4 Comments

Summary:

Steve Outing has written a very interesting open letter to Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, on how the classifieds site can help ne…

Steve Outing has written a very interesting open letter to Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, on how the classifieds site can help newspapers survive…well, technically newspaper sites, and the focus being on saving journalism, not an outdated print model.

Among his ideas:
– Allow local newspapers to scrape Craigslist ads
– Allow consumers to place ads on Craigslist via newspaper websites
– Add links on Craigslist to newspaper website classified sections
– Add a news component to Craigslist

The first one is the easiest and practical (though Craigslist has blocked aggregation sites from scraping it before)…the last one is controversial, and others have wondered about its expansion into some form of social news for years now. Outing’s suggestion on the news part: “So how about letting the local newspapers in your served cities help with that?…I think that by combining the oversight of a newspaper

  1. Why should Craigslist even care about the problems at newspapers. If the Newspaper website want to become profitable they should invent their own, better classified sites (which despite Craigslist's ubiquity may not be hard to do considering it ain't perfect). Newspaper classified were a very profitable portion of their business but Google and eBay also portioned off the ad dollars from Newspapers. A consortium of newspapers can come up with a better Craogslist if they tried. The tools to disseminate information and advertising has never been easier and more relevant than today, why don't they get it?

    I continue this rant over at my blog b/c it goes into the music industry too.

    Share
  2. Lon, read the post before you start your comment by totally missing the point.

    The reason Outing wrote his open letter was because Craig says he cares. Craig has made seven figure donations to a J-school because he cares. Outing goes into great detail about exactly this point.

    All the rest of your points — worth considering. Hard to get past the first sentence tho.

    Share
  3. i agree with Dave.
    following ideas are just worthless;
    – Allow local newspapers to scrape Craigslist ads
    – Allow consumers to place ads on Craigslist via newspaper websites
    – Add links on Craigslist to newspaper website classified sections
    – Add a news component to Craigslist

    Share
  4. Two key ball drops I can remember:

    1. Newspapers not getting behind Ft. Worth Star-Telegram's Startext system (which had a wonderful post -your-own classifieds application) in early 90s, but going to publishing on proprietary online services instead.

    2 New Century network not allowing consumers to place ads.

    Permeability and spending for app development equals profitability in this market. Craig trusted his audience to post and police; gatekeepers will have to get used to this.

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post