Grand Rapids, MI Social Media Boot Camp concludes with Blogging Basic/Ethics Classes! June 16, 2010

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Within the past month, real estate professionals within the greater Grand Rapids, MI area have  had the opportunity to learn about Social Media Marketing through a unique program designed by the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors.

Social Media Boot Camp, a three part program,  kicked off on May 12th with  an excellent presentation by Jeff Turner of Zeek Interactive on Social Media and Social Values.  This was followed by a ReBar Camp, the first of it’s kind for real estate professionals in the area on the 26th of May.  The last installment in the series will take place on the 16th of June at the association headquarters on 660 Kenmoor.

The training session will feature Lola Audu of  Audu Real Estate & Blogging Seminars.   Lola will be teaching about Blogging and Ethics.  Read excerpts from the association website below:

Get some Con Ed under your belt from one of GRAR’s top experts in the field with our third and final installment of Social Media Summer Camp!

Lola Audu - Continuing Education Instructor - Blogging and Social Media

Lola Audu, a renown blogger in the real estate world, will lead this 4-hour/4-credit course on Blogging Basics & Blogging Ethics for Real Estate Professionals at GRAR. Learn how to blog and market your skills in a Web 2.0 World and effectively engage today’s “connected” consumer, all while writing responsibly, protecting your online content and avoiding legal landmines.

Wednesday, June 16, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Good for 4 standard Con Ed credits

GRAR Members $50 (Click here to register)
Non-Members $65 (Click here to register)

Grand Rapids Association of Realtors® hosts Jeff Turner @ Social Media Summit!

Jeff Turner ~ GRAR Summit on Social Media & Social Values ~ Grand Rapids, MichiganMembers of the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors are looking forward to welcoming Jeff Turner of Zeek Interactive and Real Estate Shows to the Grand Rapids, MI area on May 12th, 2010.  Jeff will be kicking off a three part summer series called the Social Media Boot Camp which is designed to help real estate agents understand the WHY,  WHERE and HOW TO  for creating intelligent strategies and solutions that provide value within social networks.

By now, much of the business community has come to terms with the fact that social media  and social networks are ideas which they need to understand.   Many in the business community have latent or expressed fear about the vulnerability which comes from not having control of the medium.  And…there’s a ton of confusion about what to do and how to do it…

At the root of all this confusion is an underlying frustration that something is missing.   That’s one of the issues that Jeff Turner will be addressing as he speaks to members of the real estate community.  The topic will be ‘Social Media and Social Value.”   What do our value systems reveal about us and how does this inform our engagement within social media?  And…WHY does this matter?  It promises to be a fascinating and insightful discussion.

I’ve always appreciated the clarity and insight which Jeff brings to the complexity that swirls around the online world.  Really looking forward to welcoming him to the West Michigan area.  The event is open to members of the public.  Click here for more information or registration.

Relationships Matter…Connectivity via the Blogosphere

Less than Six Degrees of Separation




















They say that we are all separated by just six degrees from every single person in the entire world.  This theory about the Human Web is a powerful reminder of the fact that we’re all connected…and that connections and relationships matter!

A couple of months ago, I was in Ann Arbor, MI to teach a series of two Real Estate Continuing Education Classes, Blogging Basics for Real Estate Professionals (K1061) and Blogging Basics for Real Estate Professionals K(1062).

Prior to my experiences on the blogosphere, I would have walked into a room of complete strangers.  But, the blogosphere has a way of making strangers into friends.

Karen Moorhead was the first person I met, or should I say hugged. I had never met Karen or Marian Gregor who introduced herself next, but meeting both of these ladies felt like greeting a friend.

When Missy Caulk walked in, it was great to see her again after our first meeting in Grand Rapids last year. There were several agents from Missy’s Keller Williams office and I had the opportunity to meet Chet Hill, the Broker and office manager.

One of the benefits of having fellow bloggers in the class was in the way in which their presence expanded the discussion.  Missy, Karen & Marian were generous in sharing their insights with the class in a way in which really enriched the experience for everyone. 

This is one of the most impressive contributions of the blogosphere to our profession; the sharing of ideas and the power of the synergy which this generates. 

The picture above illustrates in a way, one of the ways this has impacted my learning curve.  Everyone in the flower circle is a person who I’ve talked with because of my blogging…an individual who I might never have met or learned from apart from this remarkable medium.

I’d have missed getting to know Jeff & Racquel Turner who are extraordinary people in so many ways, nor would I have known about Real Estate Shows, a service which has generated thousands of hits to my listings and website.  

Talking with Jeff Dowler and the subsequent introduction to Amber Riviere would never have happened.  Jeff Dowler is also a trainer at heart and Amber, an innovative writer and entrepreneur.  And then last but, not least…I wouldn’t have been embraced by a warm circle while visiting another city for a presentation.

