There’s always something to howl about

NAR Backs Off Labeling Google a “Scraper”

I’m basing this on a flurry of tweets out of NAR Mid Year, but it looks like the NAR rules committee came to its senses.

I await the actual verbiage. It will be interesting to see what twisted hedge they come up with to distinguish an “indexer” from a “scraper”.

Still, the question remains: Was the original decision to back MIBOR a deliberate attempt to see if they could rally the Luddites to hobble IDX?

Or was it just plain vanilla cluelessness?

Either way, it begs the even bigger question that was asked hundreds of times on blog posts over the last week: What are NAR members paying for?

UPDATE: Not so fast. See Malok’s comment below. It’s not a done deal, apparently, and the twits are silent.

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    18 Comments so far

    1. Jeff Brown May 14th, 2009 10:58 am

      Hey John — NAR’s behavior reminds me a M.A.S.H. episode. Colonel Potter asks Hawkeye and BJ to take it easier on Frank. “After all” says the colonel, “There are some things Frank just doesn’t know.” Replied Hawkeye, “But Colonel, it’s so hard to keep up with everything Frank doesn’t know.”

    2. Charles McDonald May 14th, 2009 11:04 am

      thank you for the update. We were discussing today at our Tech meeting.

    3. Greg Swann May 14th, 2009 11:41 am

      Me, in another post:

      (Take note that even if the NAR gives in on this stupid stance it has taken, that’s just a game they’re running. Earnest men of good will like Jim Duncan will not reform the NAR from the inside. The NAR is a criminal conspiracy, and it will act to preserve its criminal prerogatives against all opposition. The only way to obliterate the NAR’s evil is the Bloodhound way — by supplanting it in the minds of consumers with an incontestably better alternative.)

      More later. Thanks for the heads-up, John.

    4. John Rowles May 14th, 2009 11:54 am

      @ Jeff: LOL — perfect. NAR = Frank. Makes you wonder who Hot Lips is…?

    5. Judy Orr May 14th, 2009 12:04 pm

      Thanks for the update, John. I’ve been waiting to hear something. Can’t wait to hear the whole thing.

    6. Malok May 14th, 2009 1:23 pm

      Its my understanding that its not a done deal – yet. The recommendation has been made to allow indexing by search engines, but I believe the actual voting is to take place on Saturday.

    7. Thomas Johnson May 14th, 2009 4:10 pm

      who Hot Lips is…?

      Barney Frank, of course.

    8. Eric Blackwell May 14th, 2009 4:29 pm

      @Who Hot Lips is…that would be NAR members who don’t raise their voices about issues like this(grin) For obvious reasons…too funny, Jeff.

      Malok’s point about the decision not being “final” is correct. The committee made their recommendation. It is expected to pass, but it is not final yet.

      I am no fan of NAR, but to their (slight) credit, they have acted comparatively quickly here. I am thankful at least that they have. I am not saying the elephant can dance…I’m just saying.

      Once NAR decides for real, the decision is NOT binding on MIBOR. They still have the ability to act on their own, in my understanding. (Word on the street is that they won’t do this and will acquiesce to the interpretation of NAR.)

      Let’s hope this all goes the way it looks.

      @Rowles-You asked a critical question, my friend… ;-) My answer?

      Plain Vanilla cluelessness.

      Sometimes you need Garritt Morris to do his “Close Captioned for the Hard of Hearing” to help people see the big picture and what it would cost if MIBOR’s ruling had been applied nationwide. (grin)

      My appreciation to the committee for making the right call today. Awaiting finality on this.

    9. Louise Scoggins May 14th, 2009 6:27 pm

      I think it was plain vanilla cluelessness that unknowingly sparked outrage nationwide amongst web-savvy (and consumer oriented) Realtors. It’s been fascinating to follow and I can’t wait to hear the final ruling. Like everyone else, I anticipate it will pass, given how quickly the acted / reacted this week to all the uproar. I will stay tuned!

    10. Sue Zanzonico May 14th, 2009 9:00 pm

      Thank you for the update John. This has been interesting to watch. I am happy to see that NAR is addressing this issue quickly and hope they have clarity of vision to make the right decision.

