Editor’s note: The following entries on new technology applications come from the Inman News Blog. Click on the links to each entry to join a reader discussion of the topic.

Feeling a twitch?

Twitter is a social networking tool gone wild that we will use at Real Estate Connect in San Francisco this summer to get people connected. We have tried so many off-the-shelf (many of them broke when they fell off the shelf) apps over the years to connect people at the Connect conference.

We are looking for other ideas for social mobile apps, etc., that allow folks to connect, observe and whine publicly at public events.

How Twitter works: Register and answer the question: “What are you doing?” You can confine your activities to your friends list or push it out to the world. The latter is more fun.

–Bradley Inman, Inman News
Click here to join the discussion.

Aunt Crystal’s birthday goes on tour

Mapwing.com, a virtual tour Web site that formally launched this week, offers free virtual tours to everyone — and that means everyone.

Some popular tours at the site include “Aunt Crystal’s Birthday!” — over 1,000 views; “Angus the Cat Returns!” — over 1,500 views, and “A Walk with Charlie” (Charlie is described as a “slightly overweight Corgi”) — over 3,250 views.

Virtual tours are no longer just for those pristine 5-bd., 3-ba. chateaus in the countryside. Mapwing.com looks like the MySpace and YouTube of virtual touring. The site allows viewers to comment about individual tours.

While it’s free to create basic tours, the site does offer paid subscriptions for more advanced tours.

Aunt Crystal probably didn’t expect 1,000 virtual “guests” at her birthday party, but it does look like a tasty cake.

–Glenn Roberts Jr., Inman News
Click here to join the discussion.

Video is the New Black in Real Estate

Seems that adding video to your Web site is all the fashion these days. CNN calls this phenomena “the ‘YouTubing’ of real estate marketing” and says:

Today, if your site doesn’t offer virtual tours, mapping technology, neighborhood guides, and a video library of buying and selling tips, it’s nowhere.

There’s no doubt that adding video to your listings is far more impactful than a stodgy old 360 virtual tour. Sites like YouTube and the underlying technology it’s built on, Flash, have removed any hurdles that may have previously prevented you from streaming video from your Web site.

That said, video is no magic bullet and doesn’t come without its own challenges; production quality and streaming quality issues plague many real estate videos and there’s a big difference between simply stringing static images together Ken Burns style and a professionally shot and edited video production.

But, if you’re not already thinking about how you can take advantage of video in your marketing efforts, you should. This is a fad that’s not going away.

–Joel Burslem, Future of Real Estate Marketing
Click here to join the discussion.

Way Cool
This should save printing, double keying and other yuk. Send messages directly from your PC to your car’s navigation system, including directions, etc.

–Bradley Inman, Inman News
Click here to join the discussion.

Read more technology entries on the Inman News Blog. Click on the “technology” category in the left column.

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