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Craigslist? Nah, Try MySpace

By - December 03, 2005

MyspaceclasAdam Lashinsky, he of Fortune fame (read his latest on craigslist here), pinged me the other day and asked if I had seen the MySpace classifieds. Why no, I had not in fact. Then I took a look.

Goodness me, Mr. Murdoch. You’re building out a craigslist clone, aren’t you? Clever.


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14 thoughts on “Craigslist? Nah, Try MySpace

  1. Don't Dare Say says:

    Won’t it be ironic if the great monopolistic threat to humanity at the end of the century isn’t Googlezon, but MySpace? :P

  2. Jon Gales says:

    MySpace has had classifieds for a long time, well before Murdoch got ahold of it. But at least in my area it’s not used much.

  3. Mike says:

    I honestly don’t think that there is anything clever going on here. It is very easy to develop a classifieds site. Getting tracktion is the key and craigslist is the only viable site out there. Why? Because their local marketplace is liquid. The site benefits from local network effects and will be the only site left standing because newspapers moved too slowly.

  4. Rod Edwards says:

    Mike, I’d say that MySpace is a good example of how an unknown dark horse can enter a market space and redefine it out from under the feet of established players.

    Craigslist has history working for it, and an established and evangelistic core user group. But as more people in the blogsphere are suggesting, Craigslist has (to some degree) come to a standstill relative to some powerful emerging competitors. Craigslist needs to snap out of its complacency to avoid newspaper’s mistakes.

    Now, all of that being said, I think you’re right that myspace hasn’t done anything particularly creative, which is disappointing given their user base and powerful ties to desireable demographics.

    I’m commenting here after a few weeks of work and research launching my own classified site – http://www.blockrocker.com. When I started working on the site, I wanted to create a “mid-level” property between eBay and Craigslist (CL) that offered more flexibility and power (for buyers and sellers) than CL’s utilitarian presentation, but without the complexity of eBay. BlockRocker uses mashups to do this – tying in geography for visual searching (google maps) and Amazon product info to expedite posting items for sale (pulling in graphics and product descriptions). IP localization service binds it all together, creating a “local” site without the need for explicity locality like on CL. RSS on BR is in its infant stages, but will hopefully form the nucleus for FreeCycle style communities as well.

    Of course, since I started building BR, both Google Base and Fremont have surfaced, complicating the competitive landscape. It will be interesting to see how both evolve through their beta stages.

    At the end of the day, what I’m trying to say is, don’t mistake momentum for viability. The Web 2.0 has created an ideal environment for empire-toppling – like you mentioned, its easy to create a classified site, and has been for some time – but its now easy to get really creative with classifieds and create new types of transactions entirely; dealing with the innovation that crops up in Web 2.0 is where momentum will fail CL.

    I certainly have CL in my sights with BlockRocker.com, as – apparently – so does MySpace and Microsoft, and who knows how many other garage coders like myself. I’m looking forward to seeing how CL evolves in response.

  5. Jay Moyes says:

    Actually, if there’s a dark horse to look out for, it’s Tribe. I like Myspace for it’s personalized web space and blogs, but Tribe mixes personal sites, events and classifieds much better and with a distict, more adult friendly edge.

    If they made a deal with an adult processing company such as E-Passport, they might give E-Bay and Paypal a good run for their money.

    Sincerely,

    Jay Moyes
    BDSM events writer
    http://www.blackandblueusa.com
    http://www.blackandbluela.com
    http://www.AVNInsider.com

  6. Todd Henley says:

    Looks way too much like a rip-off to me. I think they should have addressed more of the craigslist pitfalls.

  7. Rod Edwards says:

    Todd, care to elucidate some of the pitfalls?

  8. Salman says:

    What’s funny is that in the past during the ‘boom’ era sites were critisized for great ideas with no revenue model, craigslist seems to be using that as its competitive advantage (ofcourse they plan to charge for listings eventually once the city reaches a critical mass hehe).

  9. Andrew says:

    The reason why Myspace’s classifieds are not being used is because they forgot about the community! Myspace’s community is young. They don’t need this type of classified site. Do you know anyone who is a senior in HS or freshman in College looking for a serious job? They should take away certain categories and expand on others that will be more popular like musical instuments.

  10. cj says:

    Well, I went to both Myspace and BlockerRocker; sorry, no “cool” factor.

    I found out about Craigslist early this year (although I’ve been regularly using the internet since 1998), and have since introduced about twenty friends to it.

    It’s easy to use (except for the location home-page being SF, as some of my friends that went to it automatically thought they were on their particular city’s page and therefore got a little confused), and quick.

    Additionally, the initial response out of your mouth when first using it is “Wow, this is great!”

    And it is.

    I don’t believe CL is going anywhere but up for now; its the real deal of online classifieds (for its category), just as Google is for web searching, and Ebay is for auctions.

    Funnily enough, when reading this article my first thought was “I don’t want or need another Craigslist-type website”, which immediately placed Myspace and BlockerRocker on my subjective enemies list.

    You know what would work for me,…. A Craiglist/Google hook-up.

    Why? Because I use Google to research things I find on Craigslist, and I’d love to be able to find all listings of a particular item by using one search effort, such as Google could do.

  11. Rod Edwards says:

    Hey cj – one thing I’d suggest is that CL’s popularity has come in part from their lack of coolness – there’s nothing trendy, flashy, or “cool” about the site – just focused functionality for meaningful transactions. So, I’ll take it as a compliment that BR isn’t “cool” either!

    Regards,
    –rod

  12. Brad says:

    “Good bye Craigslist, hello Social Network Classifieds. What’s the big difference? Anonymity, At Craigslist you have it, at MySpace you don’t…”
    Check out the rest: http://btwohig.wordpress.com

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  14. ron says:

    craiglist is pretty good,but they flag/block pretty indisciminately,e bays fees are too high.does anyone have any suggestions for free classified sitesa that really work,i sell original t shirts with vintage guitar theme.Any suggestions where best to list them?thanks