Top 10 Bloggers of 2007: deansguide’s Resource Guide

As a newly minted blogger, March 2007, I have met and read many bloggers in the blogosphere who have had a profound impact on real estate, business, and health. The following is a list of deansguide’s choice as the Top 10 Bloggers for 2007:

1. Pat Kitano www.transparentre.com and domusconsultinggroup.com: A former top Wall St. investment banker, Pat’s blog transparentre.com was voted one of 25 most innovative blogs for 2007 by Inman News organization. Pat’s continual stream of hard boiled analysis, Wall St. experience, and visionary instinct makes him a must read for real professionals, start up entrepreneurs, and Web 2.0 technology followers. pat-domus-pic.jpg

2. Susan Hanshaw www.sanctuaryforchange.com; susanhanshaw.wordpress.com; innerarchitect.com: Susan left a successful 20 yr corporate career in direct marketing which culminated in a position as VP. Her departure into spiritual and inspirational endeavors produced a book “Unleashing Your Soul: Finding the Courage To Follow Your Heart”, a successful appearance on Martha Stewart XM Radio channel, and a number of speaking engagements throughout California.

susans-picture.jpg

Her tips on positive energy, raising your vibration, and studies into the new frontier of spirituality meets science (quantum physics) make her blogs and website vast libraries of valuable information. Susan provides tools and thought provoking strategies for personal development for individuals, organizations, and corporate entities looking to strengthen their “Human Capital” through educational enrichment.

3. John Harper theharperteam: John Harper, Danville, CA Keller Williams agent, writes a template and guide map for Realtors searching for answers on “How to” write a hyper local blog. Recognized as a leader in the real estate blogosphere, John Harper incorporates local news, trends, and insider information that creates a window into the areas that he represents geographically as well as his niche business strengths. If I were a Realtor who was about to launch a blog I would study theharperteam.com extensively for direction and ideas. john-harper.jpg

4. Kevin Boer 3oceansrealestate.com: Kevin is a Yale MBA and former McKinsey consultant with vast business consulting experience beyond the norm found in real estate. Kevin’s blog is the ultimate template for strategy in google search placement, hyper local content, contributor panels, and how to capture your local market while locking out your competition. A co-founder of Domus Consulting Group along with Pat Kitano, Boer represents the new breed of Realtor: niche driven, Wall St. smart, technology savvy with global reach.

kev-domus-pic.jpg

5. Tommy’s therealestatebloggers: this blog is a professional journalistic quality example of how to write a hard hitting fast acting real estate news blog without being an agent. He writes and reports with a national and international scope that attracts huge traffic. Tommy’s blog is a fantastic example of the power social networking, keen ad placement, and thought provoking-reader commenting content. This blog IS A MUST READ for anyone watching the real estate market and industry from novice to cutting edge professionals.

tommy.jpg

6. Brad Andersohn activerain.com/blogs/bandersohn : Brad is a title rep with fantastic advice, free information, as well as market analysis. This is a very valuable site for both homeowners as well as Realtors looking for answers. Brad writes about a broad scope of industry news as well as his specialty title insurance. Comprehensive and instructive in nature, Brad’s blog on Active Rain provides answers from a trusted industry professional at no cost. Thetone is everything the blogosphere is about: share information, be honest, provide value. brad-andersohn.jpg

7. Brasschecktv.com: For the conspiracy theorist in us all, this site provides a mountain of video on every type of conspiracy under the sun. From 9/11 to JFK, brasscheck has historical and vital documents which provide a living breathing record source that is easy to navigate, access, and utilize. If you really want to know the truth check out Jordan Maxwell. (No Pictures Available)

8. Joe Firmage www.firmage.org : Joe Firmage is a Silicon Valley legend who believes in the unbelievable, accomplishes the unthinkable, and stands by his principles like no other before him. A boy-wonder, Joe built US Web and then left the Valley after proclaiming his belief in UFOs and many other concepts scoffed at by his peers.

Firmage’s current project is to build the world’s largest network of free information portals that are manned by the most brilliant minds in each field:

joe-firmage.jpg

“. . . an Internet-based visual navigation system for scientific knowledge, experience, and exploration, built upon a rich-media collaborative publishing system.”

