A Review of RealEstateVoices.com
I recently came across RealEstateVoices.com, which is a place where you can submit and vote on blog posts or other real estate related news. The site runs on the open source Digg clone, Pligg. Ever since, I’ve been submitting several articles of my own and from other people’s sites that I like, and inviting a few friends to check it out. Here’s my link back to this article – careful you don’t trip on the recursion! On the one hand, I’m a bit sore because I didn’t put up a site like this several months ago, when I first had the idea for a digg-like real estate site. Actually, my idea for a site was a little bit different, so there may still be a niche to explore, since what I was looking to do was more like a cross between Digg and the Carnival of Real Estate. There would be a weekly award like the Carnival, but the selections for who won each week would be vote-based.
I even started coding some of this back in January, before I knew that Pligg existed. Unfortunately I got distracted by other projects, and now my idea is just an idea with a little bit of user signup code, and there’s Pligg out there, and there’s RealEstateVoices.
So I congratulate the publishers of RealEstateVoices.com for getting there first. Overall it’s very easy to get started – you simply sign up (which only takes a few seconds) and start submitting stories. Stories that get voted on are published, and presented more prominently than those that are simply submitted.
The good news about RealEstateVoices is that it’s an easy to use way to get some reasonably relevant-to-real-estate links to your blog. The bad news about RealEstateVoices is that the publishers simply are not keeping up on the spam there. So you can read about real estate, to be sure, but Google has also indexed sixty-six articles from Pligg about enlarging your penis – but, ironically enough given that many real estate professionals are women – only about fifteen articles about enlarging your breasts. Browsing RealEstateVoices, you’ll also find lots of links to laptop batteries, cheap hotels, wedding favors – and all sorts of irrelevant claptrap.
You can click the “Report Spam” link on as much as you want, seemingly in vain. It never goes away.
That’s my main complaint about RealEstateVoices. The social network and user profile functionality are pretty minimalist, but that’s not such a big deal. But the Spam really gets in the way of this tool’s usefulness. The other big problem is that I haven’t been able to get the search tool to work at all.
I’m going to work with Pligg a little bit and see how the latest Beta’s doing. I imagine my original idea would be much easier to do as an integration on top of this existing code. Of course, then the guy having to make sure the spammers get stopped would be me. There are ways to approach this – the latest Beta has more spam fighting tools built in, and one could always make the site invitation-only to help combat spam. The outstanding question would be whether users would show up given that there’s already a well established contender.