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August 2007

How to Subscribe to a Blog Using RSS

A common question for many newbies joining the blogosphere is what is RSS? It stands for Really Simple Syndication.  Simplest answer - it's a way to subscribe or choose the content, blogs, podcasts, news feeds you want to have access to, when you want it.  From Wikipedia, "RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with their favorite web sites in an automated manner that's easier than checking them manually."

Blogs, podcasts and some websites that update their content frequently will have an RSS feed on their site.

Rssicon This is the common symbol for RSS.  You may also see a button that says "RSS feeds" or "Feed Readers".   There are numerous "Feed Readers" - free websites where you can store and access all your favorite feeds to the blogs and other sites you want to read. 

Step 1:  Choose the Feed Reader you want to use.  My favorites:  Google Reader and Microsoft IE 7 Feeds feature. 

How to use the IE 7 Feed Reader

FeedtoolbarTIP:  For the Internet Explorer 7 browser - you'll notice the RSS button (located on the toolbar that has favorites and the tabs for the websites you have opened) turns orange if it detects a feed on the page.  Just simply click on the RSS button and it will take you to a page that has  "subscribe to this feed" link.

Boingboingfeed_4

Now click on "Subscribe to this feed" and then "subscribe.

Iefeed_2

The image below illustrates where your feeds are stored in the Internet Explorer browser - right next to your favorites.  Just click on the "Feeds" tab to view your feeds.  Sites with new content will be in bold.

Myfeeds

Step 2 (For all other Feed Readers):  When you want to subscribe to the blog or site you like - just click on the RSS button on the blog or website and add it to your reader. 

Here is a graphic displaying  many popular feed readers or "aggregators":

Feedreaders

Next in the series: Top 15 Tips for Blogging


How to Post a Comment on a Blog

As I share my passion for blogging with others, I've realized that so many people are just becoming aware of blogs and curious about how to really participate.  So this post is all about the how and why of COMMENTS on blogs.  The comment feature of a blog is one of the primary differences between a website and a blog.  A blog is designed to be conversational - invite commentary, questions, two-way or multiple conversations.  Another reason to comment on blogs is you are able to create a link that can take a reader to your website or blog.  Linking is another powerful feature of blogs.

Here's how easy it is to join the conversation! 

  1. Every blog post has it's own unique web address.  For example the URL or address of this post is http://www.janobrien.com/2007/08/how-to-post-a-c.html.  So one way to get to the comment area is to simply click on the Title of the blog post and you will be able to see the "Post a Comment" box.  Now just enter your name, email and website address then make your comment or ask your question.  You can preview it, make sure you've spelled everything correctly and then click post.  That's it - your done!
  2. You can also access the Comment box by clicking on "Comments" for the blog post.  It is located in the footer - at the end of the post for my blog.  Sometimes you will find the comment link right after the Title.

    Commentbox_3

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NV Supreme Court Decision Affects Sellers Real Property Disclosure (SRPD)

Welcome to Steve Kitnick - Guest Contributor:

Stevenkitnick_photo_2On July 26th, 2007 the Supreme Court of the State Of Nevada in Nelson v. Heer held that appellant Nelson "did not have a duty under NRS Chapter 113 to disclose the prior water damage or the possible presence of mold."  The reasons cited were as follows: " Under NRS 113.140, a seller of residential property is required to disclose to potential buyers only those defects of which the seller is aware.  NRS 113.100 (1) defines "defect" as "a condition that materially affect the value or use of residential property in an adverse manner."  Since appellant Nelson had repaired the prior water damage, it was no longer considered to be a "defect."  Moreover, since "she was not aware of the presence of any elevated amounts of mold," the Court held that "Nelson did not have a duty under NRS Chapter 113 to disclose the prior water damage or the possible presence of mold."

Question: Given the Supreme Court's Decision, why should a Seller disclose "previous moisture conditions and/or water damage" or "previous fungus or mold," if repairs have been performed and there no longer exists "a condition that materially affects the value or use of residential property in an adverse manner?"
 
Shouldn't we recommend to the Nevada Real Estate Division (NRED) a change in the SRPD - Form 547 to reflect the Supreme Court's Decision?

Steve Kitnick
Steven Kitnick Seminars, LLC
www.NevadaCE.com


Recap of Real Connect San Francisco 2007

Realconnectsf2007_2 What an amazing experience Bloggers Connect and Real Connect 2007 in San Francisco was!  I posted my 25 Top Tips & Best Ideas About Blogging on my Active Rain Blog.  I invite you to check out what I gleaned as the best comments from the panelists and experts at Connect.

