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There’s always something to howl about

TruZillow and the dis-form-ation of real estate web sites . . .

Color me grateful, but one benefit of the Trulia/Zillow free APIs for Realtor web sites is that we should see the end of the sleazy practice of making dewy-eyed anonymous-by-preference Google-borne immigrants fill out a form to search the MLS listings.

This crap is straight out of Dan Gooder, but, just as less is more, Gooder is worse. Acolytes of The Church of Seth know better. Interruption marketing (what Trulia and Zillow plan to do) is bad, but hostage-taking is insufferable.

It’s strictly a matter of serendipity that Seth Godin has the same first name as Cain and Abel’s other brother, but here is a Golden Rule more precious than gold itself: If the tables were turned, how would you want to be treated? If you — out of curiosity or because you want to invest in another town or because you want to move your widowed mother into a better neighborhood — visit another Realtor’s web site, do you want to surrender your personal details just to surf the local MLS? If not, then why would you do this to your own potential clients?

Luckily for the rest of us, we probably won’t have to wait for the Gooderites to discover a better morality. The TruZillow sites will be free — as Stewart Brand always wanted them to be — and the sites that continue to cower behind Berlin Wall-like contact-info forms will be neglected.

And — it just occurs to me — the Truliactive and Zillowized sites will probably be linked from Trulia.com and Zillow.com, which has SEO implications. And now I’m interested…

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