There’s always something to howl about

My Life as a Dog – Author 12

As Teri continues her march toward the prize and is no doubt putting the finishing touches on her acceptance speech, I have reached a milestone of sorts myself. It has officially been five months and one day since my smiling likeness was added to the sidebar of the Bloodhound. Why choose this random milestone to reflect on my contributions here, rather than a more logical breakpoint on the Greg-orian calendar (say, five months and seven days)?

Just maybe, I am messing with Greg. This being Monday morning, I am sure that what he really wants on his front page is the link to the Carnival or an update on SB 1291. I have always suspected that this sort of fluff post really riles Greg, he being the Big Thinker. While he is trying to have meaningful dialogue on issues of national import, I invariably pop in at the most inopportune time with my vacation journal or a picture of my client’s cat. I always envision him pounding furiously and red-faced at the keyboard to bury my contributions with something more worthy of a site with Authority. “Fox News? Greg Swann here. I will be a little late to our interview. She’s posting again”.

Okay, I confess I am not clever enough to be that ornery, at least not intentionally. You see, I have no master plan. I have no plan at all. The fact is, I’ll just never be as global or deep in my reasoning and analysis as our Top Dog. I often imagine Greg posting from a home office which is a scale model of the White House Situation Room, complete with a host of monitors displaying feeds from around the globe. Conversely, my workspace involves a computer, mounds of steaming contracts, the cat’s most recent hairball “offering”, and the Hawaiian Death Idol acquired on our 2004 vacation. (Don’t try to cross me, the Idol has tremendous get-even powers).

And, the Real Estate Tomato says I’m doing it all wrong. They recently talked about the biggest blogging blunders one can make. Reading their top ten mistakes list, I could give point by point examples of my blogging crimes against humanity, but that would just further the crime. I’ll just focus on the biggies.

Writing about whatever pops into your mind is not going to comfort your audience that it is worth giving you their email address to be notified of future content.

Oh-oh. Big trouble here. My “recipe” for posting is this:

  • Move jammie-clad body gently from bed to coffee pot.
  • Drink huge amounts of coffee while typing whatever is on my mind. (At 5:00 AM, this is not a whole lot).
  • Hit the “publish” button.
  • Repeat act of consuming caffeinated beverage in massive quantities.
  • Read latest post and shake head in amazement. “I said what?”
  • Think about a do-over, but recognize that I’ve got nothin’ else. The post stands.

Giving the impression that there is an audience that is concerned about your personal affairs can alienate those that are attracted to your blog by your relevant content. Those that appreciate and encourage you to continue writing about your life are not business prospects… they’re called friends.

Double oh-oh. The readers of my “home” blog (which, to my knowledge, consist of the Bawld Guy and one 14-year-old in Toledo who thinks there is a housing bubble) know the names of my children and pets, what I had for dinner on Thursday and the color scheme of my family room. I just can’t help myself. All of that irrelevant drivel is part of who I am. In the words of Randy Jackson, I’m just keepin’ it real, for better or for worse. The alternative would be to pretend I am someone who I am not, and I think the results would be far worse. (I might alienate my Toledo “friend”).

The fact is, I’m a blogging train wreck. My content is so schizophrenic that no one ever knows what to expect, myself included. While my fingers are typing away, my brain is on a seven second delay. Yet, we are currently working with three clients who found us through our blog. Go figure.

Just maybe the Real Estate Tomato is wrong. Or, maybe it just depends on what you expect to gain from your efforts. I don’t have any delusions of national recognition, and while I get the periodic Redfin bee in my bonnet, the depth of my true understanding of Web 2.0 and the revolution wouldn’t fill a day pack. While the heavyweights are out there changing the world and establishing credibility on a national scale, I am still just a working girl, meeting the Termite Guy, stuffing the flyer box, and just generally trying to make a decent living.

Most days I just feel outclassed here, playing the role of the loopy out-of-town cousin, Author 12. So it was that I found some comedic irony when I took the call from the reporter at the San Diego Business Journal this week asking for my reaction to the month end numbers released by the California Association of Realtors. “I would have called you sooner”, she said, “but I read on your blog that you were out of town”.

Related posts:
  • Appendix A: Linking to Author’s Profile in Multi-Author WordPress Blog
  • What makes a group blog work? It ain’t duct tape and baling wire
  • It’s cherry-picking time down at the feed reader: Subscribe to BloodhoundBlog content by author


    29 Comments so far

    1. Brian Brady April 30th, 2007 12:26 am

      “The readers of my “home” blog …”

      …and me arguing the Chargers stadium site with Steve and Jeff. It’s STUPID guy chatter BUT the stadium site matters…to us.

