along the way someone with find some value, if simply of the entertainment variety.
As our little Blog has evolved, our social network has grown, and I consequently find myself here, there and everywhere. I call it my version of robbing from Peter to pay Paul. As a contributer on the Bloodhound Blog in addition to my responsibility for maintaining SDHB, I find myself creating a post and then having to decide who gets the goods. Since the Bloodhound has a more broad reaching, industry analysis bent, the more generally topics seem to end up there and the more grass-roots interest stories here.
Technology in generally and blogging in particular will be the industry story of the year in 2007, and I see the lines being drawn – Peter versus Paul. I call Peter the hometown blog, with content specific to a local geographic area. Some great Peter examples are Real Central VA, miOakland County, the Real Estate Guide, the Boise Blog, St Paul Real Estate and, yes, our own San Diego Home Blog. Others such as the Bloodhound, Rain City Guide, Inman Blog, Sellsius, Seth’s Blog and Future of Real Estate Marketing to name but a few fall into the Paul category, the large, well-traveled, even syndicated, rich cousin. Of course, there are also those somewhere in the middle, the “tweeners” on the authority scale (I consider NY Houses 4 Sale and 3 Oceans Real Estate, and Real Estate Undressed among these), who, fall somewhere in between.
So much information on so many sites will make subsciption to aggregate sites more essential for anyone who wishes to truly keep up with the vast knowledge base and exchange of ideas. Case in point, our somewhat uncharacteristicly dry post yesterday on Better Know a Neighborhood was in response to a request to participate in a new aggregate site, MyHouseKey. Check it out. It is still “Beta” (when I last looked, I found some humorous left side bar mishaps, such as locating Scripps Ranch within Peoria and San Diego in Placer County), but in the long term I think this may be, if not hugely successful, then at least indicative of where on-line information dissemination is heading. I like it. It forces us to get back to our roots here – San Diego real estate – while it gives us expanded exposure. Admittedly, this exposure may benefit our business, but ultimately I believe it will benefit our clients. That blog is linked to our blog which is linked to the other blog which links back to our blog and, ultimately, our website with our homes for sale.
Any succesful agent knows that marketing is broad brush. All activities are unique, yet taken only in their totality achieve measurable and sustainable results. I like being of local interest, but dabbling in the larger ponds of knowledge and perspective keeps me sharp, relevant and most effective. So, for the time being, I will attempt to be here, there, and everywhere. Or, you might say, Peter, Paul and merry.
Note: For our local readers, you will notice that I have added a link to the right side bar which will take you directly to my posts at the Bloodhound. As the link Page Properties suggest, I am affectionately known as “author 12”. But don’t stop there, as the site includes a wealth of contributors with as many personalities as a schizophrenia convention.