C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


When one road closes, go find another path to get you where you want to be...

Carolyn Tann Starr 2011

When one road closes, go find another path to get you where you want to be...

A lot of people give a lot of advice about blogging. Some pro, some con, but regardless of the package it is delivered to you in you have to understand it is always another person's opinion.

Sometimes that opinion can help, hinder or harm a third party if they act upon what they read without fully understanding the true nature of the uniqueness of their situation.

That's why most writers have disclaimers making it clear they are not responsible for the brilliance and/or stupidity of readers, prospects, competition, customers and/or clients.

A person with a problem should go retain the appropriate professionals of their choice and respect if a professional declines to represent you/he/she/them and/or gives you a referral to another source.

Sometimes not accepting an assignment by a person who really wants to work with you can piss them off and create problems. What the problem child has to realize is no one is  perfect, we're running various businesses and depending upon our workload we may be sufficiently obligated to the point where we really can't service your needs due to the time constraints of our busy schedule.

Wouldn't it suck if you gave your listing to a broker who "ignored your concerns and needs," relying on the buyer's broker to bring traffic to your home because they rather hand hold the more expensive clients and pawn you off to the new agents in the office when you insist on having your open house? The Internet is full of complaints by people who do not understand scheduling time is a balancing act. Feel free to Google them. If a broker is busy, then the broker is busy and you need to find one who has time for you or wait your turn and stop whining when it isn't your turn. I can't do ten open houses on the same day at the same time, which translates to asking other brokers in the office for help or telling a person, "NO. Here are the slots available. Pick one. That's your open house."

Client confidentiality means we are not obligated to report to you why we can not take your business or do every single thing you want when and how you want it. Seeing bloggers have fun at an event doesn't mean we are not working, it simply means our work is sometimes fun. Since readers have no idea what meetings we are taking between playtime, competitors, sellers, buyers and/or vendors should be careful not to create blog wars by putting another practitioner down because of what they do or don't decide to post or interfering in an established business relationship  by trying to use how we spend time with other clients against us on Facebook and other social media forums.

You are working blind without a lot of information you do not happen to be entitled to. It can backfire horribly if a firm decides to sue for business torts created by an electronic paper trail directly resulting in a loss of revenue and harmed reputation...

Some people transact business during a golf game. Some transact business over drinks at dinner. I've signed contracts on school grounds, in a daycare center and on the hood of my car in a parking lot.

You have to understand that the goal of a professional is to meet the needs of their clients, not the expectations of non-clients or criticisms of competitors. If the hairdresser is where you want me to meet you because you have a wedding to attend out of state, then at the hairdressers will I be. My dedication to my clients needs is a simple, uncomplicated thing. I go where the signature is when the person says they are available if it fits my schedule opening. Case closed. Period.

Having unrealistic expectations is why so many people miss out of so many beautiful moments in life. They are too busy criticizing others ability to meet people half way rather than discovering the adventure and freedom a laptop, aircard and cellphone can bring them. If you don't have a mobile office where you can meet people on their turf at their comfort level, that is fine. For those of us who do, be careful how you put down our social media business models. I get a lot of work done with kids in tow... I also know people who work with pets in tow... One writer friend wrote half her book while visiting her mother in a nursing home.

Does it really matter where a writer works from? Isn't it just more important to write and keep writing if that's what you love to do?

It is a recession, so I am thankful that I am working and have multiple little businesses that keep me laughing on my way to the bank. It's the little things that eventually add up to great rewards and my writing brings me business opportunities. Some I share, some I don't... It's my blog. I can write what I want...

If you are going to blog, just remember there are millions of ways to connect with people. When one road closes, go find another path to get you where you need to be. Sometimes, simply wanting more out of life is enough to motivate people to try to write and build a readership. Writers are searching for dialogs, they are publishing a body of thought that will lead to conversations. No one writes not to be read. There is always the hope of making a connection.

You should be encouraging writers to get better at their craft, not bash them because they post live from Starbucks, the hot tub, or granny's backyard... BTW, I am posting this from the laundry room and have to wrap it up because I have someone coming over that needs their papers notarized (LOL). ;-)

I've been commenting less in the forums not because I'm not lurking on your blog posts, but because I am reading hundreds of writers a day. I set aside a significant bit of time to do that. If you have never done it you have no idea what that entails. It's like having a job...

Also, I've been calling all over the country having interesting conversations based upon your articles. Don't you understand that some of your greatest works have no comments on them because sometimes people are moved and there is nothing left to be said. You've said it quite brilliantly, but then ruin the effect by whining on your next post about how people wont comment on your previous blog post. QUIT THAT STUPID HABIT!!!

Look at your views and be happy people read it instead.

Look at the posts that you previously received the most comments on in your stats and craft similar posts to keep those types of conversations going. You already figured it out the last time (that's why you got a comment) but you keep looking for that magic pill to keep an unrealistic expectation happy. Sort of like the why haven't I been featured mantra some of you habitually engage in. That needs to be curbed as well... after all, you're whining in public making an impression on the people who may have to one day consider doing business with you.

