REBarCamp NYC 2010 Is Shaping Up To Be Special…

Hello everyone…

Thought I’d take a break from the non-stop organizing efforts going on inside the non-existent offices of Lucky Strike Social Media Club and provide an update on where things are with REBarCamp NY.

We still have some work to do, but it’s shaping up quite nicely.  I think those who end up attending will have found it a useful and fun way to spend a day in New York.  So here’s a brief update:

Sessions

First, the sessions look pretty amazing based on people who have expressed interest.  Thanks to the generous support of the good people at Inman Connect (thanks Matt, Madelyn, Alice and Brad!) REBarCamp NY will be almost four times the size of last year’s REBarCamp NY.  We think that based on four concurrent sessions per room, there will be a total of 80 possible sessions throughout the day.  It could be more.

Second, we are setting up two “tracks” of sessions during REBarCamp NY.

One track will be for Newbies — people who are new to social media/social networking and real estate.  One consistent comment we’ve heard over the past year or so of various REBC’s is that for someone who has no familiarity with this new set of tools for real estate, REBarCamp can be like drinking from a firehose — totally, utterly overwhelming.  We wanted to provide a bit more guidance to such newcomers with five sessions designed to be an introduction to social media, the various tools, and how one might use them for real estate.  No one is forced to go to these sessions — or any sessions — but we felt it would be a service to people attending a REBarCamp for the first time.

Some of the sessions under the Newbie Track we’re thinking about are:

  • Intro to Real Estate and Social Media
  • Blogging 101
  • Basics of Social Networking: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, & Others
  • Online Lead Generation
  • Bringing it All Together for Business

The second track focuses on an area of the real estate industry that rarely gets discussed at REBarCamps: the MLS.  Without the data that the MLS collects and distributes (well or poorly), without the technology and business and organizational infrastructure of the MLS, the real estate industry as we know it cannot exist.  Even the most tech-savvy veterans of the RE.net may have a hazy understanding of what goes on “behind the scenes”.  Since REBarcamp NY happens to be the day before Inman Connect — the premier real estate technology conference — we thought we’d have a higher-than-usual number of folks who can speak knowledgeably about the MLS to an audience of realtors, brokers, and technology people.

The current thinking for sessions is:

  • The Role of the MLS from Past to Now
  • Data Sharing, IDX, & VOW
  • New York City and the MLS (a hot topic for NYC real estate right now)
  • MLS Consumer Websites
  • The Future of the MLS

Now, we know these “tracks” caused a bit of controversy among some circles, but we wanted to let you know what we’re doing and why.  Plus, those are but 10 of the 80 possible sessions; the rest of the sessions will be done in the ‘classic’ REBarCamp way: show up in the morning, put your name and session on the Board, and off we go.

In fact, we’re thinking of going back to the original, old-school way from the first REBarCamp in San Francisco in at least one respect.  Rather than we the organizers determining space requirements and assigning sessions to rooms and times, we’re thinking of letting the attendees figure it out. 🙂  So while we might think that each room can hold four sessions, if eight people want to hold sessions in a particular room at a particular time, and people want to go hear them, then go for it!  One of the best sessions in the first REBCSF for me was four people sitting around looking at RETS standards; that can happen at REBarCamp NY.

When you combine the two, REBarCamp NY may be far more than 80 sessions; we’ll hold as many sessions as people want to talk and others want to hear.  Until the Fire Marshalls come, at least. 🙂  Only 10 out of this 80/100/whatever sessions are “tracks” and for the reasons above.

We’re also not interfering with or making decisions on what people might want to hear, and that includes so-called “vendor pitches”.  A memorable session at REBCSF for me was hearing Zipvo present their product, and having the audience pepper them with questions.  If a company wants to present their product or service, and people want to hear about it, why not?  If someone wants to spend an hour trying to sell widgets, and people want to hear it, why not?

Rather than we organizers deciding who can present what, we’ll let the attendees vote with their feet.  BUT, what we will do is to let people know what sessions are “pitch” sessions by putting those sessions on different colored paper or otherwise denoting them as “Pitch”.

We think by embracing, and indeed enhancing, the community-generated spirit of BarCamps, while injecting just a wee bit of order for newcomers and for a special topic, we’re striking the right balance between “too much” and “too little”.

