« prev   random   next »

0
0

Patrick.net Suggestions

By someone else following x   2012 Apr 2, 7:09am 26,826 views   60 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


This is the place to make suggestions for how Patrick.net can be most helpful to you and to discuss them.

Comments 1 - 40 of 60     Next »     Last »

1   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 2, 7:27am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

You should make a Patrick.net app for mobile phones. I have no idea what the app would do, but today, you have to have an app for your company just like you have to have a website. It's just expected.

I'm still waiting for the Shrek app, which at random times just blurts out "libruh" and "Obami".

2   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 2, 10:32am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

I'd like to do that, especially since such an app could use GPS to know what open house you are at and automatically put in the address, and probably let you use speech recognition and photos uploads to do a review on the spot.

I don't know enough about mobile apps to create that myself, but if anyone does, let me know.

4   leo707   ignore (1)   2012 Apr 4, 3:37am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

IrishDrunkard says

Here's a nice suggestion, you alcoholic piece of shit: GO FUCK YOURSELF!!!f

Hmmm... that suggestion did not seem nice at all.

5   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 4, 5:55am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Yes, that was un-nice.

I'd be happy to reply to specific actionable suggestions, but fucking myself has so far been beyond my abilities.

6   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 4, 9:38am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        


Yes, that was un-nice.

I'd be happy to reply to specific actionable suggestions, but fucking myself has so far been beyond my abilities.

Pssst, don't tell anyone, but that is my superpower.

7   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 6, 9:23am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Trolls do well not to piss off admins. This must be a new species of troll: suiciders.

8   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 6, 9:26am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Speaking of trolls, they might want to read some of the comments on the below page to see what society really thinks of them.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3835162/Vile-trolls-attacked-my-tragic-girls-site.html

9   Nomograph   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 8, 2:10am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

PatrickIsObamasAnalPlaything says

PatrickIsObamasAnalPlaything

This is the same guy who has been banned numerous times as unitedsocialiststatesofamerica, gameover, and so on.

Obviously high real estate prices are the LEAST of his problems.

10   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 10, 4:40am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Travis Bickle says

There is always app inventor:

http://experimental.appinventor.mit.edu/learn/setup/

One of these days, i'm gonna get - organiz-ized !

Wow, that's pretty cool. My wife has an Android phone so I will have to try it.

11   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 10, 3:39pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

@Patrick

Article about blogs that were sold for millions. Maybe that could be a monetization strategy for patrick.net. I'm sure the NAR would pay a million for you to stop blogging. That would be chump change for them.

http://techflesh.com/top-10-blogs-that-were-sold-for-millions/

12   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 11, 1:47am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

I'd like to think I'd refuse millions from the NAR, but it would be an interesting test.

It would feel much better to sell it to some organization that is not so evil, maybe Zillow.

I wonder how you market your blog as being for sale?

13   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 11, 11:15am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        


I wonder how you market your blog as being for sale?

My understanding is that you get as many readers as possible, and then the buyers come to you.

14   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 12, 2:32am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Yes, I think you're right.

So how to get more readers? I assume the main way is for people to email Patrick.net links to their friends. I've been trying to encourage that with the "share" box below each thread for logged-in user, but very few people have used it so far. Not sure why.

15   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 12, 5:39am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        


but very few people have used it so far. Not sure why.

My guess, and it's only a guess, is that most users who are active (posting, responding, etc.) prefer to be anonymous and therefore don't send URLs to friends regarding forums where they discuss politics and such.

The casual reader, who probably isn't logged in or registered, is probably a future house buyer waiting for prices to drop. But that reader might be the only person he knows who's in that situation and doesn't have a reason to mail links regarding the housing bubble. Current owners still don't like to admit the bubble existed.

Perhaps a better way to expand readership would be to leverage StumbledUpon, Digg, Twitter, and Facebook.

16   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 12, 6:07am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

That's a good insight. Yes, active forum users might prefer to be anonymous.

