I leave today for the REALTOR® Conference and Expo in San Francisco and I couldn’t be more excited. Recently, NAR announced the formation of a Data Analytics Group, headed by Todd Carpenter. The exciting part for me is that Todd and I will be working closely together to build technology that will give our members tools to be more successful.
As a preview of NAR’s future, the Emerging Business Issues and Technology Forum this Saturday will be focusing on the parts of the whole of Big Data, from what you can do with it to how you display it, there’s something for everybody. EBIT Forum Chair, Danny Frank and Vice-Chair, Courtney Rose Johnson have put together a great forum on the key points of Big Data. First, the logistics:
Moscone Center, Room 135
1:30 – 3:30pm
What NAR’s future looks like with data
To start, Todd Carpenter will be giving an overview of predictive analytics and what it means for you as an NAR member. He’ll also provide a general overview of the goals and direction for the Data Analytics Group. I can say it’s been a great experience discussing ideas with Todd already, and we’re just weeks into this. This is a great opportunity to learn about this new NAR initiative.
Why data matters to our future
Todd will be a great warm up for Ted Loring, the Chair for the Data Strategies Committee. Ted will provide some insight into what the Data Strategies Committee has been up to in the past year. He’ll specifically be talking about Predictive Marketing, why it matters and what it means to you and NAR. This will be an interactive session and the audience is encouraged to discuss the topic with Ted and the panel.
How to display data using best practices
Joe Sullivan, User Experience Designer at NAR, will discuss Data Visualization and give you some easy-to-follow best practices to make your charts and graphs stand out. CRT’s been heavily researching the display of data for some time and this talk will help you learn how to tell your story with data. Joe will also cover some of the new ways CRT is working with NAR’s data.
The final talk will be from me. I’ll provide a summary and discuss resources you can use to learn more about all the topics covered by Ted, Todd and Joe. I’ll also provide an overview of what CRT has in store for the future and what that means for members.
If you’re going to be in San Francisco, stop by Saturday and get a glimpse of the future. We look forward to taking this journey with you. See you soon!
I bought my first motorcycle this spring, and sadly, it’s time to start thinking about putting it away for the winter. There are lots one has to do to make sure a motorcycle is safe in a cold, Chicago garage, so I turned to Amazon to buy a manual. I was particularly concerned that the manual I bought would be the correct one; mechanical mistakes with a motorcycle can have some bad consequences.
Amazon is in the business of selling us stuff; what I quickly found is they want to sell us the right stuff. Here’s what I saw when I located the manual I thought I needed:
It took me less than 10 seconds to provide the information they asked for, and I was immediately informed:
Did Amazon lose a sale by telling me this? Sure. I didn’t buy the manual. Did they guarantee that I will buy motorcycle books and gear from them in the future? Absolutely. I might have been able to glean that this was not the right manual from customer reviews left by others, but Amazon gives users an easier, more time-efficient way to get important purchasing information.
As CRT’s User Experience Designer, I’m tasked with making things easy to use and intuitive. When it comes to designing Web sites and apps, a large marker of success is figuring out what’s primary (and always accessible) and what’s secondary (important, but just not as essential). Such design concerns are just as important for product design as well.
Cocoon’s Grid-It Organizer primary focus is accessibility. Everything you put under its elastic straps is immediately visible and ready-to-hand. Compare this to any kind of zippered bag you use to store your cables, small peripherals and the like; it’s much easier to get to what you need. An organizer’s secondary function might be protection from scrapes and dings and more serious damage, and Grid-It’s got that too: the straps are tight enough to hold all your widgets (but not too tight that getting things in or out is a bother).
If you’re looking for a better way to impose some order on your backpack or shoulder bag’s contents, it doesn’t get much better than this.
The following post was written by Mark Scheel, Glass Explorer #117.
About a year ago, I had one of those experiences where something bad turned into something unexpected and good. I was at Google I/O, an annual developers conference hosted by Google in San Francisco, enjoying the Keynote. The Keynote is the kick-off to this annual event, spans three hours, and usually involves product announcements. In 2012 the star of the show was Google Glass–a new futuristic wearable computing device, a product out of X labs, the secret R&D facility working on self driving cars and other moonshots.