    11. Paula Henry May 14th, 2009 10:57 pm

      I spoke at length with Tom Renkert, MIBOR’s Information Services Director after the Committee meeting in DC. He said, MIBOR will acquisence to NAR’s ruling and basically told me, based on today’s ruling, I will be able to index my IDX. I am very hopeful this will be the result of the Board’s recommendation and confident MIBOR will follow suit as they have indicated they will.

    12. Gail Tassey May 15th, 2009 4:08 am

      The people spoke, well, they ROARED, in outrage and I was glad to see the NAR Committee sat up and listened, I would be shocked if the ruling and new wording did not pass on Saturday, but a race is not done til the horses have crossed the finish line. Now if we could get a bit more updated technology based decisions, wouldn’t that be great! :)

    13. John Rowles May 15th, 2009 7:01 am

      @Paula: Thanks for the update and, more importantly, thanks for speaking out and sticking with it all the way to DC.

      I am surprised to hear that MIBOR has an “Information Services Director”. Seems to me it would be that guy’s job to say to his board, “This is a really dumb idea”.

      If they had just said to the Luddite who complained “So then opt out” this whole thing could have been avoided.

      Then again, if the NAR was using MIBOR as a cut out to see what would happen if they tried to cripple IDX, at least they are now aware of this thing called “blogging” that enables ordinary people to publish on the internets where lots of other dues paying members can learn how “their” association is either working against them or is so clueless that it ends up working against them.

      Maybe they will remember this the next time they decide to tinker with data policy.

      Its probably too much to ask that they actually learn to use social media to engage their membership in a conversation about these things. By issuing dictates and then unilaterally deciding to reverse them, they maintain the illusion of control, which still seems to be important to NAR.

    14. Jeff Brown May 15th, 2009 10:09 am

      In the end, regardless of whether NAR was ‘plain vanilla clueless’ or testing how far they could take this, they’ve just been ‘Rathered’.

    15. Daphne Lacey May 16th, 2009 12:17 pm

      Let’s all hope it gets approved today. We need to be able to put this one behind us and move on to the next thing.

    16. Cal Carter May 17th, 2009 8:03 am

      I quote Paula – “I spoke at length with Tom Renkert, MIBOR’s Information Services Director after the Committee meeting in DC. He said, MIBOR will acquisence to NAR’s ruling and basically told me, based on today’s ruling, I will be able to index my IDX. I am very hopeful this will be the result of the Board’s recommendation and confident MIBOR will follow suit as they have indicated they will.”

      What a confidence game! Why is it that it is reported that a MIBOR member referred the policy change back to committee? What irony that it came from MIBOR, especially after what Paula was told! Wasn’t there enough opposition to stupid policy within NAR to override that person?

      Couldn’t the NAR MLS Committee make a wise decision for members at large and let the MIBOR members duke it out amongst themselves as to whether they wanted to keep the Indiana Board of Realtors in the dark ages or not all on their own?

    17. Paula Henry May 18th, 2009 4:45 am

      Cal – There appeared to be enough support from the MLS Committe, but I heard not one spoke up at the Board in support. I have also heard once it is tabled, there is nothing else the Borad can do.

      To me it reeks of a “power play” by MIBOR in an attempt to restrict competition. I have no confidence my local Board doesn’t want to live in the dark ages.

      If we did leave it to local Boards, whose to say other Boards will not follow suit. NAR had the opportunity to define their intent of the original rule and did not.

      Honestly, the rule as it stands was never interpreted as such until a local Indianapolis Broker (who didn’t like the fact my broker and I had the possibilty to usurp his dominate #1 position) complained. The NAR has stated they never dealt with this issue intil then.

      In the course of this battle, Cliff Niersbach has stated it was never the intent of the rule to ban indexing. Once they (NAR) agreed with my Board’s interpretation, they lit a firestorm.

      My questions is why can’t NAR admit it was never their interpretation and reverse their interpretation without waiting six months to rewrite the langauge. The language of the current rule was misinterpretated in it’s present form.

    18. The Power of Social Media May 22nd, 2009 7:56 pm

      [...] NAR Backs Off Labeling Google a Scraper [...]