Free classified website aimed at Sydney communities


Free classified website aimed at Sydney communities, by Mike Barton -
9th February 2004
(Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald)


A free San Francisco classifieds website may shake up the Australian online advertising market if its word-of-mouth model is as successful here as it has been in New York and, most recently, London.

Craigslist (craigslist.org), which will open free online "community classifieds and forums" for Sydney and Melbourne this year, was founded nearly 10 years ago as a free community bulletin board, and has become a closely watched commercial success in San Francisco.

The company has tapped a $US75 ($98) fee for job ads on its San Francisco website to fund 30 new sites for major cities across the US, four sites in Canada, and one for London. Sydney and Melbourne sites are coming "most likely in the first half".

Nick Leeder, head of John Fairfax's online unit f2, said of whether Craigslist could turn its success in San Francisco's job market into a success here: "If they are going to make their money out of Australia, I wish them good luck. You wouldn't want to hang your plan on recruiting."

Driven completely by word of mouth, and ultimately run by the community, Craigslist sites are popular with users.

Mr Leeder said because new Craigslist websites were a blank slate and driven by users, they highlighted areas in a market not being served well. "The question for us is, 'are we serving the market well?' "

An online job ad with MyCareer costs $154 for 28 days. Both Seek and CareerOne are $110 for 30 and 28 days, respectively. Craigslist will be completely free.

Mr Leeder said online job ads were working well for "people that are online all the time".

"On Saturday mornings, the execs don't want to log in, so the [print] ads are working very well," he said.

Craigslist had launched Australian sites before but managing sites for spam and abuse, for example, became too much.

The company now allows site users to nominate spam or abusive messages for deletion.

Links:

Media websites

The Sydney Morning Herald

f2

My Career

CareerOne

Websites

Craigs List

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