There’s always something to howl about

Adam Brickley – Do you know him? You should.

Who is Adam Brickley?

Well before I go there, let me say that this post is NOT political. It is about the power of blogging. When Dan Rather and CBS news botched their report of George Bush shortly before the 2004 elections, it was bloggers who brought it to light. A novel concept at the time. But those bloggers went largely unnamed. This one won’t.

Now enter Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, but a virtual unknown to the Washington DC power circles. Besides, who would want someone from ALASKA to be a VP candidate? It went against all of the normal calculations of the electoral map.

Enter a 21 year old college sophomore and blogger, one Adam Brickley. Hat tip to He and a few friends started a blog to DRAFT Sarah Palin as the Republican VP candidate. The month was February 2007. They started into Facebook, Wikipedia and other venues as they went. Totally new media at first. 100% EARNED media.

Then some media members started to notice. Notably Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard. Later that exposure grew to include Rush Limbaugh. This merry little band started to grow and even some of the campaigns took notice…

And then Sarah Palin was named to be John McCain’s running mate.

This last Friday, young Adam got a phone call from two new friends, Todd and Sarah Palin, on the day she was announced as a candidate for Vice President. Here are the details. And he has not slept much at all since then, handling all of the press. Pretty cool, huh?

Like I said, this post was not about politics, but rather about the power of blogging and its ability to influence the media and the powers that be.

If a 21 year old college sophomore blogger can impact the presidential elections, we (collectively) should be able to impact the constant negative spin of the mainstream press on OUR industry, don’tcha think? (grin)


36 Comments so far

  1. Gary Frimann August 30th, 2008 8:10 pm

    The power of Blogging. The power of the web. I heard about the announcement at around 8 AM Pacific Time. I Googled her. 388,000 results.
    here’s what follows:
    10 AM 425,000 Results
    Noon 583,000 Results
    1PM 10,100,000 Results
    The web just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

  2. Sue August 30th, 2008 8:34 pm

    This is very amazing and certainly does show the power of blogging. A big congratulatons to Adam Brickley, one very amazing college sophomore.

  3. Brian Brady August 31st, 2008 12:11 am

    Thank God for Adam Brickley. I’ve seen his FB group but never saw his blog.

  4. Ismail August 31st, 2008 1:16 am

    What an achievement for a 21 year old to accomplish, the powers of blogging eh 😉


  5. Barry Cunningham August 31st, 2008 6:10 am

    What “negative spin of the mainstream press on OUR industry”?

  6. Eric Blackwell August 31st, 2008 6:18 am

    @Gary- exactly. I was watching the same phenomenon. I was also watching how the campaigns were managing the online reputation of Ms. Palin as the news broke.

    It was VERY interesting to see the punch and counter punch happen online. Almost minute by minute. When there are surprises like this, it truly lays bare the decision making capability of the players involved (and their staff).

  7. Eric Blackwell August 31st, 2008 7:03 am

    @Barry-I am not going to engage you on that. For your sake, I hope that was an attempt at sarcasm.

    Here’s mine: “Economists have predicted 34 out of the last 4 recessions.”

    The point of this post (which I hope you get and I want to stick to) is that blogging CAN and WILL have an impact. It is STILL a medium where the little guy can have a voice and truly impact things.

    BIG media is now entering into blogging in a large way, yet a 21 year old still can make his voice heard and break through. I find that refreshing.

  8. Glenn August 31st, 2008 7:06 am

    Here is a quote that I received from a WSJ reporter about my blog “I really like your posts. I respect agents who tell it like it is!”

    Does this have a deeper meaning for us as real estate agents?

  9. Eric Blackwell August 31st, 2008 7:17 am

    @Glenn- I agree with that COMPLETELY. Since I know you and you are in Florida, I can totally understand that.

    I spent 3 hours on the phone with a local reporter last week trying to explain why the Louisville market is NOT Florida or Stockton Ca…

    I think there IS deeper meaning in telling it straight. And in being persistent in telling the MSM that Florida’s truth is NOT Kentucky’s.

    But you are helping to making my point. We DO have the power to break through as bloggers and we need to keep the info ACCURATE and build on those opportunities IMO.

  10. Glenn August 31st, 2008 7:32 am


    Real estate is local and that is a point we as real estate agents need to stress to the public. It is so local today, that it could be even down to individual neighborhoods or subdivisions.

  11. Barry Cunningham August 31st, 2008 8:05 am was not sarcasm and it was on point. C’mon..we have all read the BS that some blogs put out as info in regards to real estate. None other than Sunny Yunny himself.

    Yes indeed, blogs can and WILL continue to have an impact. I personally hope one of those impacts is the cleansing of the real estate agent rank and file members who do not address truth and subscribe to the Sunny Yunny methodology of trying to manipulate the consumer rather than have meaningful discourse with the consumer.

