Extending The Concept Of Distribution “Hubs And Spokes” To Include Value Measurements

October 20, 2007

Thinking About A Hub and Spoke Model

Pat Kitano captured the idea of distribution of content with Web 2.0 re.net sites (or perhaps even web 3.0)  far more eloquently than we have been able to with a model of “hubs and spokes”.  He outlines his thinking in an excellent recent article about redefining a social networking community via hubs and spokes. Pat states for instance:

Social networking connects the real estate pro to far more diverse communities (hubs) via relationships that extend beyond their physical sphere (spokes). ” and goes on to add, “A Realtor can be exposed to a big subset of the community through her high school son’s Facebook account… and connections made this way are credible. In theory, more close connections are made more efficiently and quickly through social networking.” 

Why “Consent” and “Likelihood” Apply To Hubs And Spokes

The idea of extending value by leveraging hubs and spokes outside of one’s control applies beyond social networking as well.  Pat’s article served as the basis for an extension of the Pat’s hub and spoke concept: Hubs and Spokes do not have equal value. The value of any given hub increases with consent of that hub for use of its spokes and the likelihood of the spokes to either act or cause others to act on the message.  To continue to use Pat’s example: the value of a REALTOR’s son’s facebook account depends on 1) the consent  of the son (or daughter) to deliver the message and 2) the likelihood of the son’s friend to either act on or retransmit that message to someone that can act upon it.

Extending The Conceptual Model To Include Simple Value Measurements

Let’s dig into an example using real estate video that will let me not only further demonstrate my reasoning but also at the same time frame one of the hidden achilles heels of “cut and paste” video solutions to sell properties.  Anytime that a property video is pasted into any given website page, one of three results will occur:

– Best case (cat 1): A high number of visitors will watch the video and that number will include a reasonable mix of prospective buyers. For this example we will more than 3000 as our bar for views. 

– Medium case (cat 2): One of two results can form the medium case. Either a large number of visitors watch the video but the mix of prospective buyers is low or a low number of visitors watch the video (1000-2000) but the mix of prospective buyers is exceptionally high

– Worst case (cat 3): Less than 1000 visitors watch the video (leaving the seller’s cost per view ratio too high to be worthwhile)

The Cut And Paste Property Video Problem Framed In Terms Of Hubs And Spokes

Each of us has a different set of contacts (hubs).  If we frame our hubs by the amount and mix of prospective buyers on their websites (spokes), then we are statistically very likely to have  friends with websites that will bring less than 1000 videos to a property video (hubs shown in red in the figure) and the percentages drops from there as far as having contacts close enough to allow posting of a property video on their website (consent) that can bring both many video views and a high mix of prospective buyers (likelihood for a sale – shown in green in the figure but with a dashed line that represents the lower chances for most people of actually having such a contact).  Mostly, people seem to rely on either the traffic to the site that provides the player (generally pretty poor…really look at the numbers for property videos on any of them and they are dismal) or the video views from uploading to other general video sites.

In short, some sellers/agents have our own powerful hubs, many sellers and agents have to rely on the hosting service, and then very few will gain the consent required to leverage external hubs that have high traffic and a good mix of prospective buyers to get a high likelihood of results.  The success of your property marketing campaign lies almost entirely on the strength of your own contacts – consistent results can hardly be expected with such an approach.

Systematic Distribution of Videos Framed Using The Hub And Spoke Model

Systematic distribution involves a secondary process of contractually gaining consent for a well defined set of content to distribute. Only high quality and/or beneficial hubs are identified for participation in the process (no low traffic portals or those with low mixes of prospective buyers regardless of traffic – hence no red systematic distribution in the figure) . These selected hubs define a set of criteria for content that is of particular interest to their user base. Acceptance is then contractually captured in an agreement to distribute video content that meets the agreed criteria and will likely be granted acceptance by the user base for the portal. All videos will meet at least some criteria for distribution so there are no dotted lines for the real estate portals in the system distribution example above.  The hosting site is our own which has solid video view results and therefore is green.  The approach brings results even if the seller/agent decides to not post a single video elsewhere.

Of course, the seller/agent will be free to continue to leverage whatever personal contacts they have to gain distribution via cut and paste in addition to the systematic approach described above.


All hubs and spokes are not created equally. Together they have a value measured by the consent of the hubs to pass on messages (or content or videos or whatever) and the likelihood that the spokes will deliver such content or messages  with a resulting positive result or outcome.  This conceptual constructual isnt limited to video or blog content – it’s just as true in online social networking as it is in real life. 



  1. Great extension Tony… the consent and follow up distribution feature you’re
    discussing is the definition of viral marketing. Chart 2 shows you are building
    the syndication network required to “trade” video content for leads… I discuss
    this new marketing paradigm in
    Generation Paradigm Shift
    . We’re running in parallel as we’ve been
    developing “syndication networks” we’re calling
    blog networks
    that will begin to create value for blog content, including

    Here’s a
    from Lola Audu, an Active Rain blogging agent
    who has figured out our ideas
    (substitute “ideas” for “video”):

    If Pat is right…and I think he is, this paradigm shift will yield a blogger
    increasingly expanding returns through the interconnectivity of relationships
    realigning potential leads back to source authors in exchange for the
    attraction power of their ideas. Those who have already started to build
    this database by blogging are literally investing currency in the
    bank of ideas.  Are you Building a Deposit which you can withdraw from
    tomorrow to fund your future by writing posts that consumers will WANT to

  2. Pat: funny that I started to write a response and it is rapidly turning into its own separate blog post. I’ll post it soon.


  3. […] For Sale By Locals: A New Real Estate Approach Online Real Estate Services With A Difference « Extending The Concept Of “Distribution Hubs And Spokes” To Include Value Measurements Social Networks Vs Content Distribution Networks: Using Ideas and Content As Currency October 21st, 2007 (Note this post was formed from a initial response to Pat Kitano to his comment in my previous blog post)   […]

  4. […] not only specific criteria can be applied to raise the mix of interested visitors but also can be regularly consumed without having to visit the source hub. This filtering ability on the first order hub distributes the impact of volume through use of […]

  5. […] group of repeat visitors be considered bad as well? We think so. Let’s go back to the hubs and spokes networking model for a second and think in terms of quality of those hubs.  A quality first level hub in a content […]

  6. Property for sale in almeria – Buy, sell, rent or advertise Villas for sale in almeria including flats, houses, apartments and other Property in almeria.

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