 This experience has given me the privilege of a less than six degree connection through which I’ve talked with or met the Broker & the Lovely Wife from Florida, Midori Miller my friend and fellow trainer, Sally Cheesman in Hawaii, Jesse Clinton in Alaska, Colleen Kulikowski in upstate New York, Sara Bonert andCraig Schiller in Chicago, Lydia & Matt Heaton from Washington, Maureen Francis, Kris Wales, Russ Ravery, Sonya Loose & Gary Smith from Michigan, Carol Smith in Ohio or Steve Volkers and Michelle Gordon in Grand Rapids, MI amongst others. 

Has your world been shrinking since you started blogging?  Mine has…and I think that’s a wonderful thing!

Related Articles:

Blogging Wiz, If Ever a Wiz There was! by Marian Gregor

Real Estate Blog – The BEST con-ed class I’ve ever attended and it … by Kris Wales

Making the Change We Need Happen…Active Rain’s Michigan Agents Lead the Way! by Lola Audu

Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors hosts Lola Audu for Blogging Con Ed by Missy Caulk

Blogging Class Taught By the Wonderful Missy Caulk by Lisa Bender * Coming up in March!

 real estate shows: The Smartest $10.42 Investment I’ve Ever Made! by Lola Audu

Hey, We’re One!

Celebrating a Special One Year Anniversary…The Grand Rapids Real Estate Musings Blog turns One!  A brief summary of the years blog posts.

Mobile post sent by Auduhomes using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

Tommorow We’ll be One!

Celebrating One Year!

Celebrating One Year!

On November 9, 2008 I’m celebrating the one year anniversary of the Grand Rapids Real Estate Musings Blog!  It’s been fun to highlight not just local real estate happenings, but life in and around Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I also want to Thank all my readers who have stopped by to read and/or leave a comment.

What I’ve enjoyed most about this blog is that the local flair has allowed me to explore all sorts of interesting places in Grand Rapids, and share my favorites with you.  On this B-Day, One Year Anniversary, I thought it might be interesting to just highlight what we’ve talked about this year…

by Categories

Thanks again to all our readers.  Always remember that we’re here to help you with all your real estate related needs in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.

Fall Real Estate Blogging and Technology Continuing Education Classes ~ Michigan

Lola Audu, CRS, GRI e-Pro, owner of Audu Real Estate and founder of Blogging Seminars will be teaching and Speaking at the following events during the course of the next couple of months.

On October 29, 2008, Lola will be teaching a total of 4 credit hours of real estate continuing education to members of the Clare/Gladwin Board of Realtors®. 

 The course titles are Blogging Basics for Real Estate Professionals (K1061) and Blogging Ethics for Real Estate Professionals (K1062). 

Please Contact the Clare/Gladwin Board of Realtors® at 989-246-0714 for further information or the Education Committee Chairperson at 989-429-2600.

On November 13th, 2008 Lola Audu will be speaking at the Grand Rapids chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors® during a luncheon on the subject of ‘Social Media…Connecting with New Tools’.  The luncheon will be held at the Watermark Country Club and the cost is $20. This is NOT a Continuing Education offering, but the talk will provide important information and insights for those who want to understand how to utilize the technology of social media to build their personal networking relationships and leverage their online business.

On December 11, 2008, Blogging Seminars/Lola Audu will be teaching Continuing Education classes to professionals in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area.  The Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors® is Sponsoring two continuing education courses:  Blogging Basics for Real Estate Professionals (K1061) and Blogging Ethics for Real Estate Professionals (K1062).  

Registration for the December 11, 2008 continuing education courses will begin at 8:30 a.m. with class commencing at 9:00 a.m.  Pre-registration is strongly encouraged and advised. Inquires about the class should be directed to Angella O’Keefe of the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors®. (1-734-822-2264) or

Audu Real Estate Sponsor ID# K355

How Open Are Things Going To Get…Calculating Value in A Social Network?

beesCourtesy of a link on gigaom  I read a fascinating article today by People Aggregators creator Marc Canter who runs a social networking company called Broadband Mechanics. 

This particular article is answering a question posed by a Paul Montgomery, a gentleman in Tanzania (correction) Geelong, Victoria, Australia regarding why Open ID should be adopted by blogging networks. 

The discussion addresses the implications of moving beyond transparency in communication to a more intimate involvement by users of blogging platforms.  This would be facilitated by a site’s clients utilizing source coding behind the scenes to control access and movement of their individual content.

Yes, it’s very technical, cutting edge stuff about interconnected social networks. In a nutshell the thrust is to enable networking platforms which will allow users to integrate ALL their Web 2.0 activities through one or more sites.  If you’re interested in understanding where this whole Web 2.0 wheel is trending towards next, it is well worth reading.  

However, I found the issues with reference to ownership of content and subsequent monetization particularly interesting in light of recent events on Active Rain regarding the proposed buyout and subsequent lawsuit against 

Marc Canters’ take on ownership of a database (of names) when it comes to a Web 2.0 portal is that you don’t…indeed can’t. In fact he seems to dismiss the issue as ultimately irrelevant in the larger scheme of things.

