Wednesday, December 13, 2006

awww... Craigslist shows on-line chivalry

Chivalry! What's that? Craigslist.org has Christmas cheer, that's for sure. The poor company is under scrutiny this week for its unwillingness to put money-making ads on its pages. The New York Time's DealBook blog overs the catastrophe:
Craigslist charges money for job listings, but only in seven of the cities it serves ($75 in San Francisco; $35 in the others). And it charges for apartment listings in New York ($10 a pop). But that is just to pay expenses.
Mr. Schachter still did not seem to understand. How about running AdSense ads from Google? Craigslist has considered that, Mr. Buckmaster said. They even crunched the numbers, which were “quite staggering.” But users haven’t expressed an interest in seeing ads, so it is not going to happen.
Commenter Doug replied thoughtfully:
I would think that this sort of “profits not primary” mentality is something that the establishment could find threatening. Let’s hope it catches on as the internet continues to democratize the population’s ability to interact more directly.
My response? Can't a company not want to rule the Internet with all power and unknowing supporters raising millions of dollars in profits??? (ah-hem... YouTube!) I think most on-line start-ups today are in it for the short run. They want to build, build up, and sell out. The alllll popular Facebook, YouTube, and MySpace come to mind. Facebook, which claimed on their site for over a year that they would never sell out and allow high school students to use their service (they serve a college niche) finally gave in this year. Ads have somewhat unobtrusively found their homes on pages such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, even FoxNews forces readers to watch 21 second commercials before news stories. Perhaps Craigslist stays away from this because it is not trying to draw in a crowd from every possible niche and be a global dinner-table-conversation clique. That's okay. Way to be, Craigslist!

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