Powerful Online Videos changing our World

I took a few months off and now I am back and excited to re-engage with the blogosphere.  A lot has happened!  The past few months, I have seen or heard a lot of talk about video and the internet.  The power of a video isn’t quite understood by most people.  But for those who do understand this, they are seeing unheard of changes in their personal lives, businesses, and their brand impact online.

YouTube is leading the way with online video sharing and exposure.  YouTube just hit its five-year anniversary this year.  And in that time, here is where the traffic has grown. . .

“People are watching two billion videos a day on YouTube and uploading hundreds of thousands of videos daily. In fact, every minute, 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube.  Our user base is broad in age range, 18-55, evenly divided between males and females, and spanning all geographies. Fifty-one percent of our users go to YouTube weekly or more often, and 52 percent of 18-34 year-olds share videos often with friends and colleagues.”

The stories and successes from posting on YouTube are constantly occurring.  There is nothing like the pandemonium of the WorldCup winning game for the USA, check this out!

From Justin Bieber, Black Eyed Peas, and Lady Gaga- all have revolutionized the entertainment impact throughout YouTube.  This one of the Black Eyed Peas is definitely a favorite:

The discovery of new talent or a new business brand happens so often on YouTube, it would be hard to list them all.   However, I have started a list of the most powerful, life-changing, market trend shifts or stories that have impacted our world via YouTube.  Please check out my list, “YouTube Rockstars!” in my haps box, and add your favorites too. . .

So, finally, in celebration of YouTube’s 5th Anniversary, let’s watch ‘The Evolution of Dance’ – the most viewed video of all time, one more time:  Enjoy!

What is all the Tweeting Buzz about??

Social Media, otherwise known as Web 2.0, is rapidly overtaking our culture and business world.  This is a dramatic trend shift that is reshaping the way we communicate, do business, and build relationships.  It’s a tough concept to understand- how a computer can do all this and have such power in our lives.  Whatever your perception and taste for this new online world, its definitely not going away.  If you want to survive consider this direction of thought, why don’t you be the leader in your environment and learn all you can so that you keep that competitive edge over your competitors. This could prove to be one of the best strategic practices you could ever make.
Social media isn’t without its frustrations or drawbacks.  Try to learn all you can and listen to the experts.  This will save you a lot of time and headache, because trust me, the experts have already made most of these.  Here are my top 5 things to remember to stay focused, driven, and purposeful when taking that leap into this abyss.
1. Don’t try to do them all.  The top 5 to use: Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, WordPress, Google analytics/RSS/Adwords
2. Use a focused strategy, that will integrate social media marketing strategies into your traditional marketing strategies
3. Listen and learn the etiquette for each site and engage accordingly
4. Enjoy, laugh, and most importantly Be Real
5. 20 minutes a day is all it takes!
Every business and facet of our world is engaging in social media.  You need to be too.

National Fondue Day!!!

For all those fondue lovers out there, listen up!  Sunday April 11th, is the National Fondue Day!! Talk about the most genius day ever!!!

It has always cracked me up with how there seems to be a club, a group, association, or a national day set aside, for anything and everything under the sun.  Lucy from Charlie Brown coined it best when sitting at her psychiatrist booth with Charlie,  “Let’s figure out what you are feeling, so that we can label it.” Isn’t that how we tend to be here in America?

I must concede, however, and admit that this day is one that is truly genius!  Nothing is better than fresh strawberries and chocolate fondue, right?  So in honor of this day, I would like to post two of my favorite fondue recipes.  For those cooking challenged, I’d like to also point out that these are simple and delicious! So, be daring and spontaneous and bake up a fondue storm . . .

Chocolate Caramel Fondue

2 cups baking chocolate (I use a bag of milk chocolate chips)

1/3 cup evaporated milk

2/3 cup caramel sauce

*place all ingredients in ceramic fondue pot, or bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then microwave another 30 seconds, stir, continue until chocolate is smooth and completely melted. Pour into fondue pot with fire lite underneath.  Makes 2 cups.

Spinach Artichoke Cheese Fondue

8 ounces cheese, cut into cubes

1 Tablespoon flour

1 (8oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1/3 cup chopped spinach

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

* melt cheese and flour 30 seconds.  Stir. Continue heating until cheese completely melted.  Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well.  Pour into lite fondue pot and enjoy.

Fondue is fabulous!  And we all know we could use a sweet excuse like this to relax, laugh, and enjoy our weekend!  Bon Apetit!

Leaders set the pace!

Life is good.  It’s been a tough year and a touch winter, but the spring and summer is here!!

In the world of sales, or small businesses we are constantly surrounded by a myriad of people.  Many lately, have nothing but negatively to spew on everyone they come in contact with.  Yes, its been a tough year and a tough winter, but let’s put it into perspective.

I have been listening to the Success Magazine Symposium speakers from last years event.  What some amazing leaders!  I was especially intrigued by some of the stories John Addison told.  He talks about leaders -vs- “ExcuseAholics.”  We need to lead those around us through these tough times.  Things will get better!  He relays a story from a biography about Andrew Jackson.

