Coldwell Banker Just Threw Up All Over The Real Estate Blogosphere
A recent inquiry to the Real Estate Tomato lead to the discovery of Coldwell Banker's latest effort to provide their agents with competitive online tools.
It seems that in an effort to appear relevant and current, Coldwell Banker has developed a templated blogging platform for their agents to publish their personal real estate insight and wisdom.
The result is the epitome of an underwhelming corporate provision meant more to quell the curious than actually serve as useful.
Disclaimer: I use the term 'blog' with Coldwell Banker's tool very much gratuitously. Perhaps I should have used: "blahg".
If your blog is something that can't be customized, it will always appear as such. The ability to create a custom design not only adds personality and professionalism to your online image, but also has you feeling much more comfortable in your ehome.
To see for yourself, just change the node number in the URL below.
2. No Search Engine Presence. No pings, no spiders.
The search engines have never 'heard' of blogs.coldwellbanker.com.
I performed over a dozen "quoted search phrases" from the content of several of these Coldwell Banker blogs and received no results whatsoever. This means that none of the content on these blogs has ever been spidered. It is standard that the information we publish can be found in Google in as little as 24 hours after it was posted.
3. Zero Blogging Navigation.
Categories, archives, recent posts, recent comments, keywords, top articles, etc are all common ways to improve the organization of the massive amount of content an active blog contains. Coldwell Banker must not be anticipating their agent's need to sort their whimsical posts.
4. Faux Permalinks.
Normally a permalink is a be unique addresses for each and every article written on a blog. The permalink is one of the most important elements of a blog's success in the search engines and in it's syndication and sharing. For reasons why read: Your Blog Is An Army and Wikipedia's Permalink entry
The permalinks in the CB blogs are not by definition anything close. The address of each article is just: http://blogs.coldwellbanker
5. Dead-end Comments.
Other bloggers leave comments on your blog to be seen as the commenter (a link back to the author of the comments). No such functionality is available here; all comments are left without mention of the author. In addition, being notified of new comments is essential to get readers to return for updates, these blogs have overlooked this functionality as well.
6. No Trackbacks.
With the above challenges with their permalinks and comments, I can't expect this one was even a consideration.
7. No Social Bookmarking.
Again, I think we are asking too much of these blogs: With something as useful as Web 2.0 Social Bookmarking, Coldwell Banker would have too much trouble trying to explain what is was to see it as useful to the corporation.
8. No Search Functionality
Great blogs have a great amount of content. Being able to search through it with one click must be seen as essential.
9. No Customization of the Code in the Sidebars, Footer, nor Header.
10. Questionable Multimedia Support
11. Lack of Template Creation and Management.
It appears that there is only one standard look and functionality to the blogs. Since that is the case, nothing can be added or subtracted from the program: headers, sidebars, buttons, footers, frames etc. are all either impossible to change or impossible to implement. This prevents the site from ever being anything more than just a shell to hold quietly written articles.
All that, and I haven't even looked under the hood yet.
My opinion is that these blogs can hardly be called blogs. They don't offer any more marketing value than a diary carelessly hidden under a mattress; the only readers you'll ever garner are those to whom you reveal its location. Any effort put into filling up these pages with content is the perfect example of "shouting into a hurricane" - lots of effort that goes unnoticed. Run for your life.
…and just when you thought Coldwell Banker had the hang of this Web 2.0 thing.
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