    I think blogs will allow the consumer to seperate those who seek to EARN their commission rather than feel ENTITLED to one.

    So I agree with your post and look forward to the continuing strength of real thought provoking bloggers and the demise of those who are just in it because it’s the thing to do.

  12. Bob August 31st, 2008 8:33 am

    I was going to ask the exact same question that Barry did.

    I consider BusinessWeek to be mainstream. Here is a piece they did on the recent CS numbers.

    No one spins numbers and facts about our industry more than the average real estate agent. Maybe if our industry put out more facts and less self-serving hogwash, the “mainstream media” would do a better job of reporting news. Right now we are looked at in the same light as the boy who cried wolf.

  13. Eric Blackwell August 31st, 2008 8:39 am

    Barry- I agree with you that Larry’s National Weather Forecast (where there is nary a cloud in the sky-grin) is every bit as bad as USA Today, or NBC or MSN’s daily Hurricane warnings. Both are equally lies (or shall we be nice and say prevarications made in the hope of becoming self fulfilling prophecy-grin. The REALITY lies in the LOCALITY IMO.

    Most REALTORS can offer LOCAL perspective on THEIR real estate market that actually means something. That should be the antidote to the MSM instead of Larry and that’s kinda my point.

    This 21 year old blogger beat the national pundits to the punch. So can the bloggers who put thought provoking and quality stuff out there.

    On that we agree 100%.

  14. Eric Blackwell August 31st, 2008 8:44 am

    Bob- Like you I am for the exceptional blogger (or REALTOR) being successful by putting ACCURATE info out and doing it exceptionally well.

    Adam Brickley is not your average college student or average blogger.

    I am behind the exceptional REALTORS who dare to call it like it is (@Glenn’s point) –in their LOCATION.

  15. Eric Blackwell August 31st, 2008 8:48 am

    I also just shot off Mr. Gopal a note thanking him for putting the locality back into the equation. He would be the exception among the national media IMO. Not the rule.

    He deserves a few kudos for that.

  16. Doug Quance August 31st, 2008 8:55 am

    Hat tip to Adam Brickley, for sure.

    Sarah Palin is not your average or typical politician… and those who think McCain made a big mistake “misunderestimate” her appeal. She has the highest approval rating of any politician in the country. Bar none.

    This race has become a whole lot more interesting…

  17. Gary Frimann August 31st, 2008 9:04 am

    Adam Brickley would be a nobody. He did not predict McCain’s pick, nor did he discuss it with McCain. What if McCain picked somebody else. This is like the one where somebody posted on the “Focus on Family” blog and prayed for rain on Ivesco Stadium during Obama’s speech. (BTW, the entry was pulled). If it had rained, there would have been millions of people believing the prayer was what caused the rain. The general public is ignorant and myth based, and will believe what they want or wish to. IF this guy had “nominated” her, then good for him, but he did no such thing… I’m sure there are bloggers out there who mentioned their own govenors, and those govenors were not picked, hence, no recognition. The outcome of the raindance is largely influenced by the weather report. The kid, basically, got a little lucky, and yes, it ws a weird pick by McCain (weird meaning unexpected). My question is, and has anybody thought about this: Will she be on the ticket at election time?

  18. David Shafer August 31st, 2008 10:03 am


    Thanks for the post. When I taught research methods I often brought up this phenomenon. Our brains do not do a good job of understanding causality versus correlation. For those so disposed here is an explanation.
    From Widkipedia:
    The cum hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy can be expressed as follows:

    A occurs in correlation with B.
    Therefore, A causes B.
    In this type of logical fallacy, one makes a premature conclusion about causality after observing only a correlation between two or more factors. Generally, if one factor (A) is observed to only be correlated with another factor (B), it is sometimes taken for granted that A is causing B even when no evidence supports this. This is a logical fallacy because there are at least four other possibilities:

    B may be the cause of A, or
    some unknown third factor is actually the cause of the relationship between A and B, or
    the “relationship” is so complex it can be labelled coincidental (i.e., two events occurring at the same time that have no simple relationship to each other besides the fact that they are occurring at the same time).
    B may be the cause of A at the same time as A is the cause of B (contradicting that the only relationship between A and B is that A causes B). This describes a self-reinforcing system.

  19. Bob August 31st, 2008 11:23 am

    Most REALTORS can offer LOCAL perspective on THEIR real estate market that actually means something.

    Yes they can. The problem is that very, very few do offer a perspective that isn’t as biased as the media they slam.

    some unknown third factor is actually the cause of the relationship between A and B,

    The third factor in this case is the fact that she is a governor, of which there are only 50. Now consider that there are only 22 Republicans, of which only 3 are women.

    Governors are automatically on the Veep list.

    Bobby Jindal from Louisiana was frequently listed as “on the radar”, even though he took office in 2008 and is only 36.