“But dude – look. NO ONE is gonna wanna hang out in YOUR network. Its as simple as that. Trust humans – they migrate to where they’re wanted, to where they’re welcome, to where they feel comfortable. So if someone finds your network comfortable – then it’s the right place for them – right? How do you determine who’s welcome or not in your network? Their proximity to Tanzania? Golfing? Chocolate lover? Gay? Hispanic? By what criteria do you welcome people into your network?”

The issue is not about owning bloggers or owning their content as Canter rightly points out.  It’s about creating a portal which people want to come back to as your guestIt’s also about Attraction and the fine line between being Open & Engaging while repulsing unwanted intruders.  Blocking attempts to Undermine the “sanctity” of an on line environment may prove to be the most pressing and critical issue all networking platforms face in the future.  That is if they want to be profitable. More Cantor in his own words…

“So please stop thinking like you own a database of people. That list of people is there so they can come back and re-log-in. Period” 

In a related post, Marc Canter predicts that: “So 2008 will see a growth in the ability of end-users to freely move between networks – taking their social graphs with them”

With that settled, there are going to be plenty of ways to make money…a lot of money through this medium. It’s going to be a playground for creative thinkers…fortunately, there’s not shortage of them.  Some ideas mentioned on People Aggregators which I appreciated include: (my personal thoughts follow the Bold print)

Sponsorship Deals: Definitely used effectively by Active Rain and other platforms.  But, I think this will be an avenue that individual bloggers explore more extensively in 2008.

Premium Pricing:  Different levels of usage and support on a tiered pricing structure.  For a blogger, this could mean offering readers additional access to certain articles or groups.

Setting Up A Marketplace:  Once again, the Active Rain platform is well ahead of the curve by providing the Referral Network option.  Of course, the monitoring of entries is crucial to ensure that this continues to provide benefit to potential users.  But, this is also an avenue which can be explored by an individual blogger with users who access their niche.  It creates Value and more importantly repeat business.

I can definitely appreciate the huge potential benefits to Open ID.  As more people engage in the blogosphere there will be increased differentiation and specialization…not less.  We can witness this happening with the explosion of groups on the Active Rain platform.  I think it’s only a matter of time before the burden of remembering who you are on which network with any one of a dozen passwords becomes more tedium than the average consumer will consent to suffer.

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As the World Turns…Connexions

Na Wa O!  De thing whey happen’ today no be sometim whey one dey forget.  Conexcion…you hear me say um.  My head dey turn.  Na only today whey I take my self go visit some people on one place dem call Facebook. I see one pickin face whey I think say I recognize.  Whether na him O, I no know.  Anyway to make long torie short…I send message to ask de oyimbo man one small question. To say whether na him be de same Kevin Boer whey I know before…before…long time ago!


*The paragraph above is written in Pidgeon English. The following is a story of the power of Connections & how the Internet is connecting people and ideas across continents and bringing new and fresh inspiration from all corners of the globe.

*************        ****************        *****************      **************

Kevin BoerI continue to be amazed at the way in which connections occur.  Today, browsing through Facebook, I came across a familiar name.  It had been decades since I had last encountered this individual in Jos, Nigeria.  I wasn’t even sure it was the same person.  But, a question in an e-mail was quickly answered. Yes, Kevin Boer replied, he had grown up in Nigeria.  His e-mail reply in Pidgeon English certified that!  He and his family had lived in the same community and attended the same school, Hillcrest School that I had graduated from in the early 80’s.

Now, fast forward  several decades.  Kevin Boer is the CEO of 3 Oceans Real Estate in San Francisco. CA and the author of the popular real estate blog by the same name. This summer Kevin moderated one of the forums at the Bloggers Connect Conference.  I’ve stopped by to read the 3 Oceans blog, but never realised that this was the same Kevin whose family had lived overseas for several decades.  It’s funny how a large world can shrink so quickly.

Kevin & I got to chatting this evening and I was amazed at the African Connections which are informing the conversation about real estate across the United States. Kevin shared with me other African Connections that link together many well known services in the real estate world.  They include v-flyer co-founder Martin Muoto who also attended Hillcrest School, Zillow’s Community Relations Director David Gibbons who grew up in Cape Town, South Africa and Stefan Swanepoel who authors the widely influential Swanepoel Trends Report and is also from the Southern region of the continent.  It’s extraordinary to link connections across the world through the blogosphere.  Goodness, the online world is breaking down the “6 degree connection” faster than you can blink an eye!

P.S. Kevin challenged me to write in Pidgeon English.  I’m glad I still know how. 🙂

Here’s A video of one of Africa’s most Famous Songs…this updated version combines Pidgeon English and French.  It is a tribute to Africa’s Mothers…Enjoy!