03/17/10 3:26pm

THE HOUSTON PRESS SEZ SOME NICE THINGS ABOUT US Swamplot makes a cameo appearance in a feature about Houston blogs published this week, subtitled “Ten Local Sites That Rock Our World,” by Cathy Matusow: “Swamplot has been lovingly tapping into Houston’s ridiculousness since 2007.Thanks — and thanks to all you tipsters who’ve been doing so much of the tapping! [Houston Press]

04/07/09 11:19am

How many people read Swamplot? Some of you might be interested in taking a peek at this site’s latest stats:

Last month’s traffic was this site’s highest ever. In March, Swamplot received more than 153,000 page views, from more than 34,000 absolute unique visitors.

That’s pretty good for a local real-estate blog, and it’s encouraging that Swamplot’s readership has continued to growing steadily each month. As many of you know, Swamplot readers are actively involved in Houston-area real estate, design, construction, and neighborhood life. What do Houston homebuyers, architects, engineers, interior designers, neighborhood activists, real-estate agents and investors have in common? Well yes, some of them may be looking for work soon — but more to the point: they all read Swamplot.

Obviously, though, much greater numbers of people out there in the Houston area might appreciate reading and participating in this site — if they were aware of it. You probably know people who are interested in the same subjects Swamplot covers, but aren’t familiar with the site. Maybe they’ve come across a Swamplot story or two, but aren’t aware of this site’s daily coverage, or the interesting conversations that take place every day in our comments. Or maybe they just plain never heard of Swamplot.

Can you help spread the word?

Sure, Swamplot wants to grow. But what’s in it for you? The same thing, really: More readers means the site will get more and better comments and tips, which means we’ll all hear more stories faster, and from more informed sources. Having more readers will help this site draw sponsors and advertisers, which will help fund site improvements and expanded coverage of the topics you want to hear about.

Wanna help? Mention Swamplot to friends and professional contacts. Tweets, Facebook comments, and emailed links all help a lot, but many of the people we’d love to reach aren’t quite in that circle yet. Can you bring up Swamplot in conversation at work, at open houses, in meetings, at parties, or at neighborhood gatherings?

If you like this site, we hope you’ll tell a lot of people about it. If you don’t like it, please tell us about it — but we hope you’ll complain about it loudly to others too.

02/18/09 2:37pm

As many of you know, the winner of Swamplot’s weekly Neighborhood Guessing Game now wins . . . an actual prize. By special arrangement with the Rice Design Alliance, a couple of one-year individual RDA memberships have already been awarded to game winners. After this week, there’ll be 2 more memberships to give away.

Which leaves a fantastic opportunity for certain local enterprises. If you run a small business that would appreciate attention from Swamplot’s audience, why not sponsor an award? It could be a great way to get the name of your establishment in front of the crowds of Houston real estate obsessives who carefully analyze all those Swamplot pixels each week. If you run a local organization, why not publicize it here by offering a membership? And if you’re just a self-promoter without an obvious bauble to dispense, drop us a line — we’ve got lots of . . . uh, prize-winning ideas.

If you know of any companies or organizations that might be interested in sponsoring any of our Neighborhood Guessing Games, have them contact Swamplot at the address shown on this page — which also conveniently points to detailed information about advertising on this site.

09/25/08 2:43pm

NOW FEATURING GREED, NAKED The Houston Press, awarding this site the Best Place To Read About Naked Greed: “What we’ve been lacking until recently is coverage of this industry with the sort of intelligence, snark and panache that Swamplot.com brings to the table. Whether rattling off the latest wrecking-ball casualties in their Daily Demolition Report, leaking renderings of upcoming projects for the ridicule or acclaim of the city’s architecture buffs or posting photos of random interiors and having readers guess the home’s locale, Swamplot covers Houston real estate with consummate humor and a wicked sense of fun.” Other “best of” winners: the Tien Tao Temple and last year’s demolition of the Crowne Plaza hotel. [Houston Press]

03/07/08 10:22am

You may have noticed a few new features on Swamplot recently. It’s now easier to browse our site archives — by neighborhood, zip code, or article category. Directly below the search box in the far left column of this website there are now three separate dropdown menus that can help you do this. Pick an item from one of them and see where it takes you!

In general, selecting an item from one of the menus will give you more tailored results than you’ll get from typing the same term into the search box. For example, if you’re searching for stories about a particular zip code, the zip code menu will bring you all posts that have been “tagged” with a particular zip. Using the search box will bring you all posts that mention the zip code at all. This means that search results for a zip code will also include mentions of the code in our Daily Demolition Reports.

You can still browse through our archives topically by clicking on one of the tags listed at the end of any story (after the words “Read more about:”).

