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Project Blogger and My Secret Weapon

Project_blogger copy"Project Blogger", a competition of real estate blog coaching, is the brainchild of Jonathan Washburn of ActiveRain. 

The goal is simple: over the course of about 4 months, each participating blogging coach will aim to develop the most successful real estate blogger they can.

Here are the details:

Pre-Season: March 12th - April 8th

      Getting the 'kinks' worked out.
      Developing the blogsite
      Hand calisthenics

Competition Begins
: April 9th

       No more excuses, the race is on.

Competition Ends: July 15th (14 weeks later)


Each week a new guest judge is rotated in.
Guest judge evaluation weighs 85% of weekly point scores
ActiveRain community weighs 15% of weekly point scores
Examples of potential guest judges:
* Brad Inman, president of Inman News
* Matt Heaton, CEO ActiveRain
* Robert Scoble, famous ex-Microsoft blogger: Scobleizer
* John Battelle, Federated Media - Author of The Search
* Errol Samuelson, new president of Move, Inc.
* Rich Barton or Lloyd Frink, CEO or President of Zillow
* Galen Ward,
* Matt Mullenweg, Founding Developer of Wordpress


Points will be distributed to the top teams on a weekly basis.
The team with the most points at the end of the competition will win the competition.
Each week our two judges will each select their top 5 teams in order of performance for the week.
Each judges will allocate:
100 points for 1st place
80 points for 2nd place
65 points for 3rd place
50 points for 4th place
35 points for 5th place.
ActiveRain members will also be able to vote for their favorite team of the week.
ActiveRain member point allocation will conform with the above distribution.

Judging Criteria: Judges and ActiveRain members will be instructed to judge the Project Blogger groups using the following criteria:

a. Degree of innovation in approach
b. Consistency
c. Quality of postings
d. The Apprentice's community involvement
e. Traffic or reach of apprentice's blog(s)
f. Documentation of experience and participation in ActiveRain's Project Blogger's group
g. Cost effectiveness of campaign
h. Improvement/progress of the apprentice
h. Business viability of approach


ActiveRain will be donating $5,000 to the winning team's charities of choice.
The blogging coach and apprentice will each be allowed to direct $2,500 of the $5,000.

Selecting An Apprentice:

Each coach will be allowed to pick their own apprentice.
The only criteria regarding experience of apprentice is that they have not generated any business or leads from blogging before the start of the competition.


Each apprentice will bear the costs of their own blogging efforts.
No budget restrictions
Budgets must be publish published in the Project Blogger blog on ActiveRain.

The Competitors:

This list has not officially been confirmed, and may change as new competitors are added.
1. Dustin Luther, RainCityGuide
2. Jeff Turner, RealEstateShows
3. Greg Swann, BloodhoundBlog
4. Jim Cronin, RealEstateTomato
5. Teresa Boardman, StPaulRealEstateBlog
6. Joe Ferrara & Rudy Bachraty, SellsiusBlog
7. Ardell DellaLoggia, SearchingSeattleBlog
8. Pat Kitano, TransparentRealEstate
9. Joel Burslem, FutureOfRealEstateMarketing
10. Jonathan Washburn, ActiveRain
11. Frances Flynn Thorsen, theRealtyGram

My Secret Weapon:

Name: Jackie Colson-Miller
Location: Tampa, FL
Specialty: Florida & International Real Estate
Blog: "The Real Estate Sizzle"
Launch Date: March 2007
Focus: Global Real Estate Reporting

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Glad to see international real estate represented in some of these activities...


Hey, nice secret weapon! :) This is going to be fun.

Is it just my imagination or is your weapon no longer a secret? I think you are writing the recipe for tomato soup. :)

Jim, this should be a really fun project to observe. It's a very distinguished group of competitors. Are we going to see some heated flare-ups like we watch on Top Chef and Project Runway? One can only hope!

Points? Judges?

I noticed that in all of criteria A-H you managed to skip leads generated / closed sales.

Sometimes it's tough to make a point, and sometimes the ducks in the pond line up and shoot themselves! :)

If you can get just half of those judges to commit, you will have quite a contest on your hands.

I foresee a logistical problem with these criteria:

d. The Apprentice's community involvement
e. Traffic or reach of apprentice's blog(s)
f. Documentation of experience and participation in ActiveRain's Project Blogger's group.

You should add number of incoming links on each post, and comments as a criteria. Links & comments are a great sign of popularity.... as you know.


I too feel that the success of a blog is ultimately determined by the amount of contracts it produces... however, the contest is only a few months long and as we all know, generating a contract from an internet lead is not always an overnight phenomenon. So it, although a huge barometer for success, becomes a difficult expectation to set.

I like your ideas. I will pass them on to Jon at AR and see what comes of it.

Who qualifies to be a coach? Can anyone be a shooting duck in the competition?

For more info on the contest, follow this link:

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