What We’re Reading: Feb. 19 – Feb. 25

Facebook apathy, eBooks for iPads, the value of homeownership, and your favorite childhood toys

Marketing through Facebook should be ideal – you’re connecting with friends and colleagues, reaching people who actually ‘like’ what you’re doing. So why is it often such a colossal failure? Scott Stratton at UnMarketing talks about how we are killing Facebook with events and spam marketing.

Katherine Boehret of the Wall Street Journal wrote an article this week (available for free at least as of now here or you can try here, and for NAR members via ProQuest here) on her experience in checking out eBooks using the OverDrive app from her public library in Washington DC. This is the same system NAR uses in its ebook collection. Her experience is useful in explaining how it all works, some current limitations, and things that might be a bit frustrating to newbies. Remember REALTORS, if you get stuck with the app or downloading any version of eBooks through our library, you can call us for help – 800-874-6500.

In an article extolling the virtues of the fixed 30-year mortgage, Nicolas Retsinas points out a disturbing trend for today’s retirees:

As late as 1989, more than 80 percent of all homeowners over 65 had paid off their mortgages, and they could tap into that money for retirement. And since some of the retirees had defined-benefit pensions that provided them with a set amount every month (so long as the company remained solvent), they found retirement the proverbial golden age. Today, unfortunately, only a third of people over age 65 have paid off their homes.


These may not be the worst of times for real estate professionals, but they certainly are not the best either. To add insult to injury, it is now tax time. However, there’s one thing you can do to help keep your head above water: Take all the tax deductions to which you are entitled.

The mortgage interest deduction is under attack and pundits are declaring that it’s a new age for renters, not homeowners. But before everyone goes running off the cliff on their way to apartmentpeople.com, NAR and REALTORS® in general are asking consumers to take a longer, more thoughtful view on the value of homeownership.

Are you a word game junkie? Learn how Scrabble and Words With Friends match up and, in some cases, the game players too.

You’ve probably noticed Google’s search results getting junkier and less credible over the years as the web is flooded with content from every Tom, Dick, and Harry. Google’s working on cleaning house with a new search algorithm designed to bring “high-quality” back to the top.

Watching movies at home has moved from a trip to Blockbuster to Netflix to iTunes to digital streaming. Amazon.com is just the latest to enter the arena. Are you an Amazon Prime subscriber? If you are, you can access over 5,000 movies and television shows for free. Sign in to Amazon, go to Instant Videos and click on Prime Eligible in the left column. Choose your movie and watching streaming on your computer, HDTV or compatible set-top box or DVR.

While interest by the young in traditional blogging wanes (really it’s morphing into other forms – Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter – which really fulfill the same function), older demographics continue to embrace the long-form medium.

TIME reporter Allie Townsend picks the 100 most influential toys from 1923 to the present. I loved my Creepy Crawlers as a child.


Senior Information Specialist

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  1. We are excited too, to see what changes the tweaks to Google’s algorithm will bring. Most probably content farms like ehow and yahoo answers will be hit the hardest!