I didn’t see this. It was described to me by David Gibbons, at that time Zillow.com’s social media wizard. It was coming on 13 years ago, and the race pirates behind the Community Reinvestment Act had just selected Zillow to be their next victim. Sweet, nerdy kids who just wanted to upend the real estate world were being called the worst kind of racists. David told me people were crying at their workstations, taking comfort from posts I had written – instantly and in vast bulk – about the craven shakedown.
Great news: They didn’t pay. They stood up for themselves and the race pirates went away.
Later, the State of Arizona came for its pound of Zillow: The state claimed that Big Z’s silly toy Automated-Valuation-Method was in fact an appraisal (obviously not so) and therefore was in violation of Arizona’s rent-seeking appraisal laws (also not so; licensing laws are about compensated performance, and a Zestimate is both useless and worth every penny you don’t pay for it). That battle went on a long time, but reason and Zillow prevailed in the end.
Those two clips of longer posts from long campaigns of posts give you the bombastic flavor of my contributions to BloodhoundBlog, I expect. Zillow was with us in a frenemies kind of way in those years, sponsoring BloodhoundBlog Unchained when Brian Brady and I put it on in Phoenix and in Orlando, with David and other Zillovians around in the weblog’s comments.
I have more-recent history with Zillow, and I’ll be taking that up Tuesday, but first I wanted to revisit my past with them – when BloodhoundBlog fought for them, twice, when no one would.