Well, its August 1, 2006 and its been a year to the day (technically not until 9:37pm, but who says there is that sort of precision in blogging) since I made my first post “Appraising the appraisers” on National Public Radio on Matrix.

A few months prior to the first post, I had given serious thought to starting a weekly podcast to be able to express my views on real estate, a topic I am very passionate about, in an objective sort of way. While I was very excited about the new podcast medium (still am), I wasn’t sure if it would allow me the outlet I was looking for. I saw that many podcasts were delivered at that time through blogs and then it clicked…a blog! Why not 2 blogs?

I dubbed one blog Soapbox, which would cover appraisal specific topics (hey, I’m an appraiser). The name Soapbox was a title of a section I was planning to build on my web site MillerSamuel.com to address the issues facing appraisers of the day. Simply standing on a soapbox seemed necessary to make appraisers heard. On July 18, 2005 (more than a year ago) I made my first post on my other blog Soapbox called The beginning of the end, or how this mess got started. I dove right in and worked out the technology kinks and created some efficiencies to make it practical to run 2 blogs.

The other blog I dubbed Matrix which would cover the real estate economy. The name Matrix concerned itself with a definition at dictionary.com: A situation or surrounding substance within which something else originates, develops, or is contained. It seemed that real estate was that surrounding substance, plus the movie was pretty cool, even on the 10th viewing (just the first movie). Last month, Matrix was finalist in the 2006 Inman Innovator Award Finalist for a real estate blog, which was very gratifying, especially given the company of the other finalists.

I have learned a lot from the process and simply enjoy writing and getting feedback from readers as well as lurkers I run into as I do my job. Its like doing your homework on the issues of the day, so I am usually prepared to discuss the topics when at a speaking engagement. I love exporing topics and finding that angle that has not been explored before. I can’t stand blogs that simply copy news from media outlets and other blogs and provide no insight.

There are always plenty of topics to cover since the real estate market dynamic is always changing.

My family has accommodated me timewise – at first they didn’t get what was so exciting about it – my 7 year old son (I have 4 sons) would ask me “Dad, are you going to blog today?” I changed my schedule so I go to bed at a reasonable hour to be able to get up at 4:30am to write my posts. Since August 2005, I have only missed a few days and have written 772 posts on Matrix (excluding Soapbox). Somedays 5 posts, somedays 1.

Its been completely fun. More to come. Thanks for reading and sharing. Just remember one thing, if you call me for market feedback or insight, I am going to ask you if you read Matrix today. I am relentless about that. Just ask anyone who knows me. 😉


12 Responses to “Happy Birthday To Matrix”

  1. John Philip Mason says:

    Thanks for all your insights Jonathan and happy birthday Matrix.

  2. UrbanDigs says:

    Keep it up Jonathan! I’ll send a cake over to your office immediately!

  3. jf.sellsius says:

    Happy Birthday Matrix. We’ve charted your growth and are amazed at how big you’ve grown. It must be what Jonathan is feeding you. 🙂

  4. Lea says:

    Happy Birthdday! A great milestone!

  5. Joel Burslem says:

    Great work Jonathan. Your blog was one that inspired me to get into real estate blogging. Happy Birthday!

  6. Jim Duncan says:

    Happy Birthday! One of the few “must-reads” in my reader every day.

  7. James Bednar says:


    But more importantly, thank you.

    Very few understand the hard work, dedication, and persistence required to not only run a blog, but to turn it into a success. It’s often a thankless job, one whose payout is measured in hits and links.

    I’m sure everyone here appreciates the work that you do, and more importantly, appreciates your family for accomodating your blogging lifestyle.

    So congratulations on reaching what is a very significant milestone in blogging. I hope this is an event that is repeated for many years to come.

    Caveat Emptor! James (aka Grim)

  8. mapgirl says:

    Happy Birthday Matrix! I’m so glad I discovered your blog. Very interesting stuff.

  9. Todd Tarson says:

    Well done, Happy Birthday.

    Many more well wishes for more such birdthday celebrations. Excellent and interesting content.

  10. Cheryl says:

    Happy Birthday, Matrix! Love reading your blogs but remember, I don’t like watching you blog! ;o)

  11. Dan Green says:

    Happy birthday, Jonathan! Your blog has now been properly seasoned for a cash out remortgage.

  12. Ubertor says:

    Happy Birthday Matrix. Really enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work Jonathan. Steve