Vote For Your Business This November

September 24, 2008
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2842733093 464ec8d881 Vote For Your Business This November

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OMG McCain just ate an apple!

I can’t quite believe that in a couple of months it will all be over, this Presidential race seems to have dragged on forever. It has been impossible to escape from, whether it’s the TV, newspapers or radio…and this is in little old England for goodness sake! I can’t actually fathom how you folks in the glorious US of A are coping with the incessant coverage. Sarah Palin just changed her hairstyle, **STOP THE PRESS**, Obama bent down to tie his shoe! The Presidential race is the greatest show on earth and the internet is definitely helping the whole world to be its stage.

Granted, it’s pretty darn important

Let me make clear that I do not underestimate the importance of the role of American President. I mean gosh, you get that really cool plane for a start. But I think the excitement and anticipation that comes with the build-up to election day can lead to many a professional faux pas.

Politics in Britain is very different, we don’t have two polar opposite parties to choose from. Realistically, it’s not a great deal that differentiates our two main players. Different personalities, different ideas on tax and the NHS, but nothing radically different. In the US on the other hand, there’s a very clear choice that has to be made.



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Aren’t elections supposed to be anonymous?

But one thing that has shocked me about the US election is how passionately people publicly air their political views. We just don’t do that here, well not on such a prolific scale anyway. The sheer brilliance of democracy is that all adults get one vote to do what the bloody hell they like with, in perfect anonymity. I wouldn’t feel comfortable waxing lyrical about my political views, because I don’t really want to offend anyone (unless of course you have a strange beard and I am mocking you for the purpose of the best video blog ever, in which case…prepare to be offended). And it’s not just that I don’t want to offend people, I don’t want people to judge me by what is a very personal decision.

Do I know who you’re voting for?

It has amazed me to see the number of real estate bloggers that really slur the opposition’s candidate and lay all their political views on the line, or should that be the timeline? Twitter has been the worst place for watching RE pro after RE pro make super clear their views. It staggers me that I know some real estate agents’ views on sensitive topics such as abortion.

Maybe I’m just being prude, I am British after all, but I just don’t think the internet is the place to discuss politics. Not when you’re blogging/tweeting/whatevering under your professional identity anyway.

It’s definitely super for potential clients to see a human side of you, and nothing is more boring than the person that only talks house price trends and what a bloomin good broker they are, but next time you’re tweeting about how dumb/stupid/lame you think presidential candidate X is, take 5 seconds to think about who might read it. Because if it’s that candidate’s biggest fan, I doubt they’ll be straight on the phone to work with you.

Poppy Dinsey works in Business Development at Globrix, the UK property search engine. She lives and works in London, which she loves except for the awful weather and lack of good pecan pie. She's got a pretty nifty degree in Eastern European Economics from UCL, which she readily admits she's never put to good use, although she did once dress up a Russian Bond Girl. You can find her on Twitter, 12Seconds, Seesmic and pretty much everywhere that's ever had a website.


  • Elaine Hanson

    Putting my politics on the web is absolutely out of the question for me. I have my personal views and do NOT enjoy discussing politics. That is me. Some people just live for an intelligent political debate. That is them. Some people cannot discuss politics without disparaging others views, or worse, making personal attacks. That is appalling.

  • http://ibemike.blogspot.com @mikeneumann

    Poppy,

    I typically avoid politics in work scenarios – there are plenty of good issues to debate just within my little work world.

    The frustrating thing to me about this election is that most of the people (I did say _most_, not all << had to emphasize that because, well, you’ll see why here in a sec.) aren’t paying attention to the issues. They’re voting on “personality” and likability, as defined by our mainstream press. This all started back with the Kennedy/Nixon debate, btw.

    Our press likes to stir the mud, well, so does yours, but yours is funnier. Ours is, just, uh, completely biased for that other guy, except for one network – which gets castigated for calling both sides out on their B.S. I digress.

    The last three elections have been a statistical dead heat. Reason? The candidates are more alike than they are different. That, and America is fully of wishy-washy feel-good Oprahfied Afternoon TV-watching Gimmies. Hi Mom.

    This election is darn important. We’re truly at a precipice between full-blown Socialism, and only partial Nanny-state. You “RE people” ought to pay close attention. If you want things to really sink, just hire that guy who wants the Govt. to totally take over mortgages, investments, and watch – soon, credit card debt.

    My $0.02, er, pesos, for you in Miami.

    — Mike (sure to be feelin’ the love)

  • http://www.lenderama.com Todd Carpenter

    From time to time, I make a decision on whether or not I’m going to let a car merge into traffic based on the bumper stickers on the back of their car. Imagine how much scrutiny I would put into paying someone 6% of the sales price on my home.

    The thing is, I don’t care if someone has an opposing view, it’s when they feel they have to wear that view as a badge of honor that gets me. I think you’re right Poppy. Just because we have the right to free speech, doesn’t always mean it’s a good idea to use it.

  • http://www.sandiegohomes.org Bob

    I’m not one to back away from a debate, but I limit myself to those issues where facts exists. That pretty much takes politics off the table for me.

  • http://www.stevesimon.us Steve Simon

    You will not win in the long run if you do make it a practice (discussing politics).
    Why? Well you will instantly cut your spheres of influence by half. Whether you meant to or not. The discussion of Religion and or Politics raises the blood pressure to almost the identically dangerous levels. Soon you are surrounded only by those of a like mind; but even that doesn’t last. Those with the same main mindset can be broken down into subsets or factions of the main sector and you begin to again cut the pie in half (or worse).
    I know it’s not a good idea, and every time I break my own rules about having forceful discussions on the subject matter,I get punished :)

  • http://www.ERAHouston.com Thomas Johnson

    I am happy to do business with the 50% of the folks that one of these politico real estate bloggers just pissed off!

