CraigsList, Blogads and GE
Friday, January 24th, 2003
The NYTimes profiles CraigsList, the famed free classifieds site started in San Fransisco in 1995. The only revenues come from job listings for SF, but now suffice to cover costs including 14 staffers.
CraigsList is doing 200 million page impressions a month in SF alone, according to the article. What the article doesn’t highlight is that this traffic (in what some New Yorkers would consider a backwater media market) is not far below that of America’s top news site — yes, NYTimes.com — which is running around 300 million page views a month. Ahh, context.
Wonder what the CraigsList’s monthly page views look like across its dozen markets? Here’s a graph of the growth of NY apartment listings. Looks exponential to me.
As CraigsList chews the belly out of newspapers’ core market, where does Blogads fit into the new media ecosystem? I’d say that “hubness” (like hipness, but more business) will be the thing that differentiates blogs from other media and gives hub bloggers premium CPMs. These blogs will be key venues for those advertisers who not only want clicks or branding, but who want to be seen to be “at the center.” So good blog ads will be like the billboards on Times Square — more expensive in terms of eyeballs, but good value for telling competitors, business partners and customers “we’re serious.”
Fading industrial powerhouse GE won’t run any of its newly bought 500 million Imagination ad impressions on blogs, but the entrepreneurs who are tomorrow’s megabusinesses — e-book publishers, software programmers, gadget vendors, eBay traders, e-commerce gurus — will understand the unique value of advertising where ideas happen, rather than where they get reported.