The portals will not be used to generate advertising revenue thus they will remain objective and open to analysis without the dirty hands of self loathing, self importance, and self indulgent American media tainting the information.

9. Tom Voight zodiackiller.com: Although this is not a traditional blog, my friend Tom Voight (son to the writer) site added over 1,200 pages in 2007. Tom writes his own copy and currently runs what is considered the highest authority on the Zodiac Killer in the world. His site garners upwards of 2 MILLION visits per month. Recently a English tabloid claimed that idiotic Brittany Spears is a regular reader of the site. tom-voight.jpg

This site is super rich with content, forums, and social networking having to do with the long time hunt for the Zodiac. If you were a Bay Area native and lived through this terrible and frightening time ( I am and remember the Zodiac) then this site clarifies and focuses on what is known to this point today.

10. Blogosphere: The collection of blog authors around the globe who diligently and willingly produce content day in and day out. People who share their expertise, share tips, provide How to guides, and inform readers. Authors who express themselves by giving first and asking second.

To my fellow bloggers-we are the new generation of media. The old guard media is finally under attack and losing the war for readership. “Citizen journalism” is winning the war with our weapon of choice “radical transparency.” We are beholden to no corporations, no conglomerates, no undue influences. We ARE the PEOPLE, writing for THE PEOPLE, standing TOGETHER to DELIVER OUR MESSAGE.

Honorable Mention: Walt Goshert’s Marketing blog has fantastic tips and inspirational messages and Gorilla Sushi a entertaining blog written by committee that has unique content from scientific experiments to comedy.

Peace in the New Year and Best Wishes to all!

Advertisements

Thank You My Friends, Family, and Readers: 2007 deansguide

Part 2 of the Top 20 articles on deansguide for 2007 is in the works.

History: My blog deansguide was launched March 30, 2007, thanks to Pat Kitano, and what it represents to me is nothing short of a minor miracle. Through my interest in blogging and writing, I have met many people and made many connections–none more important than Susan Hanshaw my new found love. In addition, 23 deansguide articles have been published, through news aggregating blogburst, by major news agencies Reuters, Fox Business, and Nielsen.

Without the support of my friends, new found friends, family, and readers I would not be having as much FUN as I am having with this blog. Before I publish Part 2 here is a graph, from wordpress.com, illustrating the progressive growth (page views) deansguide has experienced. Thank you one and all!

stats-2007-deansguide.jpg

Top 20 deansguide Articles In 2007: Part 1 “Eclectic And Traffic”

My blog deansguide began as a suggestive challenge from one of my best friends and mentors Patrick Kitano. Pat made two visionary posits:

First the blogisphere will change the face of media as we know it. Second blogging will become “citizen journalism” leading to “radical transparency” and a new connectedness never before seen on a global scale. You were right Pat. Thank you for your help!

Consequently, Part 1 of deansguide year end review takes a look at the top 10 articles by traffic and buzz created in the blogisphere. Part 2 will take a look at the top 10 articles written about the real estate industry.

With little fanfare but much pride Part 1:

1. Hearst Mansion: “Nation’s Most Expensive Residential Listing–$165,000,000 and The Godfather Too!” This was by far the most read article on deansguide in 2007. It was one of the shortest. Sometimes big things come in small packages. In the month of December this article has been viewed 1,009 times with a grand total since it’s publication, July 10, 2007, of over 6,000 views. Thank you all.

2. Immigrant & Social Order: The Oakland Chapter of the Hell’s Angels 50th Anniversary This was deansguide’s first article on March 30, 2007. It was my most eclectic and well read post until “Hearst Mansion.” Hell’s Angels vs Mafia in a who is more dangerous who is more honest-you might be surprised with my answers. This article averages 500 views per month.

3. “1031 Advance”: Private Exchange Company Missing In Action In Silicon Valley This is the firestorm article that started it all for deansguide. This article was the initial spark into the 1031 Exchange fiasco and rip offs that have shaken the industry to it’s core. My tip, from a very well connected source within the title industry, helped me announce the sleazy unannounced fly by night closing of San Jose based 1031 Advance- an Ed Okun holding. Just check out the picture of Michael Douglass as “Gordon Gecko.”

