What We’re Reading: Aug. 2-6, 2010

Pop-up stores are gaining in popularity with both small businesses and property managers, says the Wall Street Journal:  “Large fashion retailers and high-end designers have long demonstrated the success of the pop-up model for generating buzz about new brands and designers. But now, small businesses in a wide range of industries are testing new retail concepts and markets by leasing commercial space on a short-term basis, in some cases for just a few weeks.”  The July-August issue of Inc. Magazine offers some practical tips for making a pop-up store successful.

Is Google losing its edge as the be-all-and-end-all of search engines?  Maybe, according to CNN/Business Insider’s analysis of the Bing/Google smackdown.  Google has adopted some of Bing’s innovations, such as photography on the opening page.  Bing now incorporates Twitter results in their searches, and Google followed quickly also adding Twitter.  In contrast to Google, Bing groups search results by category, such as Web, News, Wikipedia, Blogs and Images, and provides a list of related terms that might be useful. Google lists results links and offers different ways of searching in the left column, such as date of results, sites with images and related searches.  Try it and see which search engine works best for you.

The Wall Street Journal has been running an interesting series this week, What They Know, on internet tracking and online privacy. Minority Report is closer than you think.  Most of the series is available for free on the journal’s website.  The step-by-step guide on how to strengthen your online privacy is especially useful.

As a good example of “what they know”, CNET’s Technically Incorrect reports how the town of Riverhead, NY, scoured images from Google Earth to find unpermitted swimming pools — and collected $75,000 in fines from the offending homeowners.

And last but certainly not least for this week, Realtors Property Resource™ (RPR) is wrapping up its beta testing and preparing to launch in a few weeks.  The RPR Blog is a great place to find out what RPR is (and isn’t) and keep up with its progress.

Frederik Heller

Managing Director of Information Services at the National Association of REALTORS®.

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