iPhone Tracking? It’s A Non-Issue.

Yesterday it was announced that your iPhone was tracking everywhere you’ve been and saving it to a file that’s copied to your computer when you synch your device.

Data Presented From Finders of iPhone Tracking

In case you haven’t seen the story someplace on the web, here’s an article about it on Mashable. It’s also now on the CNN home page – HERE

There are a lot of alarmists up in the air about this and Senator Al Franken has asked Apple to explain why it’s doing this.

I was going to write a wonderfully detailed blog post about it and why I thought it really wasn’t a big deal, but the incredibly smart and funny David Pogue beat me to it. Thanks for saving me some typing David!

In the end the only way someone can use this data and figure out where you’ve been is to download special software (which only shows some details) and pull this file off of your computer. As David Pogue put it “If your computer is that accessible, you’ve got much bigger problems.” He also makes a great point of saying only those that have something to hide, may have something to fear.

While you can’t change any setting to stop the tracking, you can (and I encourage you to) encrypt your iPhone back-ups. It’s incredibly easy to do and I’ve found some simple steps right HERE. Honestly everyone should be doing this from the get-go if they’re that worried about the security of their data.

If you’re really worried about the security of what’s on your iPhone you should have it lock and require a password to get into the device. Instructions on that are on the bottom of THIS PAGE.

I know some people feel like this is an invasion of privacy.
They have every right to feel that way.

To that I say in this day and age of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube along with all the “check-ins” being done your information and location is out there already.

There’s  nothing to hide!

For those that are still incredibly fearful I’ll recommend as do with everyone else –
DON’T PUT YOUR INFORMATION ON OR GET CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET. Despite any password you have or protection you think you have on it, there’s no 100% security when it comes to computers. If someone really wants to get to your data, they’ll figure out a way and will be able to get around anything you put in the way.

That’s just my opinion, as has occasionally happened, I could be wrong. 🙂

Star Wars In Under 3 Minutes…With Legos!

I couldn’t not post something about this video.

First it’s Star Wars.

Second it’s all done with Legos.

Do you really need any other reason to spend a little over 2 minutes watching this?

C’mon…those e-mails can wait…treat yourself!

Toy Story 3 Viral Marketing – Pure Genius!

First there was the viral marketing for The Dark Knight which took those that took part on treasure hunts for clues scattered in cities all over the world.

This year Disney started up with a viral campaign to promote Tron:Legacy. This one focuses on where the movie’s character Flynn is with a simple tag line “Flynn Lives” and the website www.flynnlives.com. They’ve even gone so far as to hold mock press events for the fictional company Encom featuring Bruce Boxleitner who played Alan Bradley/Tron in the original and classic 1980 movie Tron.

Now the brilliant folks at Disney/Pixar have come up with “found” TV ads featuring Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear a new character in the upcoming Toy Story 3. They didn’t just settle for re-creating 80’s style commercials with vintage sets and clothing. They took it a step further by tweaking the audio and the quality of the picture to make it look like it was uploaded to YouTube from some old VHS cassette. They even put in artificial snow and warbling. As if that wasn’t enough they even created a japanese ad for the toy. BRILLIANT!

I’ve always had incredibly respect for the folks at Disney/Pixar. Now it’s gone another notch higher. Not just for using viral marketing but to go to such clever lengths to do it.

You can check out their fine work below…

Need to Play A Concert? There’s An App For That!

Nuff’ said. Or in this case…shown.

Internet + TV = The Multitasking Household

As I was perusing the web I found a report from the fine folks at Nielsen Online and their findings on how consumers are simultaneously using the Internet while watching TV. According to their latest Three Screen Report…

“In the last quarter of 2009, simultaneous use of the Internet while watching TV reached three and a half hours a month, up 35% from the previous quarter. Nearly 60% of TV viewers now use the Internet once a month while also watching TV.”

So what does that matter to REALTORS®?

It means your clients and prospective clients are trying to do more than even while catching up on their favorite T.V. shows.

They’re checking in to see what their friends, family and co-workers are doing on Facebook.

They’re reading blogs to get the latest gossip, news or information.

They’re jumping onto Twitter to see what people are tweeting about.

They’re watching videos on YouTube to see what everyone is raving about…yes, while watching video on their T.V..

