Lifted from Stochastic Thoughts comes a whimsical post by Robert:
Is there a Craig who own’s Craig’s list ?
This is an honest question. If so, why isn’t he very rich ? Classified ads were a huge cash cow for Newspapers. The internet is killing them not because of say blogs, but because it is a better medium for classified ads (key word searches are much better than classification and why kill trees for something only a few people will read). Importantly, there are huge network externalities in the classified ad biz. One looks where there are listings and lists where people are looking. But there is, as far as I know, no corresponding multi billionaire. OK the is eMeg Witman, but eBay is odd. No help wanted, no apartment for rent. I mean there are lots of things you can advertize but can’t send in the mail. So why ?
Pulled back from comments. Hans Suter answers my question. Craig Newmark doesn’t seem to be interested in money. The internet is vulnerable to infection. Here a huge revenue flow seems to have been mostly destroyed by infectious non-greed
Media Bistro approached the money issue this way.
Craigslist has cost U.S. newspapers around $5 billion in revenue since 2000, according to a new study which will be published in the journal Management Science, which looks at classified ad sales from 2000-2007.
The Raw Story reports that the study attributed this loss to Craigslist,
The Bistro approach leaves me wondering who I am robbing!
Wired offers a different perspective.
Revenue from newspaper classified ads is off nearly 50 percent in the past decade, a drop that comes to almost $10 billion. Only a fraction of this loss is because of Newmark’s company, but as the largest online classified site, craigslist is easy to blame.
I guess this becomes ‘optics’.