Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The “Best of the Blogs” – Really?

So, I knew, when I saw this title, that I had an “industry focus” (commercial real estate) newspaper section in my hands and I was thus not expecting blogs about teacups, South African safaris, kale farming, Norwegian fjords or peanut butter sandwiches.

But, come on now – this is what the top commercial real estate professionals in Atlanta blog about?

First of all, there is only one woman among the top 10. And her post is a promo for Publix supermarkets. No problem with Publix – I shop there all the time – but couldn’t it have been more topical (curbside shopping) and less commercial?

The bottom of the “top ten” – that very last number ten – had had the most page views (2,084, after its April 4, 2011 posting) and was the only one that interested me: “How Atlanta looks to the world”. But I immediately disagreed with a major premise: “Visionary leadership that has planned and prepared the area for growth” . . . Really? Any day now, when I look in the dictionary for a definition of “sprawl”, I expect to see “Atlanta” and little else.

Seriously, when I was more interested and involved in “international” than I am today, my global interlocutors who were weighing Atlanta as a site for their U.S. headquarters and ended up on the negative side uniformly cited two problems they saw: traffic and education. Traffic (read: “sprawl”), in the past two decades, has not improved. And education? Well, we now have that debacle in black and white also.

Anyone remember Atlanta’s plans for the Secretariat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)? Traffic and education killed that dream.

Getting back to blogs – if they don’t inform, entertain and engage, who needs them? Industry focus or not.

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