Trulia And Topix

Trulia is watching you.

This week they announced the development of a widget that will promote listings from neighborhoods based on localized information about the user, capturing the ever-evasive longtail markets.

One site of the 50,000 odd sites that Trulia is seeking to partner with in installing the widget is Topix, a Web-based news community that allows users to post and browse articles relevant to their topics of interest.

Today’s widget launch on Topix will show Topix users a grouping of listings in close proximity to them, and clicks on the listings will send them to Trulia to read further.

"We're really excited about this," Trulia CEO Pete Flint said of the new partnership with Topix. "We've seen the best results when we've gotten down to the hyperlocal level. The great thing about Topix is they have a huge national reach as well as local content."

Topix is the fourth most-popular stand-alone newspaper site on the internet, as well as the seventh-ranked Web site within the newspaper subcategory of news and information sites, according to comScore. Clearly, this partnership will be a great coup for Trulia.

This is not just another widget. Service providers in the real estate industry should see this as a worthwhile tool to promote their businesses online. Topix CEO Chris Tolles says that because the newsfeed is localized, it offers a great opportunity for users to differentiate themselves from other sites. This looks to be another way for service providers to find free exposure on the Web, and they’d be smart to use it.

Labels: , , , The First Wiki MLS, the first wiki MLS, officially launched in early April promising enhanced searchability, more user-friendly tools and—most importantly—the ability to communally modify postings.

Founder Frank Llosa of Frankly Realty in Virginia says on his blog, “The goal is to add information, and not opinions…competing agents come together to give what the customer wants...more info and photos.”

The site also has a point system to reward agents with outbound links to their sites. One point is awarded for posting a comment, and ten points are awarded for adding a photo album. The user with the most points for a given property gets a link back to their website, and most likely, any business from buyers who view that property through Franklymls.

Two very important things are happening with this site: First, buyers and agents alike now have an all-in-one MLS that focuses on the details of properties, and someday may compete with larger brokerages who have built extensive MLS search pages on their sites. Secondly, the site is an excellent source for buyers agents to market themselves through the properties they show. It’s an easy algorithm: The more properties you comment on and photograph, the more outbound links the site publishes back to you. A marketing no-brainer for any service provider in the real estate market.

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Craigslist Launches Blog: (Free) Accusations Ensue

Craigslist announced the official launch of their first blog today via It’s a departure from Craigslist founder Craig Newmark’s personal blog, which formerly served as a platform for Craigslist announcements and launches and Newmark’s personal musings.

It’s difficult to determine what constitutes a “real blog”, but without RSS capability and with very simplistic formatting, I have a hard time calling this rudimentary announcement page / discussion forum / random gathering of information an actual blog.

The most recent post, however, is quite interesting, and worth a read.

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Wave-Powered Boat Sails Nearly 4,000 Miles

These days, people are quick to jump on solar-powered housing, so why not a wave-powered boat?

69-year old Kenichi Horie has set sail for his second trip from Hawaii to Japan on a wave-powered boat. His maiden voyage in 1996 took place on a solar-powered boat made of aluminum beer cans, much like this one.

The journey—which would take an average yacht a little over a week—will take Horie over two months. He plans to power the electrical equipment (including a microwave) on his boat with solar panels. Momentum is achieved by two panels at the front of the boat, which allow waves to propel him forward.

He plans to carry rice, microwaveable meals and canned food. Oh, and beer. Only the necessities.
Horie’s hope is that his clean-sailing trip will encourage the shipping industry to adopt green habits at sea. Though on a small scale, his trip is proof that it can be done.

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Zillow Launches Mortgage Rate Valuation Tool

Zillow has launched a new platform allowing users to compare mortgage rate quotes alongside their already popular home valuation tools.

The mortgage rate-quote platform will not only help buyers shop for the best mortgage rates, but will also be a lead source for mortgage service providers. And while users’ contact information is not released directly to these mortgage groups, enough information is supplied to enable mortgage professionals to determine the best rate quotes for buyers.

Zillow CFO and VP of Marketing, Spencer Rascoff said that the new platform is intended to protect the privacy of consumers while providing a more accurate and transparent process for quoted loan rates.

It seems that this tool seems will be a great coup for buyers and mortgage professionals alike. For buyers, it will take the pressure out of shopping for the best quotes in person. For mortgage professionals—who pay a one-time fee of $25 to participate—it will provide an excellent lead source.

This new platform will compete with others already available in the loan industry, such as and, both of which allow mortgage professionals access to customer information. Both companies list fewer than 280 lenders in their network, while Zillow received over 300 registrations last week alone.

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