It means that YOU need to be on the internet and have your information in as many places as possible.

This way when they’re watching T.V, they can…

Read your blog with the latest news on the real estate market or info on the communities you serve.

See what you’re up to on Facebook and find out about some of your new listings and listings that have been sold.

Look at your Twitter page to see if you’ve shared anything interesting or entertaining.

View video home tours of your new listings on YouTube.

So you’re a REALTOR® that’s already online and you’re pushing out news and information through the various sites?

Keep up the good work, and keep working on making the content worth reading.

For those of you not online and making the most out of these social media and social networking sites, it’s time to start using them. If people question why you’re doing it, tell them about stats like the ones above.

Just wait until the iPad really hits…then I think you’ll see the stats go even higher.

If you’re interested in reading the full article, check it out HERE.

The Muppets – Bohemian Rhapsody

I’m a huge fan of the Muppets ever since I watched the Muppet Show on T.V. – Yes, I know I’m dating myself.

So as I perused throught the net as the day’s meal continued to digest I found this wonderful little treat courtesy of Ain’t It Cool News.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Twitter Growth Continues & Facebook Still #1

Nielsen Online reports that Twitter continues to see incredible growth up 1,444% over last year and people are spending more time on the site.

You can check out the article by clicking HERE and also see how Facebook has retained its #1 social networking spot for the 7th month in a row.

So…REALTORS® finally ready to learn about how to use these tools and go where the clients are?

Google Squared…A New Way To Compare

Introducing one of Google’s latest enhancements…

Google Squared Search BoxNot sure how long Google Squared has been around for, but this could be very promising, especially for the real estate industry.
I typed in homes for sale and got the following:

Homes For Sale Search Results

While the search results weren’t the best, it’s a start. Even with its rudimentary form I’m still far more impressed with this than I was with Microsoft’s Bing.

The ability to search the web and compare items like this means it’ll be even more critical for REALTORS® to have a significant presence on the internet and to have their listings on as many platforms as possible. Those that do will benefit greatly.

What can’t Google come up with nowadays?

Another Google Innovation…Google Wave

I am continually impressed by what Google introduces to the tech arena. Their products show a lot of thought, contain a great amount of intelligence and as any good company should they listen to their customers wants and needs.

Last week Google introduced their new product Google Wave. From what I’ve seen and read it’s taking collaboration, social networking and social media to new levels.

If you want the quick and dirty, check out this article on Mashable.com.

If you’d like to see some video on it, check out the YouTube embed below.

Keep in mind it clocks in at around 1 hour and 20 minutes

I’m looking forward to seeing this in real life and have signed up to be notified when I can get it. If you’re interested in signing up as well, click HERE

Note to Microsoft – Would you please pay attention to what Google’s doing? Especially the listening to the customer part.

Face2Face Interactive Video Conferencing Program Launched!

For the past month and a half my co-workers and I have been working feverishly on a new program called Face2Face that will help state associations deliver N.A.R. designations (Green designation, Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®), and the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation) along with C.A.R. Education courses my own Technology training series.

It’s all done via video conferencing. The instructor sees the students at the associations and the students get to see the instructor as well as the presentation materials.

Here’s what it looks like for the instructor…

My view of the students while teaching
My view of the students while teaching

What’s great about this program is:
* Smaller associations will be able to hold training for their members and not have to worry about the typically large class size minimum
* One instructor can teach to up to 4 different geographic locations all at the same time…one person can finally be in multiple places all at the same time 🙂
* It’s DRE approved!

Perhaps the best is that we’re the first (or one of the first) state associations to do this.

Myself and the team have done A LOT over the last month and a half, and this was an incredible team effort!
Good job Albert, Ana, Candace, Dani & Michelle!

Of course many thanks to the local associations who helped us deliver our first training sessions..

California Desert Association of REALTORS®

Delta Association of REALTORS®

Newport Beach Association of REALTORS®

Tri-Counties Association of REALTORS®

Orange County Association of REALTORS®

Solano Association of REALTORS®

South Bay Association of REALTORS®

I’m so thrilled and honored to be a part of this and I think we’ve got a great product.

To read more about it, check out the press release.

Now it’s time to start working on more classes to deliver via Face2Face – See you on-line!