The first few pages of The Bob Dey Property Report scraped on to the internet just before Christmas 1999, with some blemishes, no reports but a page of links to other sites in the property industry.
It formed the basis of what was created in March 2000, a more professional-looking site intended to become required reading for anybody seriously interested in the property industry in Auckland, in the listed and syndicated property sectors, and in the economic environment for property investment.
I wasn’t happy with various aspects of the site, wanted to expand it and restructured on to 5 specialist sites in 2004. After about 3 years I returned to a single site, incorporating the names of the specialist ones. Much of that format remains on the new WordPress platform. The website has categories & sub-categories, but you can also search using tags or the search tab.
I began with a subscriber wall, but felt that barrier would hinder sensible development. I began to see my preference not to have advertising – initially because of my concern at how banner advertising was used to disrupt reading – was also going to hinder development of real neighbourhood pages.
So, that preference has given way to a desire to place relevant ads, prominently but not distractingly. It met with partial success. In the new 2013 format, I’ve retained brand ads on the right-hand side and introduced larger campaign spots on the left & the website banner. I’m moving to payment per impression, used by other media, which means I have to perform for the advertiser to pay.
In the new format, there is space to deal with resource consent & planning issues which newspapers generally miss, or visit for a day before moving on. Magazines visit once, often without enough expertise. I want to bring ideas to you, for you to add meaningfully and for ideas to be worked on so they achieve something. Good ideas should be brought to life, not just be seen for a moment then put back in the jar.
The website has something like 20,000 pages – a resource you can gauge from a visit to the top menu bar, but also one I’d like you to contribute to through comments & opinion pieces.
The whole website is an internet publication which I produce through my private company, Bob Dey Publishing Ltd. None of it is an adapted web version of a paper news publication.