There’s always something to howl about

Why is sponsoring BloodhoundBlog Unchained? Discover the answer to that question for yourself by diving for Black Pearls — and win a link on our sidebar or even an Unchained scholarship

Why is the premier sponsor of BloodhoundBlog Unchained? They can speak for themselves (as they have), but my thinking all along was that they expected that we could put them in front of the kind of Realtors and lenders most likely to make the best use of the incredible software Zillow is producing.

I said this yesterday in email to Drew Meyers of

You are at or near the kind of software “universe” that is so rich that all kinds of unexpected ideas can take root. A commendable state only nerds can appreciate, but one which can yield huge harvests of new tools.

I think you might have to have the geekiest turn of mind to appreciate the difference between a mere API (Application Programmer’s Interface) and a true software universe, but Zillow is the real deal — and I’ll be teaching on this point at Unchained. (I’ll make it easy, fast and fun, I promise.)

The simple fact is, whatever differences BloodhoundBlog and might have, we are on exactly the same page for much of the hymnal: How can we leverage the incredible power of the internet for home buyers, borrowers and sellers?

There are 2,338 posts on BloodhoundBlog as I write this, and many of them, perhaps the majority, are about tools, tips, tricks, tactics and techniques for Realtors and lenders. We’ve written about single-property web sites, maximum-power leveraged SEO, how loan originators can thread their way through the landmines, social marketing sites from MySpace to LinkedIn to FaceBook to Twitter. I’ve taken you step-by-step through our custom yard-sign strategy. Brian and I, with help from Tom Johnson and others, pioneered the idea Tom calls “Zestifarming.” I could go on forever — and our archives do.

And that’s the point: When you hunt with a Bloodhound, you don’t have to go everywhere the dog goes. But it’s the dog who runs down the game. Why does Zillow want to sponsor us? I think it’s because we are constantly coming up with new Web 2.0 marketing ideas.

And, as I realized yesterday, that could be a good weblogging contest. Brian announced on the radio today that the $149 Guerrilla-only special price we are offering will go away in ten days — Friday, March 7th. If you want to get Unchained for that price, you’ll have to act fast.

But I want to do a Black Pearls contest, with the Grand Prize being a full scholarship to Unchained. So let’s do it this way: The deadline for the contest will be in seven days — March 4th. If you win, you’re in. If not, you still have time to get a ticket while they’re still such a bargain.

So here’s the contest:

The BloodhoundBlog Black Pearl Diver’s contest…

You know you’ve seen a lot of great marketing ideas here for the first time. We’re not always the last word on a new idea, but we’re often the first word — and at our best, we’re the best word.

Here’s a blogging contest: Write a post on your own site discussing the best marketing Black Pearl you’ve found on BloodhoundBlog. Search the archives, if you need to, to refresh your memory.

Post a link to your blog post in the comments to this post.

Extra credit: Show us how you use the idea in your own marketing.

Extra-extra credit: Show us how you have improved on the idea.

Can BloodhoundBlog contributors enter? Everyone but me and Brian Brady, from your home weblogs.

Can you enter more than once? You bet. There’s only one Grand Prize, but if you can earn two or more spots on our sidebar, you deserve everyone’s thanks.

Will this affect The Odysseus Medal competition? Only to the extent that the same post can be entered here and nominated there. We like good ideas and we’re not doing anything to stand in their way.

Brian Brady and I will be the sole judges of the winners — and the only judging criteria is the marketing strength of the ideas.

Winning essays — no limit — get a link back to their site on our side-bar — some of the most powerful Google-juice in the

And the Grand Prize Winner gets a full scholarship to BlooodhoundBlog Unchained:

  • Tickets to the main two-day conference, May 19th and 20th, a $200 value
  • A ticket to the May 18th pre-conference of tutorial break-outs and sponsored intensives, a $50 value
  • A full set of DVDs of the main conference, a $100 value

The fact is, you can buy all that — a $350 value — for $149 right now, and my take is that you should go ahead and do it if you haven’t already. We only have a limited number of seats available, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. If you win the Grand Prize, you can either bring a colleague or we’ll refund your money.

But, either way, get writing. That deadline is March 4th at 12 midnight, MST. And: Winning a spot on our sidebar will do wonders for your search engine results, even if you don’t win the scholarship.

Why is sponsoring BloodhoundBlog Unchained? Could it be because we think up ideas like this one?

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Related posts:
  • Do you want to know the best Black Pearl of all? When someone offers you a valuable jewel, show up to collect your prize!
  • Unchained Interstitials: Join in all the Unchained games?
  • Bloodhound Blog UNCHAINED Social Media Marketing Conference brought to you by tickets go to full price tonight


    18 Comments so far

    1. Michelle DeRepentigny February 26th, 2008 8:57 pm

      What a fabulously fun idea. I’m off to archive dive!

    2. Greg Swann February 26th, 2008 9:03 pm

      > What a fabulously fun idea. I’m off to archive dive!

      Good on ya! Capitalism is the quest for wealth that makes everyone richer.

    3. Todd February 27th, 2008 8:56 am

      Congrats on your Zillow sponsorship. I hope to see more and more progress from the real estate industry, with the two of you leading the way.

    4. Greg Swann February 27th, 2008 10:30 am

      Bless you, Todd. Thank you.

    5. [...] Mike Farmer wrote a sweet note this morning about using single-property weblogs in his marketing, but his post was not an entry in the BloodhoundBlog Black Pearl Diver’s contest. [...]

    6. Maggie Dokic February 27th, 2008 12:21 pm

      Greg, this is a wonderful idea and one that is actually going to take me away from work so I can join in on the fun. Thanks for the inspiration!

    7. Greg Swann February 27th, 2008 12:27 pm

      > Greg, this is a wonderful idea and one that is actually going to take me away from work so I can join in on the fun.

      Excellent. Make money, but in your spare time work on making more money. ;)

    8. Innocence Lost February 27th, 2008 12:57 pm

      [...] wasn’t until yesterday when I read that Zillow is sponsoring Bloodhound Unchained, that I realized that they had refocused their efforts from making money the old fashioned [...]

    9. JeffX February 27th, 2008 4:28 pm

      “Why is the premier sponsor of BloodhoundBlog Unchained?”

      Wow, the irony, whoda thunk it.

    10. Brian Brady February 27th, 2008 7:31 pm

      Thanks, Todd.

      “Wow, the irony, whoda thunk it.”

      Popcorn shrimp, X; popcorn shrimp.

    11. JeffX February 27th, 2008 7:34 pm

      I thought they were lobster?

    12. Kevin Warmath - Alpharetta Real Estate March 2nd, 2008 9:02 pm

      I’ll sing for my supper: here is my entry in the black pearl contest.

      Looking forward to your comments so that i can continue to improve this approach.

      thx, k.

    13. [...] his good example, Kevin Warmath reminds you to get busy on your BloodhoundBlog Black Pearl Diver’s contest entry. We’re about to talk about writing, so let me remind you that I wrote a post on how to [...]

    14. Brian Miller March 4th, 2008 8:49 pm

      okay…pearl diving here I come….

      thanks for the opportunity, guys

    15. [...] a reminder: The deadline for the BloodhoundBlog Black Pearl Diver’s contest is tonight at [...]

    16. [...] going to miss the deadline for the Black Pearl Contest, but I’m working on a few ideas: Brian’s Twitter Channel; a twist on Todd’s and [...]

    17. Colleen Kulikowski March 5th, 2008 10:10 pm
    18. [...] so, I knew when I announced the BloodhoundBlog Black Pearl Diver’s contest that few people would enter. The effort was nothing, really, just another blog post. The Grand [...]