Weekly Roundup

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Our favorite recent articles ranged from market updates to monopolies. • TechCrunch talks about a different kind of Google Monopoly, and it may surprise you:

"Increasingly these days you hear the words 'Google' and 'monopoly' in the same sentence. There is no shortage of fears that the search giant is getting too powerful in the search and online advertising space. But today, the two words are being joined for an entirely different reason: The board game Monopoly is about to launch an online version with Google Maps."

• Higher ed enters the cheap real estate race in Manhattan (via New York Times):

"The names of two higher educational institutions have blossomed recently on the marquees of some old Manhattan movie theaters. This development suggests that at least some professional schools are being pressured to expand, rather than contract, because of the recession."

• According to NAR, 31% of houses sold in Q1 were distressed properties (via Washington Post blog):

"The August sales figures were helped by the low mortgage interest rates and the $8,000 first-time home buyer credit, which expires at the end of November. First-timers made up 30 percent of all August sales."

• Three years of data analytics labor finally came to light as Netflix announced a winner to their $1M movie recommendations improvement contest (via New York Times):

"Indeed, since it began in October 2006, the Netflix contest was significant less for the prize money than as a test case for new ideas about how to efficiently foster innovation in the Internet era — notably, offering prizes as an incentive and encouraging online collaboration to tap minds worldwide. The lessons of the Netflix contest could extend well beyond improving movie picks. The researchers from around the world were grappling with a huge data set — 100 million movie ratings — and the challenges of large-scale modeling, which can be applied across the fields of science, commerce and politics."

• 1000watt blog dives into the problems with real estate advertising:

"Does consumer-facing brand advertising – print or online – work in real estate? Rarely, I think. But I don’t put the blame on the medium; I put it on the messengers.  Think about it: How many truly great real estate brand ads have you seen? Ads that provoke, inspire, connect with you in a way that matters? Corcoran did it. Better Homes and Gardens does it. In my market, Alan Pinel has come close. But these are exceptions."

Image Credit: Jon S on Flickr.com