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by CareyBot

Oh, what to write? Having spent the better part of last week tossing my few remaining brain cells carelessly about the halls of the Inman Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco, I feel like a horse that has run her race.

I mentioned to some of the heartier souls remaining on the final day, as we were discussing our big takeaways, that this was a repeat of past events for me, except on steroids. Here is how it goes:

Each semester, I swagger off the plane feeling a little too smug. Technology? I’ve got me some of that. Social networking? I’m down. Laughing defiantly in the face of my age (let’s call it 30-ish), I waltz in feeling a little more hip and relevant than the rings on my tree would suggest.

Then, reality quickly takes hold. The result is that I get back on that plane feeling less like "awe-inspiring cyber-girl" and a lot more like Fred Flintstone.

Back in Bedrock now, I haven’t had sufficient time to amass fresh, amusing anecdotes about the wacky life of a working girl. Otherwise, you would have been the first to hear. Blame those takeaways.

I’ve got pockets full of little slips of paper, an impressive arsenal of "notes to self," things I must accomplish Godspeed upon my return lest I get trampled by the oncoming thundering herd of much smarter and progressive agents. Only, I can’t make sense out of most of them.

Just for fun, I’ll try. After all, I must have thought these random scrawlings contained the secrets to catapulting my business to the realm of intergalactic dominance at the time. Plus, it’s nice to share.

"Be interested rather than interesting." These words were uttered by Dustin Luther in his Blogger’s Connect presentation on optimizing your social media plan. Harnessing the power of social media, in fact, was an ongoing mantra at the conference.

I have been more than a little schizophrenic on this topic, both publically in my opinion of the return on investment and privately in my deployment of the tools. I’m now, at least for the moment, a convert.

Craig Donato, Oodle chief executive officer and co-founder, gave me the inspirational sound bite: "Social discovery is replacing search." The idea is that the consumer is looking to their social network rather than their search bar for wisdom, advice and direction.

They trust their friends far more than your Google placement or my static testimonial pages, and we need to continue moving away from the mindset of talking to them. The key is to get them talking about us.

How to successfully accomplish this is the $64 question. I can’t spend all day everyday being everywhere. Sometimes our silly clients want to buy and sell homes, which can really cut into the old free time.

But, I can start by focusing on nailing one or two channels and by abandoning my shock-and-awe method of engagement — one in which I show up only occasionally trying to be interesting instead of nurturing relationships because I am truly interested.

"We live in a mashup world." That was me talking to myself. A big theme of this year’s conference was the integration of video into our marketing and our message. Consumers are looking for a complete experience.

To date, I have spent most of my efforts in this area averting my eyes. It’s not that I don’t get the importance of the medium. Rather, it scares the socks off of me. Do I set up a tripod and start spewing wisdom? I learned long ago that not only is Steven Spielberg’s job safe, but I’m better in small crowds. …CONTINUED