Hello there. It’s been a few weeks. We’ve been busy and are really excited to release REpurposedApps into the wild. This project was built as a tool for members to recommend apps that they use and add comments to already existing apps. We’ve had a great group of beta testers helping us hammer out the bugs and offering suggestions. We have an amazing group of Showcase members who will be curating lists of apps they think are worth your time. The great thing is that as long as you’re a member of NAR, you are a part of this conversation.
Typically, the apps being recommended are not real estate focused and that’s a good thing. What we’re discovering is that members are really thoughtful in how they can apply these apps to their workflows. Recommendations we’ve had have ranged from weight loss apps to
You get to shape the content and what’s happening on the site. To start, you will need to create an account here. Once you have that account, you can recommend apps and comment on the already existant apps as you’d like. We’re also interested in feedback. Definitely let us know your thoughts at @crtweet and use the hashtag #REpurposedApps when you. Thanks!
It’s Earth Day today and all this week, we are going to be covering sustainability topics. What better way to kick off the celebration than by participating in NAR’s Green REsource Council? As CRT looks to the future, we believe that the more information that our members have about sustainable technologies, the better. The best way to kick start you on this path is by getting NAR’s Green Designation. Continue reading »
One of our new charges in CRT is to delve deeper into sustainable technologies and see how they may have practical applications in real estate. We’re constantly looking for new and exciting things that indicate where these technologies are going and could be seen as the starting point for bigger movements. There are three products I want to highlight today as possible milemarkers on this journey. A cone, a ball and a puck: these three simple shapes represent where the future of sustainable energy production is heading.
Continue reading »
Note: This is part 1 in a series that will be ongoing in the coming weeks. This initial article is pretty long, but there’s really no way around that, as we dive into some of the concepts and make Responsive Design what it is. I recommend using a service like Pocket or Instapaper for offline reading
In August 2011, CRT was charged with re-thinking the technology that was behind realtor.org. We were determined to implement technologies that were freely available and built on open standards. One area we were really excited to move into was the area of Responsive Web Design. We did a lot of research and review of what information and materials were available. At that time, there were not many organizations that were using these principles. The Boston Globe launched in October of 2011 and that was about it for larger organizations and Responsive Web Design.
In April 2012, a revamped version of realtor.org launched using Responsive Web Design principles. The largest factor for us moving in this direction was that we anticipated the increase of mobile usage on our sites in the very near future. We were right. In 2010, 3% of visitors to realtor.org were using mobile devices. As of today, we are seeing 25–30% of our visitors using mobile devices. That’s a huge leap. As CRT continues to work on sites at NAR, we will employ these principles on all web properties.
Continue reading »
A few weeks ago Google stunned many people by announcing that they would be shutting down Google Reader on July 1st, 2013. For those of us who’s information diet lives and breathes by RSS, this is a big deal. The entire Internet (or at least the RSS reading portion) scrambled for a few days to figure out what alternatives there where and where to go. Now that the initial panic has subsided, its a good time to talk about the alternatives.
Finding good alternatives was more difficult than you’d think. The free service of Google Reader quickly dominated the landscape when it was introduced in 2005. This had the side effect of killing much of the RSS development over the next few years.
I should probably admit at this point that I’m probably one of the reasons that Google killed off Reader. Much of the speculation around Readers death comes down to the fact that Google couldn’t monetize the service. I never really used the official Google Reader web UI, instead I used Google Reader as cloud storage of my feeds and article read status but used native clients such as NewsRack for my Mac and Feeddler RSS Reader Pro on my iOS devices for actual reading/interacting. There was no easy/good way for Google to toss ads in my face.
The good news it there are were some alternatives out there waiting for their moment in the sun. During my research, just a handful seemed to rise to the top as the ones with the most potential: Tiny Tiny RSS, Feedly, and NewsBlur.
tl;dr version: I ended up on NewsBlur. In the rest of the article I’ll talk about why I ended up there.