      My point here is that we sell lifestyle. Cats, the beach, the Chargers, and June Gloom are all a part of San Diego life. Some relocating dude in Chicago cares about that stupid stadium site.

      Let’s hope he comments.

    2. Greg Swann April 30th, 2007 12:35 am

      Okayfine. This is for the benefit of inlookers, kind of an appendix to our About page:

      1. There are no rules for people who write here. I don’t tell anyone what, when or how to write. I make an effort to recruit people who don’t need to be told what to do, then I do everything I can to stay out of their way.
      2. There are no “guest writers” here. I am personally very uncomfortable with anything half-way, so the people who write here are absolutely all the way in. Whatever they do elsewhere is their own business, although I’m always proud to brag about it when they do well.
      3. What I care about is excellence in every facet of its diamond-bright beauty. In prose as in everything, I like absolutely anything that is masterfully done.
      4. I cannot imagine how I could be more proud of the work the BloodhoundBlog contributors have produced. We are fascinatingly informative, penetratingly deep, topically prescient and raucously funny — every day.
      5. Kris Berg is the jewel in our crown, the bright red cherry atop the sundae we’re making for you. I’m not disparaging our other very fine writers, but art is about setting up an expectation — and then defeating it. Kris is better at this than anyone else we have, better at thumping you upside the head you with a cold, wet herring and leaving you looking that the world her way — as the Good Lord intended.

      I love what this thing has become. Every change we have made has made BloodhoundBlog better and stronger. Every contributor we have published has made us that much more readable, that much more informative, that much more fun. We are ten months’ old today, about the age a human child starts cruising the furniture and getting into interesting trouble. I would get a big kick out of watching this as a spectator, but not nearly as big a kick as I get out of watching it and working it as a participant.

      My take is this: If there are “rules” to real estate weblogging, there is no device to measure how little I care. If writing of the quality Kris Berg brings to BloodhoundBlog and to The San Diego Home Blog is “wrong,” then there is no right. And yet we know that what we are doing is right, because we are clawing our way to the top of the ziggurat by ignoring the so-called “rules” and writing our way.

    3. Kelly Kilpatrick April 30th, 2007 1:37 am

      I love Kris’s style and it doesn’t surprise me a bit that the San Diego Business Journal reporter is reading her blog. Way to go Kris!

    4. shaun mclane April 30th, 2007 4:16 am

      Kris, I like most of your posts, but this one seemed pointless. Just seems like you had nothing to say, so you wrote a long post about how you have nothing to say. I’ve read it twice and still don’t really get the reason for posting it, but it’s early, and like I said, i usually enjoy your posts…so maybe it’s me, and I’m just missing something here.

      Hmm…now I’m saying nothing in my comments about you saying nothing in your post. Is this irony? Maybe there’s a top 10 no-nos for commenting. :-)

    5. Teri Lussier April 30th, 2007 5:42 am

      >”As Teri continues her march toward the prize and is no doubt putting the finishing touches on her acceptance speech”

      Not even close. Kris, having spent the last week clawing my way out of a sinkhole of self-doubt, I love that you posted this “recipe” for blogging today. My teenage daughter told me just this morning, “your posts are not you- they’re no fun”. You’ve both given me an early morning thump upside the head.

      Greg is (always) right: “Kris Berg is the jewel in our crown, the bright red cherry atop the sundae…”

      I would add that you are always readable (is that a word? I don’t care, I detest rules), smart, and funny. Your blogging is not at all like a train wreck- those are painful to watch. It’s more like a dance, something lovely and unexpected.

    6. Sock Puppet April 30th, 2007 6:44 am

      For what it’s worth – and I do love Jim and his blog and philosophy – you can’t really achieve anything by trying to avoid negatives.

      Blogging holding “the rule book” in one hand just turns you into a one handed typist.

      The secret sauce is you.

    7. Kris Berg April 30th, 2007 6:44 am

      Shaun, There were a couple of little points tucked in here. I think the “hidden” message was that there isn’t really a right way to blog. But mostly, I suppose, I was just sharing how I get a kick out of the dichotomy of content here, and how Greg and I seem to represent two ends of the content spectrum. I just tend to write about what amuses me, and this amused me. Sorry – I goofed again. Bad blogging mistake #11: Don’t write meaningless drivel. I knew this post would be buried quickly, but I didn’t see that latest Russell Shaw podcast coming. :)

      B, K and G – I wasn’t fishing for compliments, but thanks nonetheless.