I could make the email sender anonymous (it would just be p@patrick.net), but then the recipient might think I'm just spamming them. The known sender email is what proves it isn't spam.

StumbleUpon, Digg, Twitter, and Facebook are all pretty much like what I want the Open House Reviews itself to be. So it feels somehow counterproductive to post on those sites. Though I see that Digg itself includes Twitter and Facebook links.

I guess those social media sites have the advantage that when you just "like" something on them, it's not taking any attention from your friends directly, so it's not using up much social capital. Email, OTOH, is a direct request for your friend's time, so it's a bigger social investment. It's a risk that your friend will be annoyed.

I was just thinking about Facebook's purchase of the Instagram photo sharing site and see now that Instagram has good viral characteristics in that your friends almost certainly do want to see photos that contain themselves, so they will never blame you for taking up their time with a shared photo that they are in.

How can I apply that to property? Everyone lives somewhere, so everyone has a local interest in properties near themselves. But how to connect people with the reviews that are local to them?

17   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 12, 2:52pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        


Everyone lives somewhere, so everyone has a local interest in properties near themselves. But how to connect people with the reviews that are local to them?

You could use an RSS feed that takes a zip code or address parameter. The RSS feed would send messages about new properties for sale in that area. The RSS feed could also take parameters for limiting the search to price range, sq. footage, price per sq. foot, property type, etc.

Basically, take the grunt work of checking zillow every week out of the search and get faster results, as soon as a property goes on sale.

18   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 13, 2:18am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

That's a good idea.

So I'd make an RSS feed that would show them some property that match their parameters, but also ask them for a review of the property. And show them local reviews.

19   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 17, 3:46am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Thanks for the suggestions!

I am planning to incorporate FBI and census stats to I can easily display crime and school stats for any zip code. Haven't managed to do it yet though.

Does affordability mean low price relative to local wages? Or just low prices in an absolute sense?

In either case, affordability is invariably best where safety is worst. I can see that clearly in my own statistics. So in general you can have affordability OR safety, but not both. An exception might be very rural areas, where both safety and affordability are good, because there are very few other people around.

20   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 17, 4:40am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        


Does affordability mean low price relative to local wages? Or just low prices in an absolute sense?

When I search for houses for sale, I want to be able to filter and sort by both absolute price and price per sq.ft.

Since I'm searching in a specific area, cost of living doesn't vary much.


An exception might be very rural areas, where both safety and affordability are good, because there are very few other people around.

Yeah, people suck. They drive up the cost of everything and increase crime.

I'd move to Antarctica if it weren't so damn cold, but then again, so would a billion other people.

21   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 17, 5:02am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Maybe if global warming really gets going, then Antarctica will become more hospitable. Anyway, it's already quite a bit nicer than Mars. More oxygen, more water.

You can sort my collection of Craigslist forsale listings by price by clicking on the Price header:

http://patrick.net/housing/forsale.php?ob=price&d=asc

I can't do price per square foot because I don't usually collect it. Say, I should do that. I think most Craigslist ads have ppsqft.

22   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 17, 5:34am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        


Maybe if global warming really gets going, then Antarctica will become more hospitable.

If Antarctica become more hospitable then all of Florida and NYC will be underwater. Antarctica holds a vast reservoir of land-locked frozen water. If that melts, it will flow into the ocean and drastically raise the sea level.

When you live in Florida, that's the scariest thing about climate change, especially if you are thinking about buying a house. You know the house insurance industry isn't going to pay out for flooding caused by ocean intrusion. They couldn't even if they wanted to.

What will probably happen is that over a short-period of time, things will go from "global warming isn't real" to "the east coast is going to be underwater in 10 years and there's nothing we can do about it". Once that happens, insurance companies will add loopholes in their contracts that eliminate liability for global warming caused disasters.

I suspect that should that happen, Florida land will go from $500,000 per acre to $1000 per acre real fast.