That includes quirky people like me...

If you don't have a disclaimer, now is the time to get one. As a social media writer without one, you've been putting it off waaaaaaay to long and it is better that you remind your readers of the true nature of your virtual relationship rather than have your posts be part of someone's future litigation. People who comment and write you e-mails asking for advice can sometimes inadvertently, or deliberately, drag you into their drama. It's not a Teflon shield, but it would help deflect a few hits, so go find a professional to help you craft one.

No one has a crystal ball regarding how good or bad advice is formulated. Most people who write believe they are giving out good advice. What may be true for the writer doesn't mean it will turn into a truth for the reader so you have to be careful and understand bloggers start conversations to get people to think about a subject that interests them

If you read something you agree or disagree with, you have the same right to your opinion that all the other people in cyberspace have to theirs. Sometimes, what you write may open a door for you. Other times, what you write may slam a few opportunities shut.

If you keep moving forward with your blog and social media commenting, you will have options to step across the thresholds of new avenues of experience simply by accepting or rejecting invitations to participate in a dialog.

What you decide to do with your  blog is entirely up to you.

My advice is simple: be yourself and have fun with it.

If you write something that turns out to be unpopular, just remember people actually took the time to read it and you have an opportunity to  explain yourself more effectively the next time if you listen to the negative comments and actually learn why your opinion created the backlash. You can bring them around to a different level of understanding simply by addressing their objections with respect. Sometimes it is a matter of poor  presentation rather than defective ideology.

In my case, being blunt serves my purpose. You are going to have to figure out how to be what you wish to be on your own, then let your voice serve your own purpose, what ever that conversation may be...



Disclaimer: Any comments and contributions provided on ActiveRain.com (or other electronic or print media) does not establish an agency relationship with any third party. Blog posts are intended to be informational only. Please be advised that real estate practices vary in regions and from state to state and market to market. The information contained herein does not constitute legal advice. All parties in need of legal, accounting, tax, or real estate guidance are directed to consult with the licensed professional of their choice. Please seek specific guidance from a retained professional in the specific field(s) required to service your interests. I and/or team blog writers make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site and its associated sites inclusive of but not limited to CarolynTannStarr.com MySpace/TannStarr 46486 NY Working Moms Examiner ActiveRain Group Club Chaos ClubChaosAgents.com CyberMinions.net CTannStarr Outside Blog CTannStarr Localism Blog TannStarr.net UberMental.com

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Comment balloon 10 commentsC Tann-Starr • January 25 2011 10:26AM


Alrighty then.... I have thought about a disclaimer, that's for sure. Perhaps it's time to get one.

So, about the post... (and you is the big you, not you you... LOL) I don't care where you post from, I don't know how you conduct your business, I no none of this stuff about most of these folks. I do vent.... shame on me, I have noticed that I am not getting the traffic I once was and posted about it. I did blame myself, I know why it happened. I was not concerned about the member traffic, I was concerned about the consumer traffic!

But the most important thing I got out of your post is that I really don't know what people are doing on the other end of the screen. And for the most part, I don't care. I am entertained when I am here, I learn, I laugh, I cry, I make good friends and I find people to stay away from. :D

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 10 years ago

I don't have a disclaimer.....how about something like this:

"I don't have any idea what I'm talking about so don't rely on my for any information, advice or suggestions whatsoever"

Aside from that...wow, very prolific today :)

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) almost 10 years ago

C- whoa.... I don't have a disclaimer but I like what Karen (#2) wrote.  I've decided to try to write in my own voice.  If people read it and like what I have to say.. good.  If not, well, that's ok.  Not going to say I don't care but hope they will but if they don't... can't control that. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 10 years ago

Andrea, I find it amazing some of the things people say and do. I've been having a blast playing in social media, but sometimes you have to remind people to behave on other people's websites and pages. No one is truly anonymous on the web. The trail always leads somewhere... Once you put stuff out there you tend to lose control over what some people do with it. Sometimes, people underestimate just how much another person really knows about what the 411 is on a particular subject. ;-)

Karen, will get back to playtime tomorrow. Had fun brainstorming tonight about the direction the film may be taking. Very productive meeting and we are cooking up other projects. I volunteered to do some music for a new horror film (which would be a first - LOL). We shall see... :-)

Kathy, very true. Part of a chat I had with someone who does a lot of political writing was over this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disclaimer

They thought my disclaimer was excessive (it includes comments made by others). My disclaimer is embedded into the signature section of my blog for a very good reason. Comments can get out of hand and sometimes people will blame you for failing to moderate arguments that erupt on your pages. Here is an interesting read some political bloggers may not beware of: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/feb/09/libel-reform-radical-islamic-groups

Popping about talking smack or making the wrong joke or dragging people into inappropriate Facebook groups is not funny when a third party gets everyone under review. Giving silly advice that someone takes seriously because a blogger doesn't believe the person they are talking to is serious about a subject can be a huge mistake down the road.

