Monday, February 26, 2007

Craigslist EZ Posting

As many Point2 members have seen already today, we have added Craigslist as a semi automated feed partner. Craig and company do not accept listing feeds so what we've done is generated HTML for each listing that plumbs in to our listing management and prospecting system. Inquiries generated from a Craigslist ad will flow into the Prospects list and view and click stats will be shown on the syndication tab.

So it is a little bit of work to get the listing on Craigslist right now, but is it worth it? We added the functionality this morning. By mid afternoon, we had 34 members add their Point2 listings to Craigslist. Those 34 listings generated 965 views and 337 click throughs. I'd say use Craigslist. Here are some examples of the postings:


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Blogs: On Domain or Off Domain?

Ok guys, this needs a bit of discussion. The question arose on a Point2 messageboard forum, should blogs be on domain or off domain. You can’t say 100% that you need a blog on a different domain. There are pros and cons of each approach. If you weigh them, it’s almost a 50/50 spit and the only conclusion is that there is a place and reason for each.

We evaluated each and decided on our current approach for a number of reasons, the biggest one being this: If we built the blog on domain, our members could have both approaches, but if we built it off domain, you are stuck with that solution. What do I mean exactly? The current solution has the blog on domain. If you want a separate blog on it’s own domain and you wanted to use the Point2 solution (to take advantage of auto posts, syndication to Point2 Homes etc…) you can create a second portal, purchase a domain, and point that domain to the main blog page. On the other hand, if we build a solution off domain, you couldn’t have the option of the other approach.

So to be clear (for everyone reading) what is the difference in the 2 approaches? Here are the 2 definitions first:

Where some use separate domains,

Others keep the blog on domain:


So the next question is what is the best approach? My answer is “That Depends”. It’s also the answer of the SEO forum expert:

Well, a larger group of people could create a better list of why on and why off domain. But because we built our solution on, some of the benefits of that approach include:
- building more content on your domain. In search, larger sites have an edge.
- If the content of the blog matches the content of the main site, it makes ‘sense’ to have the content together on one site.
- Blogs link to blogs and in general, the technology is a great way to achieve deep linking on your website.
- Because we syndication listings, agent profiles and blog content to Point2 Homes, it makes sense to send users back to the same site for one author. (imagine a blog post about an open house, it’s best to take the user back to the source of the post and the main listing content.
- The approach is best for tracking analytics and total exposure generated from all marketing activities.

Those are some reasons, there are others. There are also reasons for the off domain approach and like I said, if you put them all side by side, you probably have a 50/50 split as far as value goes.