    8. shaun mclane April 30th, 2007 7:18 am

      Kris – please don’t think I was being mean. This post just seemed a little out-of-sorts for you. I have enjoyed everything I’ve read from you. I just didn’t get this one. That’s not a bad thing. There are a lot of things I don’t get. Teri put it perfectly, “you are always readable.” I also have no idea if that’s a word, but it fits.

    9. Kris Berg April 30th, 2007 7:39 am

      Shaun – No offense taken. I will just have to get back to work on the more meaningful post I have been contemplating: My doctrine for World Peace. :)

    10. Jonathan Dalton April 30th, 2007 8:26 am

      I feel so much better now, Kris … I only violated nine of the 10 immutable laws of blogging. :-)

    11. Steve Berg April 30th, 2007 9:40 am

      One of the reasons we get along (most of the time) is that soon after we met (22 years ago) we both realized we shared this propensity for being a bit non-conforming. Not that we go out of our way to break the rules. We both just naturally challenged them, since so many seemed so stupid. Kris obviously has a much better way of conveying her philosophy about these things.

      But, for the record, she goes off the deep end a little by making claim that she “… meets the termite guy and fills flyer boxes…”. Her street cred just tanked, as we all know that she assigns these more glamorous tasks to me.

      Shaun – The point was that when the Real Estate Tomato professes the “rules” of good blogging, it served as a stimulant more potent than her morning coffee problem for Kris to come in here and describe how wrong some of these rules may be and how she likes (lives) to defy just about every one. She can’t help it. It’s her nature. If everyone followed the Tomato’s “rules” the blogging world would not be a pretty place.

      Brian – I appreciate your point about the local issues we discuss, such as the Chargers Stadium fiasco. It’s the San Diego Home Blog and it’s ours. We do with it what we want and do so at our own risk, Tomato Rules notwithstanding. We enjoy posting whatever we want because it’s intended to be a source of information and dialoge. We do not rely upon it for generating business and could care less if it does. That is what allows us to take the chains off and it’s what makes it fun for us.

    12. Sock Puppet April 30th, 2007 11:25 am

      Well said Steve.

      Ironically I think it’s that very freedom and attractiveness that will I suspect pull readers and ultimately clients in.


    13. Russell Shaw April 30th, 2007 12:10 pm

      Here is an alternate theory: if the “rules” can be violated and you can still be successful while not following them, then they were not valid rules. A “real rule” can not be violated. Gravity, it isn’t just a good idea, it’s the law.

      I suspect that one of the valid rules is to write things that others will want to read – and Kris excels at this – she makes seemingly irrelevant crap into something interesting. I call that ART.

    14. Jeff Brown April 30th, 2007 12:23 pm

      Kris – I find it ironic to say the least that though I’ve been searching for well over a year, your blog is still the only San Diego based real estate blog I read. The others are so terrible there’s not even a credible #2.

      Oh yeah — and you crack up my wife, who follows you like a bloodhound. (worst pun of the year intended) :)

      We’re having a convention of regular readers of the SD Home Blog. There’s just two of us, so we’re meeting in Denver’s airport Starbuck’s, as it’s between San Diego and Toledo.

      I’m picturing a giant sundae, ice cream and chocolate sauce covering all the BHB contributors, with Kris the Cherry proudly perched on top.

      Get that pic out of your head. :)

    15. Jay Thompson April 30th, 2007 12:37 pm

      I read that Tomato post (as I do all of Jim’s posts) and thought the exact same thing — that I violate all the “rules”. Heck, I’ve had posts on my blog about Vanilla Pepsi, my cat’s broken leg and other such *completely* non-real estate related topics. I’ve been told by some that my blog lacks “focus”. I don’t know what I want the Phoenix Real Estate Guy blog to be when it grows up.

      And to be perfectly honest, I don’t really care. I see the blog as an outlet for several things. Since my life is primarily consumed by real estate, that’s what most of the blog is. But I’m *still* pissed they discontinued Vanilla Pepsi, and the cat’s vet bill is now up to $720 — so those things, and more will still slip into the blog on occasion.

      On a macro level, real estate is a people business, and you need to be able to connect on a personal level. Blogs are a fantabulous way to express who you are. If I were looking for a SD Realtor, the first people I’d call would be Kris and Steve Berg. Why? Because I *like * them. And I know I like them from their blog.

