He didn’t. It’s an abbreviated version of a Web page posted last month by Mid-Florida Regional Multiple Listing service. Here's the evidence -- but the crime goes beyond the mere copying of words.
MFRMLS: More than 80% of homebuyers start their home search online.And so on. You get the idea. But there's more going on here than garden variety plagiarism.
Lingley: More than 80 percent of homebuyers start their home search online.
MFRMLS: Increasingly, 3rd party services are taking over the top search engine spots for the most relevant search terms.
Lingley: Increasingly, third-party services are taking over the top search engine spots for the most relevant search terms.
MFRMLS: Realtors who wish to take advantage of 3rd party services such as Yahoo Real Estate, Cyberhomes, Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow often find it can get very expensive.
Lingley: Realtors who wish to take advantage of 3rd party services such as Yahoo Real Estate, Cyberhomes, Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow often find it can get very expensive.
A local real estate agent – president of his professional group, no less – appropriates a chunk of promotional literature without disclosing its source or origin to readers. The verbiage surely has been freely offered up by the nice MLS folks. After all, the words promote their services and members, Lingley’s little column gets out the MLS message, and the nicely placed spot doesn’t cost the organization a dime in advertising. It is pure agenda disguised as news.
Is it plagiarism? Technically, yes. Lingley presents the work of others as his own. But the sin is more venial than word theft. Lingley and the Gondolier “editors” (I’ll be generous, here), have hidden the origin and purpose of the information. Sure, it’s a “column” and free to be as biased as it wants. The trouble is, no one is telling readers the bias cloaks an MLS marketing agenda.
What Lingley omits from his carefully snipped column are the parts that go like this:
MyFloridaHomesMLS.com is not nearly as powerful as MLXchange. Consumers have access to only a handful of the search criteria available in MLXchange, which means as a REALTOR® you have the power to deliver much more highly-targeted results to your clients than the consumer website can. MyFloridaHomesMLS.com is really meant to be a first stop for homebuyers, a place where they can get a feel for what they want and establish a relationship with a REALTOR®. Once that relationship is established, they are most likely to begin relying on your expertise, on your IDX website, and on the custom agent web page that you provideThe Gondolier has been covering recent controveries surrounding government in the sunshine in Our Little Town. Old Word Wolf suggests editors examine the concept of journalism in the sunshine and spike these thinly veiled ads.