Online Community Activism with GetUp and Prosper

Don’t Buy Now! Prosper.org.auOpens in a new tab. has initiated a social media campaign to encourage house buyers to abstain from bidding at auctions due to bloated house prices in Australia

The Total Abstainer’s Pledge

It is economically irresponsible to expect young adults to commit to thirty years of heavy debt merely to get on to the first rung of home ownership. The current price of Australian real estate grossly overvalues land relative to take-home wages and salaries. Compounding this, Australia is in the grip of a housing Ponzi scheme, similar to that which has brought northern hemisphere economies to their knees. I undertake not to bid at auction or negotiate by private treaty to buy real estate until prices moderate, just as they have in all the countries we compare ourselves to.

It’s up on GetUp the activism social network.

social media campaign with Prosper

This activating of social networks is interesting – there is some poorly thought out attacks e.g. Buyer’s Strike Irresponsible.

Some commentators have described Prosper Australia’s Buyers Strike as “irresponsible” because it threatens to disrupt the orderly market in real estate.

which doesn’t actually link to or name the “some commentators”. Debate in the blogosphere is distributed – by not linking to the other side of the argument it comes across as fake, or a device to woo the reader unfairly. But, all up, a minor annoyance. Though I would like to know if the commentators actually exist, are influential in the real estate industry and/or represent an organisation or personal opinion.

Regulatory affairs will become redundant, unless they learn how to work with online communities. If you think of the hard work that Parent’s Jury does to evaluate food issues for kids, that Whirlpool.net.au does to look at phone and broadband plans and so on, regulatory affairs are being done by the community that evaluates then warns and penalises companies that do not meet the community’s ethical expectations. If there is no agency forcing real estate to rein in prices, the social network will become activated and take on that role themselves – and answer their own call to action.

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

9 thoughts on “Online Community Activism with GetUp and Prosper

  1. Mmmm I would say that a campaign like this has no chance of success… auctions work on scarity and when there are a few people bidding for a house the price stays low… BUT a desirable house only needs 2 bidders and the price will soar.

    And when just 2 people want something there is no stappoing them – no social campaign nothing…

    1. Is it possible that those who were thinking of buying will simply keep their deposit in the bank for a while – enough ppl do that, and the strike will work…?
      BTW your argument is always used against strikes 😛

  2. Tony Martin and Mick Molloy (Martin Molloy) had an amusing habit of attributing all unattributed quotes and survey results to The Ponds Institute. I think it’s a form of whimsy we should all embrace, especially on Twitter where quotes are frequently plucked from nowhere, unattributed, and (one supposes) completely made up.

  3. I bought a property last year and what a fabulous learning curve that was! Estate agents constantly offered me properties above my stated budget (“you really must see this one …”).
    My Credit Union strongly advised against buying at auction so I didn’t (the buyer has no bargaining power).
    That meant that I had to let one or two properties go but after months of looking I actually revised down my budget and ended up very happily with a much smaller mortgage than intended. My Credit Union advisor was a very steadying influence against the hype of the agents.

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