A very interesting thing occurred though; two papers, same story, but one major difference. Apparently, in Vancouver they invite readers to engage with the story by allowing comments. Shocker, I know. I was almost as taken aback as I was last month when the TC had comments turned on, oh so briefly, for a real estate story.
I grabbed screen shots, because, well, pictures or it didn't happen and all that. Here they are:
Well, would you look at that! Front page news on the Sun and comments too to boot! Welcome to the interwebs, where you can read and engage, what a new fangled crazy idea!
Now, I know, I know, you're probably thinking I've spent the better part of the day with a bottle and now I'm just ranting a wee bit too much about something that really is inconsequential.
"Where's the story" you say, "this is nothing new. After all, 933 homes were traded last month, shouldn't we be talking about that?"
Well we would be, except an interesting exchange took place today on Twitter that tells a whole other story. This tweet prompted it all:
@timescolonist: That's hot! Greater Victoria's housing market regains its sizzle, with most sales in July since '90.To which our regular, no nonsense analyst Roger responded:
@NeedsAnalysis: @timescolonist Too bad you closed the reader comments on the article. If you want to see reader feedback go here. (thanks for the link BTW!)Of course, me being the surly, sarcastic personality I can be at times, I had to add:
@househuntvic: @NeedsAnalysis I think @timescolonist has a "push" only twitter account. Just like their real estate reporting, it's set to "regurgitate."Well, I was wrong, and I say I was wrong, because whoever tweets on behalf of the TC, responded a couple of hours later:
@timescolonist:@NeedsAnalysis @HouseHuntVic We aren't opening comments on all stories as we must watch them & we're a bit short-staffed this week. Sorry!Sometimes I wish I liked the sound of my recorded voice enough to record the laughter I emitted when I read that tweet so we could all share in the hilarity that overwhelmed me. I was lucky I didn't have a mouthful of coffee at the time or my laptop would have been toast. I'm glad I restrained myself long enough to let Roger intervene with something considerably less sarcastic and inflammatory than I would have posted:
@NeedsAnalysis: @timescolonist Tnx for reply. Unfortunately the TC has not allowed readers to respond to real estate stories very often in the past.
@timescolonist Many think it is because you don't do in depth investigative journalism on real estate and don't want to offend advertisers.You know, I'm actually starting to feel sorry for the people stuck in the rot that is quickly overwhelming "journalism." After all, they've lived so long in a world where the ability to challenge their journalistic authority was mediated by two-day delivery paper mail and an editorial panel too consumed by the task of ensuring the city's social page photo content contained the appropriate image mix of advertorial clients' partners and children to bother approving half of the incoherent letters to the editor from the poor schleps with an axe to grind about public breast feeding or concert goers dancing in the seated area of the new arena.
At least they are starting to listen:
@timescolonist: @NeedsAnalysis Even on good days, we can't open comments on everything. But we'll make a note about real estate stories. Thx for feedback.Which is the whole point of my post. I won't flatter myself by thinking the writers and editors spend too much time reading my blog (given the short staffed situation over there and all), but we have confirmation of their knowledge of my little internet corner here. So editors et al, one simple request: do some digging on your local real estate stories.
By republishing VREB press releases with a couple of original phrases tossed in for copyright purposes you only confirm your own irrelevance in the local real estate "news" scene. After all, in the Google age, if people want to just read the press release they can Google it. (I know some great SEO types who can help you crack the top page if you're interested)
Here's an original story idea I'd love to see you pick up: use Roger's Buy versus Wait spreadsheet to run financial calculations on the implications of buying versus renting over the near future. There, I've HARO'd for the day. HHV out.