April 20, 2003

Real website, or real estate portal?

I live in Johnson Lane. It’s a rural neighborhood, about a thousand houses surrounded by ten miles of sagebrush on all sides. So I was curious when I saw a blurb in the local paper advertising johnson-lane.com. “Visit your neighborhood online!” I wondered what it could possibly be like; most of the web design companies in this area still seem to be stuck in 1998, design-wise. But, there might be some independents I don’t know about, doing good work. So I went to see what it was.

What I found was a real estate portal, a “service” of ConnectingNeighbors.com. It’s nothing but a bunch of stock images, boilerplate text, and links to the same old syndicated content everyone else has. And, of course, it’s all sponsored by your friendly local real estate agent!

What a let down. I know this isn’t New York or the Bay Area, but is this the best we can do? Are there really so few people in the area who actually get the Web, and who understand that a site like Gawker or Beast Blog, which is built and run by locals, for locals, can make so much more of an impression and be much better for the community in the long run?

Oh well. The Web is all about marketing and selling, right? No point in doing anything else, or making it look like you actually put some effort into building a site.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

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