Thursday, November 15, 2007

Real estate book created in record time

Yesterday I was introduced to Steve Kantor, who conceived the idea of a book gathering the thoughts of 1,000+ REALTORS® about how to stay successful in a down market. He pulled the book's contents together in five (!) days. The ebook was available for download within one day, and the printed book will be available as of Friday. I commend Steve and his team for the effort, although it remains to be seen whether the information is useful....

Tired in Las Vegas

I've been in Las Vegas since Sunday, primarily for the National Association of REALTORS® conference and also to attend the Word of Mouth Marketing Association Summit (warning -- the WOMMA site talks!).

As we come to the close of Thursday, I'm tired. I've had more drinks than usual, slept fitfully, had 12+ hour days (filled with enjoyable, interesting activities, but long nonetheless), and have hardly breathed outdoor air.

I'll be glad to get home.....

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Real Estate BloggerCon tomorrow!

Tomorrow (Nov. 12, 2007) I'll be hosting NAR's first-ever BloggerCon, along with the Center for REALTOR Technology, at NAR's annual conference in Las Vegas.

It will take place from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. in the Venetian Hotel, in the Bloggers Lounge on Level 4 - Zeno 4605.

If you're a REALTOR® or a REALTOR® association executive and you blog, please come and meet the other bloggers and share your thoughts.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Adding more widgets to the blog

Look at the right column to see what I've been twittering (tweeting?) about, as well as what I'm listening case you're interested. What are you listening to/twittering about, and do you post that information on your blog? I'd love to know your reasons either way.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Web standards and governance

I've convened my team in our DC office for a "content summit," my term for an intensive session to:
  • refine our content strategies/standards/guidelines/policies
  • standardize the job that our content strategists do between offices and with various departments throughout our association
  • position the team to be able to govern the site more effectively. Lisa Welchman will be working with us on this final piece.

We'll be posting the site's standards online -- I'll post the link when it's up.

After a glass of wine and a relaxing dinner, I'll be ready for a third day of interesting discussions tomorrow.

Sunday, July 01, 2007 2.0

Check out the new, just relaunched today! It's "as an enhanced multimedia site - packed with web 2.0 features such as recommendations and user generated content," according to Read/Write Web. Many of the standards and ideas that it implemented are the same ones we are using or planning to use on, which is validating:

  • Streaming video vs. forcing downloads
  • Playing streaming video in Flash, vs. Windows Media Player
  • "Integrated multimedia storytelling," which we are taking baby steps toward doing
Some of the site's other new features are ones only in our minds at the moment, including Ajax; "we recommend" and "hot topics" dynamically generated for text and video content; and multiple opportunities for readers to engage with articles, video, and categories.

Friday, May 25, 2007

A revolution in corporate communications is coming your way soon

Debbie Weill, in her BlogWrite for CEOs blog, wrote about a phenomenon that I've been watching for quite some time. (I wrote an article about this back in January 2005, "To make your website work, transform your communicators from writers to editors.") The blogosphere and the rise of social media have made this transformation happen faster and more fully than I expected, though!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

12 Important U.S. Laws Every Blogger Needs to Know

Thanks to C. David Gammel, whose High Context Consulting blog is a must-read for association communicators and Web folks, for pointing to this useful post about the legalities of running a blog. The post covers
  1. dos and don'ts of paid blog posts (you should disclose them)
  2. whether deep linking is legal (it is, as long as it doesn't violate copyright)
  3. using images and thumbnails (make sure you don't use images without permission)
  4. laws protecting you from stolen content
  5. domain name trademark issues
  6. handling private data about your readers
  7. ownership and rights to user-generated content
  8. your responsibility in monitoring comments
  9. basic blog-related tax laws
  10. limited liability laws and incorporating
  11. laws about spam and unsolicited emails
  12. bloggers and journalism shield laws

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Are you all a-Twitter?

I've signed up for Twitter. Not sure whether it'll be useful, but it's worth a shot. If you want, please add me as a friend:

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Diagram of a blog

This image from today's NY Times is all too true! Reminds me of the old light bulb joke about email lists:

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

How associations can use blogs effectively

Whew! I just finished an article for FORUM Magazine, the monthly publication of the Association Forum of Chicago. I learned a ton and got reenergized about this blog. When the article is live, I'll share it here.

Because of that article, I'm now addicted to several blogs that I was a casual visitor to before:
Charlene Li's blog sharing Forrester analysts' insights
Logic+Emotion from David Armano
The Kinja feed of posts from several smart association communication issues blogs
John Bell's Digital Influence Mapping Project

Saturday, March 03, 2007

What are your marketing challenges and goals for 2007?

Nonprofit communicators, you're invited to take a short survey created by Nancy Schwartz of Getting Attention. Nancy's articles on how nonprofits can succeed through effective marketing are fresh and insightful, and she wants the community's input to make her articles even better. It's only seven questions, including:
  • Looking back at 2006, what was your biggest disappointment or frustration? And what was your greatest success?
  • What are your top three communications goals for 2007?
  • As you look ahead to 2007, please rate these marketing and communications challenges as they relate to your organization. (checklist)

The survey is located at What are your marketing challenges and goals for 2007?.

Excellent post on technical problem-solving

Michael Stein, who blogs about nonprofit technology issues, offered an important insight about problem solving: "when several problems start up at once, odds are they are related." The example he gave was about connectivity issues, but it's a principle that is relevant in many other situations. Thanks for the insight, Michael!

My new role

I am now the managing director of, overseeing the site's content, technology, design, information architecture, and metrics. Guess I'll be busy!

The site has 670,000 registered users and receives more than 1.3 million visits per month. We have ambitious goals for it, including better content management functionality, more multimedia, and user-generated content -- stay tuned!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Women blogging

I've heard about this community for quite a while, but just took the plunge and joined today. We'll see where it goes for me....

Monday, January 15, 2007

Online music

I've been spending way too much time during this three-day weekend exploring the world of music blogging and community. I've been having fun with it, and realizing how many others there are doing the same thing. Check out some of my online presences:

hilarymarsh at
"Chicks with Guitar" radio on Pandora

Anyone else on these communities too?