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August 25, 2009


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The second quote you pulled seems to be flawed, taking a look at Google trends data: http://trends.google.com/websites?q=craigslist.org%2C+amazon.com%2C+ebay.com&geo=all&date=all&sort=0, you will see that eBay and and Amazon both get more daily unique visitors than Craigslist. However, they are clearly more efficient on the unique user per employee scale.

However, the point that Craigslist is flourishing without the updates is very intriguing. It seems to fall in line with Ian Ayers' hypothesis in Super Crunchers (which I see is a recommended book here) that in the data driven world, the companies that vow against data mining can find their own niche.

Comparing CL to eBay and Amazon is not very enlightening. Except for eBay's small-scale CL clone, which is more a trial balloon than a business segment, they're totally different businesses. You can argue that CL is lightly staffed because they don't have the marketers/ad sales/biz dev people that they might otherwise have. But they will never have warehouse workers or product management people that an Amazon has to have.

Recently I attempted to post several "jobs" on Craigslist. As a start up, I was offering commission as compensation. Within minutes I had been blocked from putting the ad up by two people, one in Kansas and one in San Francisco, both of whom evidently monitor the jobs that are posted keeping them within specific requirements. After several e-mail exchanges back and forth, I made their suggested changes and I reposted, only to be blocked yet again. By this time I began thinking that in this time of unprecedented change and the way, new jobs were not coming online, but rather more creative and innovative types of jobs were out there, I asked one of the guys if Craigslist would consider sponsoring a new category whose purpose would be to connect entrepreneurs with talent in need of work. The reply was that it had been suggested, but I could try again. I did write to Craigslist and proposed it. To my thinking, this wonderful service could be expanded in a very unique way as to connect entrepreneurs, ideas, angels, and people with expertise to create new ventures. I haven't checked back to see of they've made any changes, but neither has anyone answered my post. Seems there is another ingredient required: a willingness to change and expand. Kathy Kirk

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