FlipperNation: The Future of Real Estate, The Future of Video?

By some fortuitous circumstance, I met these guys at FlipperNation:

FlipperNation is about 2 guys who are trying to make it rich by flipping houses. The episodes show their misadventures at flipping their first house and all the strange people they deal with around house flipping like other realtors and contractors. It’s really great stuff and I can’t wait for the next episode.

What was really interesting about my meeting with them was that it got me thinking about the state of video content today in the world of the Internet, interactivity, and declining TV viewership. As I wrote my first email to them, giving them some feedback on what could make their internet video show better, I thought about the ways that some video outfits were getting really creative at leveraging the Internet and interactivity to engage the viewership in ways that was not possible in the days before the Internet.

Passive TV consumption is waning. Users are getting more sophisticated and want something that involves and communicates with them rather than sitting there like drones and just receiving.

My first encounter with interactivity aligned with a TV show was way back around 1999 when “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” was the big thing, and they rigged this Internet game that played along live with the TV show itself. You could play against other players who also played along, and winning gave you points which could land you on the main leaderboard. It was incredibly well orchestrated, and it must have been a nightmare to manage as it needed to coordinate with the current live showing in 4 time zones.

Another example of using the Internet is with Sci-Fi Channel’s Battlestar Galactica where, between seasons, they shot a whole series of shorts that connected the last episode of the previous season with the new upcoming season, and showed them on their website. It was a way to inexpensively engage viewers while the new season was being prepared, but yet keep them interested and wanting more as the story line unfolded. Also on the website are podcasts, additional commentary, images, interviews with the stars – Sci-fi Channel did a great job of filling out the blanks for curious fans to consume, whereas in pre-Internet days this information was impossible to see.

FlipperNation already had employed some of these types of ideas. They have employed guerilla marketing such as getting on MySpace and each character has a page as well. Their website includes a whole bunch of content related to real estate and the art of flipping houses. They have an email address where you can submit your house to be on the next episode of FlipperNation. We brainstormed on many more ideas at our meeting yesterday, extending on the usage of the Internet, engaging the viewership and keeping them humorously hooked.

I think FlipperNation has legs. They are now looking to sign up with a studio and go big. I will be watching them and hope one day I can say, “I knew those guys when they were nobodys, and now they’re somebody!” That’s show biz!

  • Peter Borten

    Came across your blog and thought you might like to read an article I wrote. I noticed another commenter mentioned gua sha. I fully support your using whatever tools you can get your hands on.

    The Amazing New Technique … That’s Been Sweeping the World for the Past 2000+ Years

       Since at least several hundred years B.C., people in Greece, India,
    China, and elsewhere have used a technique of applying friction to the
    skin in order to resolve pain and treat deeper medical disorders. The
    Greeks called it “frictioning.” The Chinese call it Gua Sha.

      The technique involves using the hands, a piece of coarse cloth, or, more commonly, a ceramic spoon, a coin, a dull, thick blade, or the edge of a jar lid, to repeatedly stroke the skin until it becomes red. Virtually everyone in China (and much of the greater East Asia) knows basic Gua
    Sha, and parents routinely perform it on their children for colds and flus. Virtually every acupuncturist knows Gua Sha, too.

      Practitioners of Chinese medicine usually employ it to treat communicable diseases, conditions of internal toxicity, and to release tight tissues to alleviate pain and stiffness. Gua sha also has an extensive history of successfully treating cholera, a form of epidemic diarrhea. 

    Frictioning techniques were initially understood by the Greeks as counteracting an existing condition – shifting the body’s attention by
    causing irritation (called “counter-irritation”) or a healing crisis
    elsewhere in the body. The minor trauma the technique caused was thought to elicit a broader healing response by the body, which would
    frequently resolve whatever other issue a person was grappling with.  

    The Chinese understand the technique as releasing something (pathogenic factors, such cold, dampness, stagnant blood, and toxins) through the surface of the body, and invigorating local circulation. Gua means “to scrape or scratch.” Sha means a sickness or evil that is retained in the body and also its rash-like expression when Gua Sha is performed. That is, Gua Sha is the process of intentionally bringing Sha to the surface. Other terms, such as Pak Sha (“pak” means “to slap”) and Xian Sha (“xian” means “to pinch”), describe different ways of eliciting Sha.

      It has been said that, “Gua Sha is to an Asian family what chicken
    soup is to a family in the West.” Because this practice is so
    ubiquitous, and so humble, it’s especially absurd that opportunists in
    the West have reframed this method as some sort of brand new, cutting
    edge medical technique, dubbing it the Graston Technique and Astym
    (among other monikers). What’s more, I know people who have paid large sums to receive these techniques, under the impression that they are culmination of modern Western scientific research. 

      For instance, the Astym website features the question, “Can’t I just do this myself?” and the response: “You can only get the results ASTYM treatment delivers from a certified ASTYM therapist…. The ASTYM system’s outstanding results can not be achieved by picking up something you have at home and rubbing it along your skin. If this worked, there wouldn’t have been any need to spend years on the research and development process.” Millions of acupuncturists and Chinese lay people would beg to differ.

      Don’t get me wrong. I do think it’s worth paying a trained medical
    professional to help you deal with your pain. And while I’ve never received The Graston Technique or Astym from a professional, I wouldn’t be surprised if they work – because I know Gua Sha works. I have performed it on hundreds of my patients and I’ve taught workshops on it to dozens of practitioners who have then shared their success stories with me. My purpose is not to disparage these Western spin-offs, but to illuminate the true historical context and persistence of this technique. Medicines don’t stick around for over 2000 years if they
    don’t work!

    Be well,
    Dr. Peter Borten, LAc, DAOM

    Anyway, you may be interested to check out gua sha and shoni shin (a
    somewhat similar Japanese technique) tools. Gua sha tools usually don’t
    have as sharp an edge as Graston tools, but, from what I’ve heard,
    people experience Graston as pretty painful, whereas gua sha doesn’t
    need to be, and I believe it’s just as effective.

  • Teej999

    Has anyone thought of using the back edge of a hard plastic comb? I was wondering if it would offer similar benefits as the curved edges of the Graston instruents?

    • dshen

      In theory you could. However, I do not think most combs are durable enough to last through multiple scraping sessions. There are plastic tools that are made for scraping treatment though. People have used real tools like screwdrivers and the handle of a large crescent wrench.

  • Karlee

    This is an awesome article. I do EXACTLY this with my silverware and I too get Graston done at PT, but sometimes the knots can’t wait and they’re too painful! Thanks for confirming that this can be done correctly if done carefully, although a professional really is your best choice. 😉
    I’m gonna buy some Gua Sha tools and try them. So cool!

    • dshen

      Great! I’m glad we’re all coming out of the Graston closet! For some of the best tools, http://www.myo-bar.com are awesome. Try those!

  • Kat R

    I had ASTYM massage done to my right foot plantar fascia – and it worked amazing! I was doing smth similar before just not as rough. Shouldn’t feel sorry for myself and just go for it!

  • Ericka Norris

    I’m a potter. The tools we use called “ribs” are perfect for this, they are wood or silicone (do not use the metal ones u will cut yourself). They ribs come in many shapes and sizes they fit one’s hand to apply pressure to clay. I can get a good amount of pressure with out hand fatigue. And they are $2 to $5 .

    • dshen

      Nice! Traditional gua sha tools are made of bone. There are those who sell IASTM tools made out of plastic.