Cliff Peskin
Nov 5, 2009

We are the real estate machine.

On January 31, 2007 Michael Lee Wesch posted a short home made clip on Youtube called “Web 2.0… The Machine is Us/ing Us.” To his astonishment it quickly became the most popular video in the blogosphere and was viewed over 10 million times. Wesch’s video is an insightful and remarkably well created presentation on how the Internet is evolving – all the more impressive as it was created almost three years ago.

In line with Lee’s video thesis, not only are we the machine but we are also the real estate machine. Every building and home on the planet is being rapidly photographed, filmed, described, indexed and placed online. This mind bogglingly massive and organizationally complex project is not being conducted by any one website or super corporation, it is being completed by you.

Every day people are uploading real estate listings onto the internet. Some of these people are real estate agents adding MLS listings, others are ordinary ‘civilians’ adding rental ads to Craigslist or editing wiki articles on, say, new developments. This information not only becomes instantaneously accessible around the world but it is also deciphered, organized, linked to and cataloged by intelligent search engines and listing aggregators such as Google.

The Canadian Real Estate Association is under assault by the Canadian Competition Bureau for keeping its listings under lock and key. Ultimately, it will lose its near monopoly over Canadian real estate listings. Why? Because the organizing, mapping and digitization of real estate is a globally distributed social project that we are all a part of. We are the real estate machine – and we will overcome any obstacle that stands in our way.

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