When Andrew Jackson was President, there was the 1837 Banking Crisis that hit America.  The Louisiana Purchase just went through and there were a lot of people out west speculating in land.  Many deals and flips were taking place.  Well, this caused the banks to go broke.  One newspapers headline was, “The End of Banking in America…”

Well, a lot of great things have happened since then.  Let’s start dreaming, innovating and looking to what we can do and those lives we can change and be the leader in your world and with everyone you come in contact with on a daily basis.  Like The Beautiful Mind say, “Feed your Dreams and Starve your Nightmares!” Learn to Dream again and laugh and inspire.  These are my goals for 2010, what are yours?

So, this video is a toast to a happy, healthier, inspired you!  Enjoy!

The Complete package for Realtors Website Dilema

I have spent the last two years teaching and consulting with Realtors about how to use Social Media for their business.  The discussions and questions are always vibrant and engaging.  Many people are struggling with the how and why with social media,  and more specifically they ask these types of questions when we address blogging and WordPress section.  Most agents want to understand and see how this will all work with their website and all their traditional forms of marketing that they already have in place.  

One question that always comes up is “so if websites are stagnant and we are supposed to start using WordPress and blogging to be more engaging and effective, than how do we integrate all of our website tools, including our listings feed?”  Well I am so excited to say that now there is an answer!  Todd Carpenter, the Social Media Manager for the National Association of Realtors, announced on his WordCamp blog a few weeks ago about a company doing just that- an IDXPress plugin for your WordPress blog. 

“Diverse Solutions has released their new IDXPress plugin to the public, and from the input I’ve received from some of the beta testers, this affordable and simple to set up plugin is going to allow the same sort of Google-Lovin’-Indexing that was considered an unfair advantage less than a year ago.    If you’re hoping to grow organic SERPs from listing based Google queries, experimenting with a plugin like this is a no-brainer.  It won’t be long before this sort of tool is required simply to keep up with everyone else.”

So another step forward in the real estate industry’s social media dominance.  To compete in business, knowledge is power.  And without knowledge of technology and the online business world, you won’t survive.  Trust me, if you don’t take that first step to creating your online footprint today, than you will be lost in a few short years.  Now is the time to come join that party, social media is waiting!!

 

Foreclosure or Short Sale?

Many people are feeling the impacts of the shrinking economy.  This is translating to many Americans as losing their homes.  As real estate professionals, we need to educate and consult with our clients into understanding their options and opportunities to remedy a seemingly destitute situation. 

So, the question is then, do we Short Sale or Foreclosure?  Short Sales are a lot of work and a long process, but the end result from there is an easier path for people to move forward and possibly own a home again.  Foreclosure is much more destructive and mentally damaging long-term.  Take for example, Terry Hoskins from Moscow Ohio, who decided rather than let the bank foreclose on his home, he decided to bulldoze it down completely . . . 

“Frustrated Owner Bulldozes Home Ahead Of Foreclosure – Man Says Actions Intended To Send Message To Banks.”  WLWT channel 5 news in Cincinnatti reported this story.  “Like many people, Terry Hoskins has had troubles with his bank. But his solution to foreclosure might be unique. ‘When I see I owe $160,000 on a home valued at $350,000, and someone decides they want to take it – no, I wasn’t going to stand for that, so I took it down,’ Hoskins said.”  (Read entire story)

I think that a lot of times, consumers don’t really know or understand the options they have today.  The real estate industry is constantly changing and all the programs and regulations associated with homeownership is in constant flux as well.  Bringing knowledge and help to our neighbors is what we do best in real estate, and most rewarding. 

Many national sources are showing signs of improvement of  real estate sales.  Banks and mortgage providers are also showing some signs of softening or at least a light at the end of the tunnel. 

The Los Angeles Times reported, “Short sales grow as a cheaper alternative to foreclosure.  Banks’ resistance to the tricky transactions is softening as the number of distressed properties increases.  With more Americans losing jobs and missing mortgage payments, banks and investors increasingly are agreeing to short sales as a less costly alternative to foreclosure.

Short sales approved by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which own 57% of U.S. mortgages, nearly quadrupled in the first nine months of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008. At the nation’s largest mortgage servicers, short sales soared 165% to 74,513 in the first nine months of 2009 from the year-earlier period.” (Read More)

Real Estate Professionals have such an opportunity right now to help their neighbors and communities.  Giving people hope and peace of mind in a world of such turmoil and uncertainty is a blessing.   Realtors, remember how valuable you are and take that knowledge and bring it to your friends and clients.

American Idol in Denver

So, I’ve never been a huge idol fan, but I must say that the

captured by local realtor Joan Cox

Denver auditions were pretty fun to watch!  And Denver was well represented!  What a city we are lucky enough to live in!  There were many highlights… I particularly loved Shauna Moroney’s recap account of the show the best! (check out her entire article here.) 

As usual there were the typical less talented that the show featured, but they did hand out to 26 lucky contestants a ticket to hollywood.  Stay tuned to see if any of our Coloradoan’s make it to the top 10!