4. One of the 350 Victims of Ed Okun’s Bankrupt 1031 Exchange Tax Group Speaks Out: “The Most Compelling Case Yet For Action to be Taken!” This article launched deansguide as a conduit of information and a place for victims of the Ed Okun disaster and the Donald McGhan Southwest rip off to communicate. The driving force behind this communication is Elizabeth Callanan one of the 350 victims still awaiting a settlement.

Elizabeth has provided information that is vital to the awareness of events surrounding the settlement of this case. Her story is a sad cautionary tale and one that has averaged 400 views per month since it’s publication. Thank you Elizabeth!

5. Ode to “Chili Eye Charlie. . . November 11, 2006 In what was the most difficult yet most satisfying deansguide article to date, Ode to Chili Eye Charlie was my final farewell to my best friend the victim of throat cancer. Charles Barry Henderson died after a swift and painful fight for his life of 7 weeks. This article was meant for me and for those who have lost friends or family to cancer and live the pain on a daily basis.

Chili Eye was a former Hollywood special effects coordinator, back lot knock around, army veteran, and Harley enthusiast who lead a wild life with a compassionate conclusion–after years of searching he found his purpose in life and made good on it!

6. Tips for Maintaining Positive Energy written by author and inspirational speaker Susan Hanshaw, this article has found a huge following within the educational environment. It has been viewed over 2,500 times in the last 6 weeks with the majority of traffic originating from colleges, universities, and school district web sites nationwide.

susans-thumbnail.jpg

It is a compelling and instructional message that will help you reset your mind and focus going forward for 2008.

7. Breaking News–US Trustee In 1031 Tax Group Case Answers JPS Capital: “JPS Is Not Currently Offering $148 Million To Okun And The Creditors” This article was the culmination of the Joel Shapiro JPS Capital–Jerry McHale United States Trustee for the settlement of the Okun case saga.

This article invoked the kind wrath of Mr. Shapiro, the hearty thank you from Mr. McHale, and interest from Forbes magazine associate editor Michael Maiello. Thank you gentlemen for your input and communication.

8. Will Universities Adopt Blogging aka “Citizen Journalism” To Help Mold Perception and Create Their Brand? This article was both fun and serious. It outlines the stupid waste of student funds and UC Berkeley operating funds on a firm hired to provide branding and marketing expertise. I wrote a scathing review of why administrators should have utilized student, department, and faculty brain power in creating a branding strategy. Instead the school spent $200,000 on a contract that could have easily been handled by the aformentioned, created a slick hands on project for grad students, and created a Web 2.0 marketing bonanza for incoming applicants.

One of the most ridiculous decisions? Paying a consultant, $25,000, to change the name of Boalt Hall to U.C. Berkeley School of Law.

9. SRV: “Lookin back in front of me” In Step With Life In a very well received article, I examine legendary guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn. It’s a reminder piece that you must go and see that artist, musician, friend who inspires you. Go now before they are gone. Long live Stevie Ray-king of the machine gun rapid fire riff.

10. When a Stranger Calls: Rumors, Innuendo, and Whispers What Is Going On With The 1031 Disasters? This article pays homage to my “secret” tipster from Miami. The sinister nature of the street sounding, enforcer was enough to heighten my awareness as well as my own security. Traced to a cell phone in Miami, I only heard from my “deep-throated” friend 3 times. One of those instances, my source was right on the money a week before the announcement. This article was one of the top 5 views of the year.

How To Unleash Your Brain Power-Tool #1: “Our Brains Are Designed to Directly Connect To The Brains of Other People”

I recently explored the ability of the brain to stay “fit” and avoid the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive losses through Dr. Michael Merzenich’s “Brain Fitness Program.” According to revered international author, science journalist, PhD, Dr. of Psychology Daniel Goleman as interpreted by Gina Stepp author of familymatters.vision.org:

“People who are good at maintaining important relationships in their lives have always instinctively known what researchers are now discovering: good relationships are crucial to our health and well-being”

Dr. Goleman posits the following about the new field of Social Neuroscience: “Our interactions with anybody are a two way street where one person’s brain is setting the other person’s brain in any of a thousand emotional states.” Our brains are built to connect in ways we have never realized in the past. The “chatter” between brains is the basis for love, rapport, and the basis for interaction between people.