Anyway, it's already quite a bit nicer than Mars.

Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact it's cold as hell, and there's no one there to raise them if you did.


I can't do price per square foot because I don't usually collect it. Say, I should do that. I think most Craigslist ads have ppsqft.

Can't you get the square feet from the local property appraisal site? That's what I unusually do. You could write a bot or a scrapper to extract that info from various sites. The downsize is that you'd have to make adjustments for every county, so it's probably only worth doing for popular areas like LA and NYC.

23   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 17, 6:28am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Dan8267 says

Can't you get the square feet from the local property appraisal site?

Maybe from the county, but all the for-profit real estate sites except Craigslist are very hostile to being scraped. I talked to a lawyer about this years ago, and they assured me that I would definitely be sued if I tried to scrape, say, realtor.com. Terms of use and robots.txt both forbid it.

24   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 17, 6:37am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        


all the for-profit real estate sites except Craigslist are very hostile to being scraped.

Since when has Craigslist made a profit? Or even tried?


I talked to a lawyer about this years ago, and they assured me that I would definitely be sued if I tried to scrape, say, realtor.com.

I think that only applied if you get caught! I don't know the legal stuff, but I know that a hell of a lot of companies scrape websites especially Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and they don't respect robots.txt file. Just think about all the blatant copies of the same text you find in Google searches.

Now I'm not advocating scrapping a site whose terms of use forbids it, but it definitely happens a lot. Also, I don't think spiders can agree to terms of service, so it's not breach of contract. And then there's Google cache. What happens if you just copy data from Google's cache?

That's why I'm glad I'm a developer and not a lawyer. Seems like law is about about political connections and who has the most money to spend.

Still, at least you are safe with county property sites. Government sites can't prevent scrapping since the Freedom of Information Act guarantees your right copy the documents. That much I do know.

25   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 17, 6:58am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

I've heard that Craigslist does make a fair amount of money off of its job boards. Maybe they would mind if someone scraped those.

I know there's a whole lot of scraping going on, but I'm a bit paranoid about realtors trying to shut down my site. I know some of them hate me, and I already got a threat from the NAR that I could not use "What your realtor won't tell you" as my tag line.

The problem with county sites is that there are 3,143 counties, and all their websites are unique.

26   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 17, 10:29am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Zlxr says

Patrick, I'm assuming you are able to figure out going rent rates for areas.

I guess instead of just affordable (since affordable means different things to different people) - you could have a questionaire where people could put in the low and the high of what they can afford to spend and you could list the areas they might want to search.

Yes! I do have a lot of data about going rental rates.

I could create just the sort of thing you mention, where people put in the low and high of rent and it gives them areas to look in, and maybe even specific rentals.

I like the idea of breaking up monster houses into shares. Might be a good compromise between being alone and having too many people around. I suspect the limiting factor will be bathrooms. Most people really want to have their own bathroom.

27   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 17, 5:18pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        


I've heard that Craigslist does make a fair amount of money off of its job boards.

Did not know that. I thought the founder, Craig, wasn't even trying to make money off the site. He turned down so many offers to buy the site because he was more interested in performing the service to the community. But that was many years ago during the .com bubble.


The problem with county sites is that there are 3,143 counties, and all their websites are unique.

Yes, that is a problem. Which is what makes it a great opportunity. It's a barrier to entry. If a person did collect all the information from every county, then that person would have a unique data set that was more useful than the publicly traded data out there.

Pretty much, something has to be hard to be worth doing because if it was easy, many other people would be doing it already or soon after you did it.

There's an old adage that applies. Industry pays for increased value.

Still, there may be an easier way than scaping to get the data. You could fill out 3,143 Freedom of Information requests asking for a complete copy of their database as it is. Since the requests are all the same except for a few fields (address, name of county, etc.), you could automate a lot of that.