The People

A REBarCamp is ultimately only as good as the people who will be in attendance.  If you haven’t RSVP’ed on this site (go here), please do so now — even if you have RSVP’ed on the FaceBook Events page.

But there are some great people who know a lot of stuff coming to REBarCamp NY.  For example, we took the Inman 50 Most Influential Online list and compared who’s coming.  So far, we know that the following from the Inman 50 will be in attendance:

  • Heather Elias
  • Jim Duncan
  • Derek Overbey
  • Rob Hahn (that’d be me… I’d better be in attendance…)
  • Ian Watt
  • Jay Thompson
  • Joe Ferrara
  • Dan Green

And others who haven’t RSVP’ed yet, heh.

But whether on the Inman 50 list or not, the energy, the knowledge, the passion that will fill the Marriott Marquis on January 12th will be unparalleled.  It’ll be cold outside, we can guarantee that.  But we think it’ll be pretty hot inside.

Then… Afterwards…

Although the actual REBarCamp NY ends at 4:30PM, we’re planning some… more festive events afterwards.

First, the January dinner meeting of the Lucky Strike Social Media Club (the folks organizing REBCNY) will take place starting around 7 to 7:30pm somewhere nearby.  You all are welcome to join us, if you don’t have other plans.  We’ll post more on the LSSMC dinner as we finalize the details.  If you’d like, you can always go sign up at the Lucky Strike site for details closer to the event.

Second, because there is no Beer with Bloggers party this year, we thought we might find a cool place for everyone to gather (if folks got no other plans) for cocktails and conversation.  We have a place in mind, and we’re finalizing those details as well.  But just keep in mind that there will be a party later that night as well.

So we’re busy y’all, and will be over the holidays as well.  But we think the day will be special, and we did want to update you a bit on what’s going on.

Thanks!

-rsh

Comments

  1. Wonderful!
    I’m of the belief that every REBarCamp should have a dedicated track for the complete n00b.

    Advanced tracks and break out sessions? YES! But I’m one of those “No Agent left behind” types. LOL

  2. THANK YOU rsh & crew for all the effort you are putting into these events!

  3. Rob, Thanks for the kind words. We’re happy to help.

    Also, for anyone that is attending REBC that isn’t already registered for Real Estate Connect, we have a special promotional code for you. Register at http://www.inman.com/conferences/real-estate-connect-new-york-city-2010/register and use the promo code “REBAR” to save $190.

    See you in the Big Apple!

    Alice
    SVP, Inman News

  4. Rob, Thanks for the kind words. We’re happy to help.

    Also, for anyone that is attending REBC that isn’t already registered for Real Estate Connect, we have a special promotional code for you. Register at http://www.inman.com/conferences/real-estate-connect-new-york-city-2010/register and use the promo code “REBAR” to save $190.

    See you in the Big Apple!

    Alice
    SVP, Inman News

  5. Great job of thinking ahead of time what the possible make-up of the attenders might be and doing some pre-planning on the agenda!

    I believe your assessment is correct and I like the two different sets of sessions. I have been involved in a data share with three Associatins over the past two years and it is coming together with the final piece going into place. By Jan 15th, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse will be sharing data on a common MLS program. That is about 10,000 agents and their listings! Pretty cool!

    Wish I could make it but I have been at 5 conferences and 3 barcamps last year and it starts all over again for 2010 on Feb. 1st witn NYS Winter meetings in Albany.

    I’ll be watching via the livestream!

  6. Great job of thinking ahead of time what the possible make-up of the attenders might be and doing some pre-planning on the agenda!

    I believe your assessment is correct and I like the two different sets of sessions. I have been involved in a data share with three Associatins over the past two years and it is coming together with the final piece going into place. By Jan 15th, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse will be sharing data on a common MLS program. That is about 10,000 agents and their listings! Pretty cool!

    Wish I could make it but I have been at 5 conferences and 3 barcamps last year and it starts all over again for 2010 on Feb. 1st witn NYS Winter meetings in Albany.

    I’ll be watching via the livestream!

  7. Wonderful!
    I’m of the belief that every REBarCamp should have a dedicated track for the complete n00b.

    Advanced tracks and break out sessions? YES! But I’m one of those “No Agent left behind” types. LOL

  8. THANK YOU rsh & crew for all the effort you are putting into these events!

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