Blackberry Outage

Bberry_2 Blackberry users may have noticed that on Monday February 11 2008, data service and email was interrupted for several hours.  Here’s an update from CNet regarding what actually happened:

"Monday’s widespread BlackBerry outage–the second major one in the past 12 months–left Research In Motion customers stranded and cut off from the rest of the world…The Internet’s equivalent of a snow day left reams of e-mail messages undelivered for about three hours Monday, according to RIM, which either still hasn’t figured out exactly what caused the problem, or isn’t willing to disclose the cause just yet.

Representatives for AT&T and Verizon told several media outlets Monday that from what they understood, all wireless carriers in North America that work with RIM were affected. The last time an outage of this magnitude occurred, in April, RIM blamed a database problem that snowballed when the backup "failover" process didn’t work as planned.

All e-mail messages sent to or from a BlackBerry in North America must at some point in their journey travel through RIM’s network operations center (NOC) in Canada. The company tried to use that to its advantage in its patent dispute with NTP, noting that since such a critical part of the service lies in Canada, RIM should be exempt from U.S. patent claims. That didn’t take."

Trulia Tips

Trulia_tip Did you know that the link shown immediately to the left of of this text is one of the most important features of the web site?

This is the link takes you directly to the property details as shown on the originating broker’s site.  Every Trulia listing has a link that leads directly back to the website where the listing originated.  In this example, although the listing shows Address Not Disclosed, the link leads back to luxuryreal for property detail information.

Here’s my "Trulia Tip" – If you have a customer, prospect or floor call who wants information about a listing that is shown on Trulia, use this link to click-through to the property detail page on the broker site for more information.  Even if the listing is "Address Not Disclosed", in most cases you will find the name and contact information for the Listing Agent.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

RssRSS, which means Really Simple Syndication is truly one of the great technical terms in use today.   Why ? Because the definition actually makes sense!

Really Simple Syndication is the means by which a website or blog can publish its content (syndicate the information) for use on another website or blog automatically.  Any site that displays the RSS logo has this feature and there are a variety of benefits including the fact that most search engines look for RSS feeds and give favorable ranking to the sites that syndicate their content. Another feature of RSS is that you can use a an RSS feed reader to subscribe to the the content published on a site.

Now let’s put this in practical terms:  The single property websites available at feature an RSS feed. The logo is at the bottom of each page.  Your clients can subscribe to your feed by clicking on the logo and pasting the URL into a feed reader.  Anytime you publish a new single property website from, it will appear in your client’s reader.  When they click on the newly information in the reader, they go directly to the property website.  What’s more, you get a big boost in your search engine optimization results by doing this.

As a test I took the RSS feed from APR Agent Annie DiResta and put it in a feed reader on my iGoogle homepage.  Voila!  Annie’s sites are now live on my home page.  Look for more news about RSS and how it can help you in future posts on this blog.  

High Resolution Pictures

Have you ever copied a picture from website and then used it in a print ad?  Do you lie awake nights wondering why some photos look blurry when printed? 

The reason for this is that images in print require more resolution (detail) than images on the web.  Digital images are made up of individual dots called pixels .  Printed images require more dots than images on the screen, and that’s why you can’t use a low resolution screen image for a high resolution print.

To make sure that your printed images and property photos are the highest quality possible, please use them in their original format from the camera.  Today’s digital cameras all take high resolution photos, described in megapixels.  Do not copy and paste web photos for your print ad submissions. A good rule of thumb is that the file size for your photo must be higher than 500Kb.  To check the file size on an image that is saved on your desktop, click the right-mouse button and select properties.

Following these simple guidelines will help make sure that print ads and property photos are the highest quality for their intended use.

Let it rain

The Active Rain website says it best: "We are a free online community for real estate professionals designed to help them promote and grow their business."

I am a recent convert to social networking and online professional communities.  These sites offer free tools for quickly and easily establishing an online social network of clients, affiliates, friends and others.

These sites are one of the best ways to establish an online sphere of influence.  Be sure to also check out Linked In, another popular and useful site for social networking. 

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