    16. Jonathan Dalton April 30th, 2007 12:47 pm

      It’s interesting that most of the folks in my Google Reader are the ones with the least regard for the rules.

      I’ve got the sense those rules are designed more for those who are starting a blog because everyone else has one and not necessarily because they have anything of note to say.

    17. Sock Puppet April 30th, 2007 12:55 pm

      Dear God a $720 vet bill for a cat? What was it getting? A facelift and lipo?


    18. Brian Brady April 30th, 2007 1:02 pm

      “B, K and G – I wasn’t fishing for compliments, but thanks nonetheless”

      I know you weren’t but you make a good point in your post; People want to do business with people. Your open house signs post about the San Elijo Hills Communist Party was appropriately…local.

    19. Kris Berg April 30th, 2007 1:10 pm

      Jay and Jonathan – Nice to know that someone “got it”. :) Here’s to being irreverent renegades (and to hoping, Jay, that your cat gets better soon).

      Jeff – My Midwest-bred husband calls them sun-duhs. Now I am off to shake the visual.

    20. Kris Berg April 30th, 2007 1:30 pm

      >she makes seemingly irrelevant crap into something interesting.

      Gee, thanks Russell. (?) I think I may use that on my resume, that is, if you don’t mind.

    21. Jim Cronin April 30th, 2007 4:18 pm

      I guess getting read and written about is better than neither.

      “Rules” are meant to be broken, especially by those that have used them for all they’re worth.

      Take for example, Andre Agassi: Known as one of the most effective baseliners in men’s tennis. When one learns to hit a forehand, they are taught balance, footwork, preparation, stroke and follow-through; racket back, small steps towards the ball, weight on left foot upon stroke, square shoulders, level swing, and a fully extended follow-through.

      Andre Agassi breaks all these rules with every forehand. Is he bound for defeat? Hardly. Would he recommend his approach to a forehand to anyone who picks up a racket? Of course not.

      Agassi has been able to take what he has learned as an early player and blended it with his unbelievable hand-eye coordination and experimentation to develop strokes that are not only effective, but reliable.

      Is Kris Berg the Agassi of Real Estate Blogging? She just may be. …And Greg the John McEnroe, Athol the Pat Cash, Brian the Jimmy Connors, Jay the Boris Becker, Jonathan the Bjorn Borg, Russell the Ilie Nastase, Jeff the Mats Wilander, Shaun the Yannik Noah, Teri the Chris Everett, Kelly the Monica Seles, Steve the Ivan Lendl…

      Me… I just wanted to be the local pro, teaching kids and adults how to get their serves in.

      Great post, Kris.

    22. Russell Shaw April 30th, 2007 4:30 pm


      Not only don’t I mind, I think it might also look good on your business cards. “She makes seemingly irrelevant crap into something interesting”

      Ilie Nastase

    23. Burress April 30th, 2007 4:41 pm

      Okay.. when I started my site, it was for writing about real estate only. Now, if you looked at my site, it’s more of a personal blog it seems. I write about baseball, history, my hometown and now religious stuff.

      Guess I have broke every blog rule there is! Then again, I do not care! I can blog for business all day but the way I see it, if I show my true self at times and blog about other stuff, people will relate to me and come back. Most home buyers are just looking around. Give them something to relate to and laugh at at times and they will remember you!

    24. Sock Puppet April 30th, 2007 4:43 pm

      Uh oh Jim, you said Greg was the John McEnroe of real estate blogging.

      Now anytime Greg starts getting worked up about something we can just spam the comments with “THIS IS INTOLERABLE,THE BALL WAS CLEARLY OUT!” etc until the point is forgotten.

      (pleased to make that short list all stars of course)

    25. Jim Cronin April 30th, 2007 7:26 pm
    26. Kris Berg April 30th, 2007 8:15 pm

      Jim, Yet another case of the comment exceeding the post. Greg is the bad boy (duh), and I am the aging, congenial, balding work horse. I like that.

    27. Kaye Thomas April 30th, 2007 10:16 pm

      Rules.. you mean there are rules about blogging. I always thought a blog is what happened after copious amounts of caffeine..

    28. [...] Recently, both Teresa Boardman and I took a stab at what we saw as mistakes on real estate blogs. You may have noticed, we don’t always agree on what we feel is the best of advice for the Tomato audience, and neither does Kris Berg. This is what makes it such a pleasure to have active participation in the blogsophere. [...]

    29. Brian Brady May 2nd, 2007 4:46 pm

      “Brash Basher of Belleville”
      I can live with that.