Then you either postal mail or email the request depending on which is available. Obviously email is cheaper and easier. Ideally, they would give you a URL where you could download an archive rather than shipping you a disk or flash drive and requiring that you pay the cost of that. Downloads should be essentially free and their database isn't necessarily that large. A few GBs could hold a lot of data on properties. I've done some ETL work in the past.

Speaking of ETL, that would be the final step. Unfortunately, you'd have to do it once per county. Updates would be easy, but you'd need to have a parser for each county anyway. Best case scenario, the parser's a simply XML file that maps fields and maybe defines some record splitting/merging or field manipulation. But doing anything 3,143 is a pain in the butt.

There are ways in which you could automate the generation of the parsers based on the contents of the data files you get. A sophisticated algorithm could reg-ex pattern match and statistically analyze the data in each field to determine the field's meaning and thus where to map it. So if your willing to invest time in developing that software, you could greatly reduce the number of parsers you'd have to write yourself to just a few to get started.

28   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 18, 9:27am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Dan8267 says

Pretty much, something has to be hard to be worth doing because if it was easy, many other people would be doing it already or soon after you did it.

Very true. Though hard may just mean being in the right place at the right time. The Million Dollar Home Page was not technically hard, but it was hard to think of, and once it was done, it became impossible to make the idea new again. So really only the first guy could do it.

Dan8267 says

Still, there may be an easier way than scaping to get the data. You could fill out 3,143 Freedom of Information requests asking for a complete copy of their database as it is.

They may have to give me the information, but they can also charge. San Mateo County wanted $50 for a CD of fairly recent transfer tax data, from which you can figure out sales. Multiply by 3,143 counties.

It would definitely be a competitive advantage to have all that data though. Some corporation must be doing this. I think some place named Ameridata used to have it all.

ArtimusMaxtor says

Ok Pat here goes. Movie reviews. I suggest another forum or category let people put the movie up and review. It's Calfornia guy and its fascinating to us outsiders. Nothing fancy. Something like That. Just a category for movies. Here I'll start it what do you think of ............... Titanic?

I'm afraid that each new forum cannibalizes attention from the other forums. I already worry that I have too many and it's distracting from my "don't overpay for a house" message. Also, how do you make money from a movie review forum? I guess by advertising movies! So I bet that idea would work standalone, but it's kind of off topic for a real estate blog.

In fact, I realize it's a good enough idea that there is already a successful site that does it well: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/

29   DaveM_Renter   ignore (1)   2012 Apr 18, 9:50am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Patrick, the estimated rents are just way too low when I tried to add a house. Why can't I edit the estimated rent myself? What is that based on? How come square footage is not even considered??

I was simply trying to enter the estimated rent based on the rates I'm paying myself... the values suggested by your tool were 30% and 50% below actual market rates for the two properties I tried to enter...

30   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 18, 10:56am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

You can change them in the calculator and recalculate, but that doesn't change the default estimated rent I put in when I first scrape the listing from Craigslist.

That default estimated rent is just the median of the 40 closest rents which have the same number of bedrooms. Doesn't take anything else into account.

Should I allow users to enter new listings on http://patrick.net/housing/forsale.php?

That would also give me some way of getting square footage, which I don't have any good way to get right now.

31   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 18, 10:47pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        


Multiply by 3,143 counties.

Perhaps the Department of Housing and Urban Development has a copy of property records. I'm not sure what kind of information they have, but it might be worth checking out.

The Foia.gov site is a portal to all Freedom of Information Act requests directed at the federal government. It has a page where you can make requests for records held by any federal agency including HUD.

32   ArtimusMaxtor   ignore (10)   2012 Apr 22, 6:07am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        


Also, how do you make money from a movie review forum? I guess by advertising movies! So I bet that idea would work standalone, but it's kind of off topic for a real estate blog.

Well I figure California. It's like a spin off Patrick.

33   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 22, 10:37am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

OK, I'll make a movie review forum and we'll see how it goes.