  20. Mike August 31st, 2008 12:10 pm

    First Adam is no longer a college sophomore, but a graduate with a BA in Political Science from University of Colorado, Colorado Springs ( UCCS ) with a major in global politics.

    His blog is a testament that one person can make a difference. It only takes ONE to start a ball rolling but he quickly gathered speed with new friends and a TEAM was born. He mentions several that partisipated in his “thanks” entry.

    Just a blogger? Blogging is opinion. Supporting someone for VP took research. Refuting bad press and stories took research. The media has not even touched his credentials or seriously engaged him in disscussion. He is “just a blogger” to them. The media has only scratched the surface of Adam’s knowldge.

  21. P Buss August 31st, 2008 1:14 pm

    Just want to say I love Sarah–she will make a wonderful V.P. Now let’s get her elected. I think you did a fantastic job getting her to run. I was convinced she would not do it. LOVE IT.

  22. Eric Blackwell August 31st, 2008 2:25 pm

    @Mike- Since I saw your email address, and know that you know him (grin). You are right. It does take a team. But it takes a person to start a team.

    Please send him my personal thanks for taking a stand and DOING something.



  23. Marlow September 1st, 2008 1:06 am
  24. Glenn September 1st, 2008 5:10 am

    Bob – don’t you think that there are many real estate agents that are presenting a perspective as biased as the media, because they don’t have the statistical data to do a better job of analysis, because they might not have the skills to analyze other factors into their equations, such cyclical fluctuations?

  25. Barry Cunningham September 1st, 2008 6:12 am

    @ glenn..and who would be to blame in that instance?

  26. Louis Cammarosano September 1st, 2008 7:14 am

    Thanks for pointing this out. I have not read in the media about Adam Brickley.
    I wonder when the first movie about a blogger will come out. We’ve had many movies about journalists but have we had them about bloggers uncovering top stories?

  27. Bob September 1st, 2008 7:56 am

    @Glenn – because they don’t have the data – no. Because they don’t have the skills – yes. Because they think they need to always paint a rosy picture – yes.

    @Marlow – WOW – and I mean the story, not the picture.

  28. Keahi Pelayo September 1st, 2008 10:21 am

    Thanks for the insight on somebody I didn’t know about. It is inspiring to see the MSM die and voices like Adam’s making an impact.

  29. Glenn September 1st, 2008 3:45 pm

    @Barry – I think Bob answered the question and to the point.

  30. Heather Rankin September 1st, 2008 11:11 pm

    @ Marlow
    How very interesting the KOS blog is gone ~ or is it just me that got the “oops, we can’t find that story” page? or the 1958 comments?

  31. Paul Francis, CRS September 2nd, 2008 1:29 am

    Nice post Eric,

    Something out of this election finally caught my attention and actually made me interested… Thanks for the heads up because I’ll be following Adam.. it seems as if somebody has a certain talent to have a blog that was started long ago in pointing out somebody that would electrify the Republican base.. coincidence or not… the points bump that normally takes place after a convention was nullified with the announcement of this selection the day after the “Big Speech”.

    Much like real estate agents can point out current trends taking place that show the change currently taking place. The C/S Index is old news.. with so many “local experts”, real estate agents should be able to explain this on their real estate blogs so clients know where to look for “current” information.

    In other words… stop rehashing news from stale journalists that are just that.. journalists. For some reason, I can’t remember all of my college friends that were journalism majors having to take half the classes I did in Finance, economics or statistics.

    As you stated.. nothing political.. your post just shows the power of blogging and how to use mediums to get the message out. (And Noticed.)

  32. Marlow September 2nd, 2008 11:46 am

    They must have bumped the “Trig is the governer’s grandson” to “Governers 17-year old daughter is pregnant”.

    Fame and celebrity is a double-edge sword.

  33. Gary Frimann September 2nd, 2008 12:02 pm

    “Fame and Celebrity are a double edged sword.”
    Indeed. Who would you rather be…
    John Lennon, or Bernie Taupin?
    While on the topic, has anybody noticed how the younger generation seems to not get the distinction between “famous” and “infamous”?
    Anything for publicity… NOt all publicity is good publicity. Lots of signs out there on over-priced listings in my area by one guy. Nothing he has is moving, so this could be the Waterloo of his short, two year real estate career.

  34. Louis Cammarosano September 2nd, 2008 12:16 pm

    Good point

    Does any one even know what Bernie Taupin (Elton John’s song writing partner) looks like?

  35. Tina Fountain September 2nd, 2008 12:42 pm

    Eric – this is the first time that I’ve heard this, thanks for bring it to my attention. I bet you’ll not hear this story in the mainstream media!

  36. Dylan Darling September 3rd, 2008 11:19 am

    Wow! A 21 year old possibly having an impact on our countries future. Very cool, but I’ll keep my political opinons to myself…