Friday, April 18, 2008

Craig's List-Victoria & the world

I'm a CL fan, regularly looking in on San Diego, San Francisco, and Austin, and sometimes peeking at other cities, including Phoenix, Mexico City, San Antonio, El Paso, &c. Rants and Raves is always an illuminating insight into the subjects that concern other places. The free for-sale ads have devastated newspaper class-ad sections around the country. Now Victoria has its own CL site. RnR seems like a natural home for some of the obsessed wackawacks who spend their days on the Vicad discussion boards, but perhaps the locals will prefer the familiar local site. A link from the Newspaper Death Watch Web site to blogger Roy Greenslade on the Guardian in the UK finds Greenslade writing:
The web empire that has wrecked newspaper business models across the world, Craigslist, has just got bigger. Its founder, Craig Newmark, quietly announced two days ago on his blog: "Well, we just added what looks like 120 new cities, bringing it to 570, I think. (gotta confirm) This includes Ramallah." I love those trademark Newmark touches - gotta confirm... choosing to mention Ramallah.

One of Greenslade's commenters touches the crux of the problem that Craig's List presents to papers, writing, in part:
... The number of people willing to pay the historically high rates for classified advertising of all kinds (cars jobs, property and general sales) is now vastly diminished. Online ads of this kind are either very much cheaper than their print cousins if not free already - and if they're not free yet, they soon will be - say five years.
But the really scary aspect of Craigslist is that the owners don't want to cash in. It employs very few staff and the founders are happy making quite modest returns - which means that traditional media businesses have no idea what to do against them.

Read the whole thing here.
{Parenthetically, one thing about CL that's likely to anger Victorians is a policy of not allowing gun sales on the listings. Sorry, folks, site's out of NoCal, and they don't believe in guns there in the People's Republic.}

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