Here are key highlights from Real Connect 2007 for me:

  • The conference answered the questions: What is Web 2.0, social networking and media, and blogging?  Why do we need it and how to integrate it into our companies and business models.  The event was also about networking and meeting peers, industry leaders and technology innovators.
  • Brad Inman - the host, good interviewer - asked the tough questions.  His opening and closing remarks spoke to the interesting blend of two themes in our industry right now...The overall dismal market, mortgage industry dealing with the sub-prime fiasco and the buzz and excitement around the emerging technologies and the companies adapting to it as well as bringing these tech services to the consumer and broker/agents.
  • For a great anecdote about how the generations interact & communicate differently (and a great, simple explanation of why it's critical to understand the changing web, social networks and blogging) - read this post from Brad Inman about the young innovators and "New Kids on the Block"
  • Technology in action: people texting their questions to the moderator during the various panel discussions.
  • Connect Duets provided intriguing matchups of industry leaders.  See related post.
  • Hugh MacLeod of gapingvoid delivered a very direct and entertaining keynote address about Web 2.0.  His thesis:  Web 2.0 has it's roots circa 1917 with anthropologist BronisÅ‚aw Malinowski.  The intriguing point - it's all about "social objects".  Here's a good review of Hugh's Keynote from Matt Carter on Inman News
  • Check out my San Francisco Pictures at Flickr
  • The Palace Hotel - historical, grand, perfect location!

Palacehotel_4


Real Connect San Francisco - Connect Duets Provide Compelling Content

One of the best features of Real Connect in San Francisco was Connect Duets.  This format paired two industry leaders with Brad Inman moderating the discussion, asking questions and inviting questions from the audience (even via text message!)

Dale Stinton, CEO of NAR and Rich Barton, Founder/CEO of Zillow.com

  • Stinton discussed some new initiatives for NAR and Realtor.com stating that "we are playing catchup and won't fall behind again."  He discussed creating a "consumer experience" and a national gateway of all real estate data for members. More from the Inman Blog.
  • Barton talked about Zillow features:  Q&A, agent profiles, Easy Ads and brokerage feeds for mass updating of listings

Peter Flint, Founder/CEO of Trulia and Russ Capper, President, Prudential Real Estate Services

  • Brad Inman confronted the controversy over Trulia getting tossed from this year's Pruential Real Estate Affiliates convention in San Diego.  Capper handled it diplomatically citing the corporate policy and communication mix-up at the last moment.  PREA had not approved other comparable "competitors" for listing portals and due to a mix-up had to ask both Trulia and Zillow to leave the convention booth area.
  • Flint commented that ultimately the press they got over the event helped their company.

Lennox Scott, CEO, John L Scott Real Estate andGlenn Kelman, CEO, Redfin

  • Scott talked about his traditional real estate firm (just celebrated 75th anniversary) and how they embrace technology.  Real Time - Real Estate.  Innovative use of mapping technology.
  • Kelman discussed the infamous 60 Minute segment and their agent as employee business model.

Craig Newmark, Founder, Craigslist.org and Alex Perriello, CEO, Realogy

  • Newmark likened craigslist to an online Flea Market - a blend of commerce and socializing/conversing.  Craigslist is in 450 cities and 50 countries.
  • Perriello announced the partnership with Yahoo which will result in the uploading of 700,000 listings to the Yahoo Classifieds.  Prudential remains the exclusive franchise to partner with Yahoo for the MLS listings in Yahoo Real Estate.

Beer with Bloggers, Blogging Tips from Tisza and Project Blogger Winner Announced

I'm attending the Real Estate Connect and Bloggers Connect in San Francisco and will be posting reports, updates and the best tips and ideas I gather from the various sessions. 

The first social networking session was held last night at the Thirsty Bear - "Beer with Bloggers".  The place was jam-packed with bloggers and the beer was flowing.  I met several interesting people and was jazzed to have a great conversation with my Project Blogger pick:  Tisza Major- Posner of Route66Living.  Project Blogger was an online blogging contest co-sponsored by Inman News and Active Rain where novice bloggers and blogging coaches were matched up over a 4 month period with the goal of producing the most successful blog.  The contest was not without it's controversy - over judging continuity, etc.  Project Blogger Links - quick links to all the apprentices, coaches and their respecive blogs.  The contest winner was announced today at the Bloggers Connect... and the winner's are Mary Pope-Handy (apprentice) and Frances Flynn Thorsen (coach).

Back to my conversation with Tisza.  Her best advise on blogging came from Dustin Luther of RainCityGuide fame.  Dustin related at a seminar she attended that "your blog post is your email to the world."   To me this is a powerful statement for a couple of reasons: 

  1. It reminds me to write in a conversational tone; to the point with clarity and relevancy
  2. Your blog is on the Internet - it can reach anyone and everyone - that's a reality check for me.   Am I writing content that matters? contributes? informs? entertains?  educates?  These are the questions that are important to me and the purpose of my Real Estate Coach Blog.

The other top tip from Tisza was about finding content for your blog.  She shared that "questions from clients can be sanitized and become a great source of blog posts."   How many times have we been asked the same questions - over and over again - from clients?  Or for me...from agents.  The big point for me here was adopting an awareness and mindset of how can this situation, question, event become a post on my blog?  Is it relevant and related to my blog's focus?