The health implications are monumental. According to Goleman, our interactions with people and the connections we make begin to add up over time. This accumulation effects our health depending upon the types of relationships we foster. Relationships that add stress to our lives or are contentious at best are a drain and negative force which undermines our health. Conversely solid, loving, friendships bolster our health and physical well being.

In the fantastic article “Wired to Connect” at familymatters.vision.org Dr. Goleman’s concepts are highlighted in the following video:

For more information on Dr. Goleman’s concepts go to his blog at http://danielgoleman.info/blog or buy his book “Social Intelligence.”

Who Have You Helped Today?: How Long Did It Take You To Answer That Question?

san-francisco-homeless.jpg

Courtesy SF Chronicle Brant Ward

It’s the holiday season and one simple question hit me as I sit here watching a homeless man grope for a piece of dignity: Have I helped anyone today? This homeless man is in his 30’s but easily looks older than my 47 years, his eyes have the far away look of resolve in the fact that he has nothing to look forward to or anyone to care for in this season. He is wearing a black bandanna, dirty khaki pants, a torn sweat stained prison grey shirt, and a pair of very old running shoes that have never been used for fitness.

His hair is a straggly mop of dark brown and he has a full beard with nary a gray hair to be seen. I can’t count the number of piercings because there seems to be holes everywhere–man made in nature. He is doing his best to chain smoke “half butts” found on the ground or in a trash can all the while he is holding a conversation with sympathetic passerby.

His body language screams junkie but it could be the simple by-product of the horror of living without heat, running water, or a roof over your head. It could be the result of a street fight, or 10, for survival when the mere presence on a street corner can spell trouble in the form of a shank or worse. It is a hunched over sitting position, not unlike a prison yard crouch, similar to that of someone trying desperately to look tough and invisible all at once.

Just as quickly as his entrance into my vision of life, my unknown friend wanders off quickly carry-on suitcase with rollers dragged behind as he leaves the scene-a reminder of how damn lucky I am and how wonderful my life is in comparison.

If you are still reading then you are ready for my point. It is not my intention to make you remember how lucky you are with the things you take for granted. It is not a point that illustrates the plight of the homeless, loneliness, starvation, drug addiction, or violence that accompanies that existence.

MY POINT IS SIMPLE: WE FAIL TO PAY ATTENTION, WE FAIL TO NOTICE, WE FAIL TO OBSERVE, AND WE FAIL TO MAKE NOTE OF THE WORLD AROUND US. How tough would it be for you to stop allowing yourself the excuses or “outs” of NOT paying attention? How tough would it be to designate ONE aka 1 day in your life where you noticed everything, paid attention to everything within your vision of life, noticed all that came into view, observed everything, and made note of the world around you??????????????????????????????????????????????????????

If these faces bother you then take notice and do something. Courtesy of stoneth on flickr.com this man is an artist:

sf-flickr-homeless.jpg

How To Start Your Own Business–Tool #3: Networking The Lifeblood of Growth

FoxBusiness published this article 12-18-2007

Reuters published this article 12-19-2007

You have the vision for a new startup business in place. You have identified your market, their challenges and needs. You have taken that information and applied what “differentiates” your business, from the competition, to the challenges of your potential customers.

What next? Identify the best way to meet the decision makers within the companies you wish to work with in the future. The best method of introducing your company, in the real world, to your target is through networking groups, associations, and industry specific organizations. Network, Network, Network!

Innerarchitect.com’s networking objective is to provide personal development for human capital within organizations in Silicon Valley. Whether you are a Realtor, broker, or entrepreneur in another field, networking is the lifeblood of your business growth. The following are off line real world networking resources which can also be applied to the online world. These are the associations, organizations, places, and events I will utilize in my networking efforts for innerarchitect.com.

