OJR: Classifieds and the ‘infamous’ Craig’s List

Did you know that Craig’s List is an ‘infamous community site?’–(All those apartment and adopt a pet listings seems infamous to me, for sure.)
Although OJR columnist Mark Glaser’s article on Craig and the infamous list gets off to a shaky start, Glaser ends up doing a good job as he explores one of my favorite questions: Just how big a threat to online classifieds is Craig, and how much money has his service sucked from local newspapers?
Conclusion: If you are interested in online news, local,classifieds, or Craig, this piece is well worth a read–though the protestations of newspaper execs that Craig doesn’t cut into their market sound weak–IMHO, anyone who cares about the 18-34 year old market online, especially in regard to local, should be plotting their strategy to get those folks back onto their site–whole generations are being formed that just aren’t going to consume media and services in the old ways–and if you’re a mature brand, they may not even know who you are.
Some quotes:
Peter Krasilovsky: “The Bay Area papers, especially the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News, probably feel like they’ve had their lunch money taken away by Craigslist. Given the recently depressed job market, there have been a lot of questions in the newspaper industry (as to) why they are not getting the recruitment dollars. Craigslist is a real convenient excuse, but is obviously just a part of the problem.”
Craig Newmark: “Journalism is at the beginning of great changes through blogs and camera phones, especially when you can get live video camera phones. And advertising is changing — not only classifieds but everything else. They have to learn fast to adapt to those. We’re having an effect, but probably not that big of a deal. Google ads are probably a much bigger deal.”
If I was involved with a online news service, I’d figure out what other strategies besides a next-generation Tribe could be deployed and start building relevance and services: RSS feeds of classifieds data, the relationship blogs could have to classifieds and listings, and how reputation and identify fit would all be in the mix.

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