I’ve conveyed my opinion of Facebook. I like LinkedIn better. Some feel MyBlogLog is social networking porn. But then, I like real estate porn, so maybe that’s why I like MyBlogLog. All of the social networks I’ve tried have some value, but none of them hold a candle my own personal effort to create a social network. For nearly as long as I’ve had a blog about the mortgage industry, I’ve had a social networking blog running along side of it. Here’s a 5 minute history of REMBEX
On Feb 07 of 2005, just days after turning lenderama into a blog, I find Hanin Levin’s list of real estate blogs on grow-a-brain and requested to be added to the list. In 2005, RE.net was more like a band of brothers. It seemed logical to me to reach out to other professionals forging this new path.
On March 12, 2005 I launched RE blogs. It was a simple Blogger powered blog that listed all the RE.net blogs I could find. The list gained traction in Google, and before I knew it, new bloggers started contacting me before I ever had to seek them out. My social network was growing.
As time progressed, I tried a few tools like a web ring, and some linking projects. None really harnessed this network I was building the way I wanted them to. Then Google gave me the gift of Custom Search Engines.
On February 15 of this year, I launched the REMBEX search engine. It was not only a list of all the blogs I had found, but a tool for visitors to search those blogs. Now I had not only a network, but a widget that other bloggers soon adopted. You can find the REMBEX search engine on Bloodhound, RealCentralVA, The Phoenix Real Estate Guy, The Carnival of Real Estate, The Mortgage Porter, Phoenix Area Real Estate, 3 Oceans, and The Real Estate Blog Lab.
The next logical step was to take my online contacts off line. Blog Fiesta was originally created to promote this event. But nearly as fast as I got it up and running, it occurred to me that I had something much bigger on my hands. I started interviewing local bloggers who would be attending the event and realized this was an excellent way to create further connectivity between other bloggers and myself.
So here we are, the REMBEX social network is alive and kicking. I wanted to tell you about my social networking effort to get you to think about your own. Ask yourself:
How many of your “connections” in LinkedIn are stronger than the relationships I’ve forged in interviewing other bloggers?
What is more effective way to reach out to another blogger? Throwing a sheep at them, or to encourage one of my interviewees to list and link to that blogger as one of their favorites?
What can you do on somebody else’s social network that I can’t on my own blog?
The most important social networking platform you belong to is your own blog. Not Active Rain. Not Facebook. You. If you think of blogging as an SEO tool, you don’t get it. If you think of blogging as a way to express yourself online, that’s great, but you’re under-leveraging what you have. If you think blogging is a way to increase your sphere of influence, and want to learn more… Stay tuned.