Done. It's right above the Miscellaneous forum. Please write a review!

34   curious2   ignore (1)   2016 Nov 21, 8:08pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

If the search function allowed fields (e.g., thread title, hashtag, comment, user) and filters (e.g., date) that would help. Currently, it seems to combine title and OP text and hashtag, and then offers to switch to a comment search, both of which yield haystacks of results.

Also, if the "new post" function checked for "new" posts that include an already posted URL, or keyword (e.g. Hyperloop), that might help too. Tovbot tends to spew new posts without proofreading, e.g. two within six minutes today about the same article, and has posted more than a dozen different threads about Hyperloop, for example.

35   someone else   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 25, 1:10pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

@Ironman thanks, that does seem to be a real bug. I'll work on it now.

36   someone else   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 25, 1:40pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

ok @Ironman it should be fixed now.

the problem was that i decided to use the exact same tabs on home page, search, and user pages.

when i did that, i changed the home page to use a single sql statement with an $order_by for sorting by tab. but that single sql statement looked only at posts created in the last 7 days (post_date). the fix was to use post_modified instead of post_date for the special case of the "active" tab on the home page:

// for home page "active" tab alone, order by post_modified so that recently modified old posts pop to top of home page
// for other tabs, just look at posts created in last 7 days (with post_date)
$timecol = $order == 'active' ? 'post_modified' : 'post_date';
$posts_sql = "select SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS * from posts where $timecol > date_sub(now(), interval 7 day) and post_approved=1 $order_by limit $slimit";

37   HEY YOU   ignore (7)   2016 Nov 25, 1:51pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

HEY YOU moved into patnet. There goes website values!

38   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2016 Nov 25, 1:53pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

curious2 says

and then offers to switch to a comment search, both of which yield haystacks of results.

The number one rule of searches is to always AND terms, don't OR them. ORing is worthless. If a search for "Yankees" gives you too many hits to scroll through including civil war results, then the search for "New York Yankees" is even more worthless if the website ORs the terms. The entire purpose of adding more search words is to narrow down results, not expand them.

If you feel you must support ORing despite all reasoning, then do so explicitly with the OR keyword.

Quite frankly, I never use the PatNet search feature because of the ORing. I just use Google with the site option. For example, immense hirsute lesbian site:patrick.net. Google does a better job indexing your website than you will. And it's trivial to leverage Google inside your website.

39   smaulgld   ignore (1)   2016 Nov 25, 1:55pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Some idea, suggestions

To Get Users You used to send out emails once a week of curated stories. That probably drove decent traffic to the site. Maybe start that again

Monetization: having anchor advertisers would help sell the site as well as google adsense (which sounds like is gone as an option)

Small Design Change- keep current layout but perhaps have a bar that lists say the top 5-8 general topics, US Politics, real estate etc that opens and shows only those posts, let people subscribe to topics (see above)

Add share buttons

Add real estate widgets- home valuation etc.

Write another book! I bought the first one

40   someone else   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 25, 2:08pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

@anonymous

No I don't think it's resolved, but I can't test because I don't have a Windows computer to work on, only Mac and Linux.

If you know any Javascript, you could just "view source" and also view the browser's Javascript console try to figure it out.

Sadly, Turtledove was helping me by telling me about some error in the Javascript console on her browser on Windows, but now I can't ask her about it anymore.

Comments 1 - 40 of 60     Next »     Last »





The Housing Trap
You're being set up to spend your life paying off a debt you don't need to take on, for a house that costs far more than it should. The conspirators are all around you, smiling to lure you in, carefully choosing their words and watching your reactions as they push your buttons, anxiously waiting for the moment when you sign the papers that will trap you and guarantee their payoff. Don't be just another victim of the housing market. Use this book to defend your freedom and defeat their schemes. You can win the game, but first you have to learn how to play it.
115 pages, $12.50

Kindle version available


about   best comments   contact   one year ago   suggestions