I’m actually sitting in the session with Barry Graubart, Paul Kedrosky, James Ledbetter, Howard Lindzon, and Felix Salmon listening to them talking about a variety of topics. None of which appears to connect to the title of the damn session: “How Financial Blogs Influence the Markets”.
Because coming at this from our side of the blogosphere, where we’ve been dealing with an out-and-out hostile media who refuses to do any homework, do any in-depth investigation into topics connected to real estate, and just goes on like a chicken sans head… I’m not convinced that the blogs influence the markets to begin with. So the “How” a blog influences a market is presumptive, in the extreme.
Let me see if I can ask them the question and see if we get a coherent answer.
–> Asked the question, got my answer.
The short answer: “The blogs do not affect markets, at all.”
So what the hell am I doing in this session? 🙂 Well, it’s fun to hear people yammer on about the market.
For what it’s worth, I think we in the RE.net have moved past the finance markets in one respect. The financial markets are dominated by institutions moving huge sums of money. The primary consumer of market data are giant banks and hedge funds and whatnot. As one of the panelists here pointed out, those individuals rarely have time to be reading blogs.
Our industry is based firmly on consumers — American families and individuals who are looking to buy and sell their homes. So the primary consumer of data and information are consumers. If we can get much better at disseminating market data, and solid market-related opinions, I actually think RE.net can move markets. Maybe not national markets, but certainly local markets. And all real estate is local.
Individual homesellers should be trusting market data from Rain City Guide, for example, instead of Case-Schiller index. That will help move the markets in the Seattle area because we’re right on the frontlines.
More than ever, I am convinced that we as an industry — and especially those of us in the RE.net — have to think about how we can influence our local markets by providing data, advice, and information. That this socially beneficial function is closely tied to the real estate blogger’s profit motive is a good thing, in my opinion.