You got Indeed and Simply Hired for jobs. Topix for local news and information. Globalspec for engineering. Technorati and Feedster for feeds/blogs. And now…Oodle, for classifieds. I met with Oodle CEO Craig Donato while at PCForum last week, and I like the concept. He’s not only crawling listings where you might expect it – local papers, national papers, craigslist – he’s also crawling eBay local and other unexpected sources.
But the main difference, Craig insists, is that Oodle is buyer focused, not seller focused. The site came from his own frustration with listings – the interface was terrible. How could he make it better?
The answer was not just crawling all those listings, but tagging them with all sorts of taxonomy-driven metadata to layer intelligent search over them all, so you could find what you wanted to find. A very neat idea if it works. Will it? Too early to tell, but test sites are up in Dallas, Philly, and Chicago.
The business model is a work in progress, for now they plan to do Google ads. But imagine the possibilities – they drive traffic back to classifieds sites, so there is a referral play there, and the ability to develop their own premium listings business lurks in the background.
Cool feature: any search can be an alert. The site is in beta with its first three cities, but they plan to roll out nationally soon.
The company is backed privately, but Craig is from Excite days, as is the Chairman, Brett Bullington, who is also an investor. I plan to keep my eye on these guys.