  • http://www.sanmateorealestateblog.com/ Vicki Moore

    My mother always told me politics and religion – both no-no topics. Did I listen to my mother? Wth for? Watching the RNC the other night my friend got so angry she got up and left my house – while her comment “Have an open mind” rang in my ears. It’s funny today. We both laugh about it – thank goodness. I do have an open mind. That’s why I’m watching the dang thing. If I had made up my mind, I would have been watching something on HGTV.

    I want to understand the positions, issues and who the heck the man is. I will be really pissed if I have to listen to another leader of this nation say, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman…”

  • http://AnnArborRealEstateTalk.com Missy Caulk

    “Twitter has been the worst place for watching RE pro after RE pro make super clear their views.” yea it was bugging me so I had to stop following some of the more blatant ones. Oh well, it only comes around every 4 years.

  • http://twitter.com/IPTVBoyz/status/ Mark Eibner

    we’re at it again Vote For Your Business This November: Get out of the feed reader and .. http://tinyurl.com/3m4bna

  • http://movephilly.blogspot.com Bill Lublin

    Poppy; Managing the flood of online information that we want to share is a huge issue that isn’t limited to politics, but your point is well made. We talk about “joining the conversation” when we talk about social media, so you would think we would remember the old recommendation that you don’t talk about religion or politics in polite company.

    Its no different when its a virtual conversation-

    ;-)

  • http://indyrealestatetalk.com Paula Henry

    Poopy – Politics rarley mixes with anything, except maybe a few beers and a bar brawl. Many are jsut too opinionated to hear an opposing point of view.

  • http://www.mackperryhomes.com Mack

    Poppy, if you think the election process seems to go on forever you are right. For about a year and a half we basically can’t turn on the radio or TV with out some thing being discussed about one of the candidates. Now that the election is getting closer the ads are so frequent I can’t imagine how much money is being spent. Vicki Moore hit the nail on the head – Religion and Politics are off the table for my blog and client conversations. I’m Mack Perry and I approved this message.

  • http://www.miamism.com ines

    Poppy, I’m known to put myself out there – but there is no room for politics in Real Estate (IMHO) – it’s too controversial and personally, I can do without it. I avoid politics and religion and know many don’t agree with me, but it’s my thing.

  • http://www.miamism.com ines

    Oh, I forgot – it’s nice to get the point of view from someone from the UK – (I have the S. American perspective and the Spaniard one)

  • http://www.PhoenixRealEstateGuy.com Jay Thompson

    Excellent points Poppy. I’ve attempted to steer clear of politics on my blog (aside from the occasional “informational only” posts about ballot propositions and presenting both sides of issues of local interest).

    I did have a serious backslide during one of the party’s conventions while watching the candidates acceptance speech while Twittering. That was a mistake that I won’t repeat.

    I was even torn about whether to place a “Support Our Troops” ribbon on my Jeep. I’m sure it annoys some, but oh well — it’s staying there. One nutjob gave me an earful about it at a gas station. I wouldn’t want her for a client anyway.eve

  • http://www.lisasellsstroudsburg.com Lisa Sanderson

    Poppy: How many times does your name ‘accidentally’ get spelled ‘Poopy’? How do you feel about that? LOL

    Seriously, I am glad you brought this up and I am even more glad to hear that the politics-on-the-sleeve thing annoys other people as well. I have been thinking about un-following a couple because I am so tired of seeing it in my feed. I barely watch tv anymore because I just can’t stomach the spin, so why do I want to hear these regurgitated arguments in twitter?

    One last thing, @mikeneumann…leave Oprah out of this. She is one of the few positive voices out there and we all would do well to have more of the ‘wishy washy feel good’ stuff playing over and over in our brains instead of the crap that tries to overtake our minds.The world would truly be a better place.

  • http://www.mattstigliano.com Matt Stigliano

    But one thing that has shocked me about the US election is how passionately people publicly air their political views.

    Poppy – You have to remember that this is the same country that when our children go missing or our family is murdered, we jump on the television to give interviews in seconds flat. My wife, being English, is always amazed by that. I never noticed it so much, until we were married, but it is a bit twisted at times. In America we love to be on TV (ever seen the kids that hang out behind a reporter giving a live report?). It just seems like something that’s embedded in us. And the same goes for politics. We love to know people are listening to us.

    Me, I keep it to myself. I have strong opinions, but am always listening to both sides of the argument no matter what the topic. Sometimes I learn something and find myself reconsidering my position. That’s what adaptability and change are all about.

    I agree with the idea of politics being a bit much for some public forums, but then again, I’ve actually seen a few business cards here in San Antonio that proudly declare their religion in real estate…which shocks me just as much.

  • http://www.neworleanscondotrends.com Eric Bouler

    50 % are for your canidate and 50% are more than likely against your canidate. If I had a political blog that would be different. I do talk issues that may have things to do with politics and each side has its pros and cons.

    Much better to talk about politics face to face. Then its better to review one issue at a time because there are always 2 sides and nationally we see very little facts and lots of fiction.

  • http://stpaulrealestateblog.com Teresa Boardman

    I don’t talk about politics anywhere on the internet. I don’t mention religion either., and you just explained why for me. thanks

  • http://www.sfres.com Brad Coy

    What Todd, Thomas, and Teresa said :)

    And just for the asking. Could somebody from across the pond come over and teach our politicians a thing or two about keeping their religious views and rhetoric private?

  • http://twitter.com/poppyd/status/5405896327 Poppy Dinsey

    I wrote this post on politcal views and tweet streams over a year ago, but I still agree with it http://bit.ly/5o8ei.