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.
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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.
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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.
If you have seen any of my presentation over the last year, you know that I reference the Raspberry Pi as an interesting piece of technology. For a very low cost (fully loaded less than $90), you can build a media, file or web server. I spent about $70 on my rig. I should have posted a blog about the Pi earlier, but better late than never.
I received a note from David Conroy who took the Pi and merged it with another project I am working on (the RAMCO EZ-API) to build a cost effective integration device between your Association Management System and other systems. David has an excellent description of setting up a web server (yep a LAMP server) on the Pi. If you are a RAMCO customer, you will find his write-up on accessing the RAMCO EZ-API from the Pi equally well written.
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Messaging, voice-mails and face-to-face meetings are all useful types of communication but there is still a place for e-mail, especially if you are creating a record of something. In this post, I will cover the basics of sending e-mail from a node.js service. The scenario I’m addressing is an HTML5 client hooked you via a WebSocket to a node,js service running on a separate server.
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NOTE: CRT is excited to have Mark Lesswing, Chief Technology Officer and SVP of ITS at NAR, write a series of posts on his experiences with node.js. In the article below, Mark covers the use of SQLite and node.js. Please note that this will be a pretty technical series and speaks to the diversity of topics CRT will cover. We will indicate when we have articles that are more technical as we post them. Thank you. – Chad
In a previous post, I discussed the concept of using node.js as a WebSocket server. This approach is characterized by many smaller node.js servers, each providing information to separate WebSockets. The user experiences the data through an HTML5 webpage. It is natural that the next topic of discussion would be persistence. There is a wealth of information that can be found on the web regarding node.js and robust SQL databases like MySQL, so I will not duplicate the information in this post.
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CRT has been hard at work on a new project for the last 6 months called REpurposed Apps. We’ve been building a place for members to come together and share with each other the apps they use on a daily basis. It’s a great hub for connecting with people and finding apps that weren’t built specifically with real estate in mind, but are being used in ways to streamline workflows.
We are now at a point where we are looking for beta testers to help us shape it and carry it the rest of the way.
For this project, we are looking for people who are heavy app users and are using regular non-real estate intentioned apps in their daily workflow. We are looking for creative uses of these apps as well.
Taking a page from the Google Glass application process, here is what we need you to do:
- On Twitter, post a tweet with why you would be a good beta tester and your favorite app and add the hashtag #REpurposedApps to the tweet.
- Follow @crtweet so we can direct message you if you’re selected.
- You do NOT have to fly to New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles or pay us $1,500 to participate.
NOTE: Applicants must be a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.
We’re asking that you help us get the word out. Please share this link or retweet the original tweet.
The first round for the application process will end on Sunday, 3/10 @ 6pm EST. We are excited to get this beta test going and get other people outside of the project involved.
If you’re not selected, no worries. This is only the first round of beta testers and we may issue more calls in the future. Our goal is to go live with REpurposed Apps around MidYear. Thanks for listening, and we look forward to reading your applications.