It’s now also much easier to share items you’ve found on this site with friends — through email, text messaging, instant messaging, or social-bookmarking sites. You’ll notice at the bottom of every post there’s now a “ShareThis” link and icon. Click on it, and you’ll be able to send friends a link to the article you’re reading . . . without even leaving the page.

If you click on the “Social Web” tab, you’ll find buttons that make it easy to post items you’ve found on Swamplot to your Facebook or MySpace page, or to submit them to digg, del.icio.us, reddit, NewsVine, StumbleUpon, or a few other social bookmarking sites.

The simplest way to send a friend a story from Swamplot, of course, is through email. And now doing that is even easier than cutting and pasting a web address into your email program. All it takes is two clicks and a little typing: Click on the ShareThis link at the bottom of the story you want to send, enter your friend’s email address and your own, add a short message if you like, and click the Share button. Try it!

02/20/08 1:55pm

If you arrived at this site by following a link from the Houston Chronicle, welcome to Swamplot! If you’ve been following Swamplot but didn’t find us through the Chronicle Real Estate page, here’s a rather late announcement that’s still worth noting:

As many of our super-sharp readers have probably noticed by now, Swamplot has a cooperative marketing arrangement with the Chronicle’s online Real Estate section. The Chronicle features the latest Swamplot headlines on its Real Estate page (you’ll have to scroll down and look in the center column to find them), and occasionally links to individual Swamplot stories — closer to the top of their page. Over here at Swamplot, there’s a square tile running in our middle column that links to the Chronicle’s online Real Estate section.

This arrangement has worked out well, because it provides our readers easy access to another source of information on Houston Real Estate, and because it continues to bring Swamplot a steady stream of new visitors. But we want to make it clear to newcomers here what the rest of you probably already know: Swamplot is not affiliated with the Houston Chronicle. We aren’t responsible for anything that’s written over there. And they have no control over what goes on here.

What does go on here is daily coverage of Houston real estate, neighborhoods, home design, architecture, and landscape — with a difference: Swamplot gets its news from you. If you’ve just found us, we hope you’ll check the site regularly or subscribe to our RSS feed. If you have some news to report, let us know.

Swamplot has been online now for exactly five months, and our readership has been growing at a remarkable pace. Having more readers is great — because the more readers we have, the better tips we get.

And here’s how you can help: Do you know people who love Houston real estate and would enjoy reading this site? Send out a quick email and let them know about Swamplot. It shouldn’t take much time. And if enough of us do this, eventually it will make a big difference — in the quality and frequency of the tips we all want to hear about.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out a few changes to the site that should help make it more interactive, informative, and interesting. There’s a lot going on in Houston’s real-estate landscape. Stay tuned.

07/11/07 12:48pm

Answers to a few questions about Swamplot:

How can I find information about my neighborhood on Swamplot?
Try typing your zip code in the search box, which is located near the top of each webpage, in the second column from the left. Swamplot posts about specific locations are tagged by zip code.

Where do you get your news?
Links to sources for Swamplot stories are listed at the bottom of each post. Swamplot also posts stories based on tips from readers. Swamplot Daily Demolition Reports are culled from public information provided by the City of Houston Code Enforcement Group.

How can I email a story I found on Swamplot to a friend?
At the bottom of every story you’ll see a link labeled “Email,” next to an envelope icon. Click it and follow the instructions.

Why hasn’t Swamplot covered the new Blah-Blah-Blah on Whatsit Street?
Maybe Swamplot doesn’t know about it. Send us a tip and tell us what you know about it.

Can I advertise my real-estate company/mortgage brokerage/home furnishings store/website/gizmo on Swamplot?
Most likely, yes. See our page about advertising on Swamplot.

Why is a website about Houston real estate called “Swamplot”?
We hope you’ll be able to visit this city one day soon.

06/20/07 8:29am

If you are interested in Houston real estate, buy Houston real estate, sell Houston real estate, invest in Houston real estate, dream about Houston real estate, or simply live in Houston real estate, you’ve just found a great resource. You’ll find informative and entertaining stories about Houston real estate here at Swamplot.

Swamplot dredges up and spills out news, leads, and information about Houston homes and commercial property for sale, home design, home renovation, mortgages and financing, property insurance, architecture, landscape, and Houston neighborhoods. Swamplot covers the entire Houston real-estate pyramid, from the con men who founded this city to the newcomers you’re hoping will buy your home for far more than it’s worth.

Swamplot is updated regularly, so we suggest you check it often. If you’d prefer to read Swamplot without having to navigate to a website, you can have Swamplot headlines and stories delivered directly to your email, or add a feed from Swamplot to your RSS reader (such as Google Reader, your Google or Yahoo homepage, Bloglines, or Netvibes).

Gus Allen
Founder and Chief Promoter