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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mass Interactive: Open Houses

Truth awareness and transparency is opening the doors of our homes.

Some examples:
HGTV, the home and garden cable channel owned by Scripps Networks, launched a social network this week called Rate My Room.

The idea is self-explanatory: it’s a Flickr or YouTube for rooms, allowing users to upload photos of their rooms, tag them, and have them rated and commented on. You can then find the top rated, most viewed and most recent rooms. There are profile pages, too, but these simply aggregate all the rooms you’ve submitted.

The site is a bit plonky now, but interesting thinking with loads of potential presuming improvements are ongoing. The brand connection to HGTV is intuitive and smart, too.

*One slight confusion I have is the relation to, which seems to be the same idea, and name, created by an interior designer from Atlanta. I can only assume HGTV has covered this potential conflict?

Anyways, another interesting (and similar) house share community is Curbly, "a community of people who love their neighborhoods."

And finally there is Zillow which is about a year-old and headed by the founders of Expedia. Consider it the E*Trade/Expedia/Craigslist/MLS of Real Estate. House values are valued for all to see (harvested from local municipality data), with useful trending data to aid users' search and decisionmaking. Though there are some early-stage flaws with coverage and up-to-date accuracy Fortune magazine reports that 4 million visitors a month are checking out Zillow's 52 million house valuations, making it one the internet's biggest real estate destinations.

And, not surprisingly, it is the real estate agents (protecting a $27 trillion industry) who are the loudest critics of Zillow, perhaps fearful of suffering the same disintermediation that travel agents endured when sites like Expedia came on strong.

Zillowblog here

via Mashable, Marketing Vox and CNN Money


jill@decornextdoor said...

For an alternative, try Decor Next Door (at We launched the site a month ago as a place where users can get free design answers, tips and ideas from professional designers. We're social networking, but created for the specific experience of giving and getting design advice.
We knew when we started that there would inevitably be larger competitors using their media name recognition to adopt social networking features. But we believe strongly in our community of practitioners -- home design lovers, smart professional designers. And we're encouraged by what we've seen develop on our site.

Anonymous said...

I found this other similar site recently -
I think it's the same idea as HGTV's rate my room but it feels totally different. It's got a down to earth community feel. Just a bunch of people who love their homes and want to share it with folks out there.