I’m back from a week at the Inman News Real Estate Connect conference with a new head of steam. I’m a repeat offender. And as rich as the conference sessions are, I always find that the real inspiration comes from what the veterans refer to as "LobbyCon" — those times spent hanging out in the lobby of the conference venue swapping war stories and ideas with colleagues.

The reality is that this year there doesn’t seem to be much new and shiny on the real estate technology front, at least from my view in the visitors’ bleachers. Years ago, we were all giddy about those blog things. Then came mashups, video, PDAs, social media, social media and more social media.

Call it a rut, but if I hear one more person talk about Facebook as the holy grail of real estate marketing, I am going to shoot myself through the temple with the two-hole punch I no longer need in my paperless office. Because it’s not.

What Facebook is (and Twitter, and Foursquare and the little chat box on my sidebar that I generally forget to activate when I am present or deactivate when I leave the room in search of my two-hole punch) is a communications medium.

It is one channel among a sea of channels that an agent might use to connect, or use to give at least the appearance of being somewhat relevant. These things don’t help the consumer. Rather, they are ways in which agents, each his own "1099 island" unto himself, might develop business and maintain relationships.

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