The List:

1. Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs: This organization is a vast resource for entrepreneurs who wish to meet VC consultants, HR Directors, like minded entrepreneurs, current movers and shakers in the valley, and technology pundits. Here is what you get for your $99 yearly membership:

a) Startup Reference Guide: This guide has the following tutorials for anyone wishing to start their own business-Accounting, Finance, Recruiting, Product development, Sales, Legal, Insurance, Human Resources, General Business. Each section is packed with important “how to” information.

b) “Startup U”: This is a series of events held twice a month designed for the startup entrepreneur. Attendees are new business owners and industry experts looking the next big thing. It is a great place to meet and be heard.

c) Events: This is where the extra value takes place. Events include Venture Capitalist mixers on Sand Hill Rd, industry wants and needs sessions, as well as high level corporate decision maker speeches. The cost varies and can be high but so is the return on your investment.

2. Silicon Valley Women in Human Resources: Fantastic organization with chapters throughout the Bay Area. Events and meetings include consultants, HR directors, and many decision makers on the organizational development level. In addition this organization has a fantastic forum “Silicon Valley Women in Human Resources Community Forum” where employment opportunities, wants and needs, as well as practical how to topics are discussed. Connections and information on how to make connections are plentiful.

3. American Marketing Association Silicon Valley Chapter: Professional memberships run $215 per year. Included is a schedule of events and meetings designed for the marketing professional. Great information on marketing, networking within this industry, Silicon Valley centric practices, and strategies for startup to large firm marketing campaigns.

There are other organizations to investigate but so far these are the three that have provided me with the best information. In any business niche you will find associations, organizations, and like minded professionals. Seek them out, absorb their experience and knowledge, and remain open minded to new techniques or change.

Update: 1031 Tax Group Victim Provides 82 Page Document on US Bank Settlement With Southwest 1031 Victims–“Details of the Whole Sordid Mess Are Available”

In what can only be described as heartbreaking and compelling, one of the 350 victims of the 1031 Tax Group scandal has provided new information about a eerily similar situation: Donald McGhan’s Southwest Exchange rip off.

According to Elizabeth Callanan one of the 350 victims in the ongoing 1031 Tax Group saga:

“US Bank has recently settled a class action law suit filed by the Southwest 1031 Exchangers (whose funds were stolen by owner McGhan in a fashion so like Okun’s plundering of our funds, it is eerie) with a $25 million payment (only part of the $95 million McGhan took).”

This is one of two comments that Ms Callanan announced in order to make people aware of the scandal, pitfalls, and ongoing suffering that has characterized victims in both cases. It is also information that should be considered by consumers when investigating and performing their due diligence on the 1031 Exchange process.

Included in Elizabeth’s comment is an 82 page document outlining the settlement in what she terms “easily readable english. . . not the usual and hopelessly arcane ‘legalese.”

Remember to perform your due diligence with a qualified professional attorney, CPA, or financial planner. I am not providing this information as financial advice. Consult a professional.

Elizabeth H. Callanan | TCallanet@aol.com | IP: 64.12.116.143 Dean,

  1. Thought you and your readers would be interested in learning that US Bank has settled a class action suit filed by Southwest 1031 Exchangers (whose funds were stolen by owner McGhan in a fashion so like Okun’s plundering of our funds, it is eerie) with a $25 million payment (only part of the $95 million McGhan took). The details of the whole sordid mess are available online on the attorneys’ website at: http://www.hbsb.com/class_action_docs/sorrell_docs/LetterToAllClaimants032907.pdf
    It’s 82 pages long in easily readable English (not the usual hopelessly and needlessly arcane “legalese”) and should be read by everyone of Okun’s victims. The details are sickeningly similar to our situation, but cautionary to: anyone considering a 1031, to the IRS and states considering (FINALLY)the regulation and oversight of 1031’s, and to those representing us, Okun’s victims as a possible course of action (pursuing the banks that failed through negligence or connivance to prevent the wanton abuse of our exchange funds).
    Further to the other comments in this thread re the requirement for two signatures to move exchange funds from a segregated account, I think the Southwest Exhchange lesson is clear — one of the signatures MUST be that of the exchanger!Dec 14, 11:10 PM — [ Edit | Delete | Unapprove | Approve | Spam ] — Update–Haven Exchange President Dorothy Zink Sets The Record Straight: “Our Customer’s Signature IS Required Prior To Any Release of Funds”