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March 29, 2006

Using wikis to empower "do-it-yourself" homebuyers & sellers

Recafe_wikimenu_1"When it becomes time to make ideas real, wiki lets us keep playing while we work. Wiki is how we turn discussion into documentation, rap-session into planning-session, and meeting into collaboration--online."
James Carlson Director, Bucketworks

Exciting to read that the innovative folks at RainCityGuide in Seattle, one of the best real estate blogs in the nation, are also experimenting with wikis; but it appears we may be approaching the collaborative power of wikis from different starting points.  While RainCityGuide will be looking to fellow real estate professionals to collaborate on content, The Real Estate Cafe is looking to real estate consumers, both homebuyers and sellers.

On and off over six months, The Real Estate Cafe has been quietly building a "menu of wikis" with four to five main areas.  A snapshot of the current version of our main page, which is still password-protected, is shown above (click on image for larger view) or read text on the link below.  If you'd like in see where we're headed or explore collaborations, or just selling your own home "for sale by owner" in Massachusetts and want to learn more about the steps in the process -- wiki-style, email RECafe@mac.com.

If you're wildly excited about wikis, maybe we'll see you here in Cambridge, Massachusetts for WikiMania 2006.  Today (March 30, 2006) is the deadline for submitting a proposal to host a workshop or tutorial at this year's Wikimania.

Maybe RainCityGuide and The Real Estate Cafe (and potentially others?) can collaborate on a workshop comparing how real estate professionals and consumers on both coasts use wikis to meet their real estate needs.  Should be interesting to watch if this particular opportunity is really ahead of it's time as Dustin at RainCityGuide speculates:

"Another idea I have is almost definitely ahead-of-its-time, but could be interesting, is that anyone selling a home is free to create a webpage that describes their home on the.raincityguide.com. It will cost you nothing but time, and if you are creative enough, it might get you some interesting publicity."

MENU OF WIKIS (preview of http://www.realestatecafe.com/wiki/, currently password protected)

1. FSBOWIKI
FSBOSupportGroup.com members, let's create a FSBO resource center and coauthor a step-by-step knowledge-base and so thousands of people selling their own homes "for sale by owner" in Massachusetts can save money and save lives.

Steps in the "For Sale by Owner" process

2. REAL ESTATE CONSUMER BILL OF RIGHTS
Use this forum to continue drafting Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights;

3. INTELLIGENT REDESIGN
Invite participants in the yearlong Intelligent REdesign series to to use these resources or to add to them as they prepare their own proposals;

4. REAL ESTATE CONSUMER COMPLAINTS
Develop a comprehensive knowledge-base documenting anti-competitive policies and business practices in Massachusetts and across the country;

ARCHIVE

COLLABORATING ON TESTIMONY FOR DOJ / FTC HEARING
The goal of this Wiki section of the wiki was originally to collaborate on testimony for the DOJ / FTC hearing in October 2006. Now, it's ongoing goal is to invite real estate consumer to join real estate consumer advocates and real estate change agents from around the country to inform the government's ongoing legal proceeding against DOJ / FTC the real estate industry.

Bill Wendel | 11:52 PM in "We" companies, Change Agents, Do-it-yourself, Inside The Real Estate Cafe, Real Estate Blogs: Best Practices, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance, Social Networking, Writing tools | Permalink

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