I'm facetious, but sometimes people confuse my wry sense of humor with something else. "Lawfare litigation" can be about anything an opponent decides it to be. Offense is subjective... People will sometimes collect statements to illustrate a consensus so I'm making it plain that the side I'm on is my side (and it's very quirky - LOL). Using past comments out of content to try and get people to switch professionals is not a good idea, especially if they're friends and/or relatives who forward the e-mails. 

You can print to PDF and send out those supposedly private Facebook messages (a heads up for those of you who didn't realize that little factoid - LOL). That also means people can share info from your closed, supposedly private groups. Just saying....

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Ummm, call me obtuse but - why would anyone care whether your disclaimer is "excessive????"  Did I miss something?  As someone I know would say - "Seriously . . ."  ;-)

I truly can't believe someone would get on your (or anyone's) case because they think/feel something you've written is not something they've would've written - especially something like a disclaimer, for pete's sake.  I mean - really. 

I do have a disclaimer that I am going to revisit and perhaps revise. 

Thank you, as always, for sharing your life with us.  As I've often mentioned to you, I get woozy from trying to keep up with you and your shenanigans however, it is tons of fun! :-)

Posted by Sandy Fenton, ABR, ASP, CDPE, GRI -Westchester NY - Condos to Luxury Homes (Keller Williams NY Realty * Licensed Associate Broker) almost 10 years ago

Sandy, the person plucking my feathers is a creative commons self proclaimed advocate who seems to think that if someone you give permission to reblog your work on one specific platform (ActiveRain) takes it off of their AR servers to add it to blogger or wordpress, then I'm not supposed to get bent out of shape because, after all, I'm not a serious writer.


"Serious writer" is a relative term that I can spoof on forever. However, no matter how silly I get, it doesn't change the fact that our blogs are intellectual property with copyrights and remedies for people who abuse our kindness.

If I let a friend do something, it doesn't mean I let everyone do the same thing. Not knowing what our relationships to people are can prove dangerous if other writers who don't create original content think slapping a creative commons label on something that I've written and have not authorized to be published elsewhere will give them a free pass.

The reblog button here is for here, not wordpres or blogger. Using how I am with others to criticize how I am not with them is a moot point. Didn't ask? Don't have permission? Deal with the consequences when you get caught. I answered the fair use gripe and not needing a court order to get them to take it down here. I answered my counterpoints to their assumptions on this very post, making it clear that my disclaimer is embedded in the signature section, which means it comes up on every single thing that I write on ActiveRain. Removing the disclaimer and copyright notice after stealing my work is a huge no no. I'm not a lawyer so I will not chat about how it shows their bad faith/intent...

I will say that the fair use attribution notice clearly states in the copyright section, "Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the re-blog authors (when appropriate)and Carolyn Tann-Starr is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carolyn Tann-Starr, (the re-blog authors when appropriate) and Wordy C's Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content." Everyone who reblogs me leaves the disclaimer and copyright notices intact, so it's kinda dumb to have someone get cranky about taking my neighborhood shots or blog posts for their own use and delete that to tag it with a creative commons blurb.

You can not usurp another person's copyright... That's a dangerous game that can get very expensive...

Each photograph created has a specific copyright to that work. Each post housing text, audio, visuals and icons has a copyright issue to address for every element assembled as well as the final product. If a third party relies upon a stolen blog post being a creative commons work and links to the digital thief as their justification to flip me the finger when I say take it down, then they deserve what they get when I bang them. Due dilligence and common sense requires a person to try and mitigate damages when they make a mistake. When the real owner shows up it is never a good idea not to take that person seriously.

I'm still in nice mode but will get a wee bit b*tchy if it isn't down by Friday. I always give people three days to chat with a lawyer. They usually take me seriously after they do so. Having a disclaimer and copyright notice helps because the thief can never say they didn't know. It's right there on every single ActiveRain blog post, not to mention the sidebar of my blog. Printing a hard copy means you've printed the notices twice (LOL). :-)


Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

So you should remove your "excessive" disclaimer so that they can take your not serious writing and put it on their serious blog?  Then, because they are "serious writers," they can take full credit for it?  (of course, even that were the case, it is still stealing)

I like the idea of the disclaimer also being on the sidebar . . .

Posted by Sandy Fenton, ABR, ASP, CDPE, GRI -Westchester NY - Condos to Luxury Homes (Keller Williams NY Realty * Licensed Associate Broker) almost 10 years ago

Sandy, I love the fact that you sooooooooo get the irony of this (LOL). ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

C, I can say with certainty that I get it. :)

I can also say I wish you'd text or call my cell so you can FIND me one of these days! HAHAHA!

Vegas Baby 811!


Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) almost 10 years ago

Candyland, I'm calling ya! ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

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