Monday, November 28, 2005

Drilling Down
Great for Craigslist but Not for Newspapers
By MARIA ASPAN
New York Times, November 28, 2005

The number of users of online classified advertising services increased 80 percent this year, according to a report released yesterday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project based on data gathered by comScore Media Metrix.

In 2005, almost nine million of those visitors went to Craigslist.org, a 165 percent increase from 3.4 million last year. "It was a huge increase on top of a pretty large base to begin with," said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew project. Mr. Rainie said that Craigslist, which offers free listings for everything from apartments to furniture and personal ads, attracted more patrons by opening 15 city- or region-specific sites this year.

The report is bad news for classified advertising sources like newspapers, which have historically dominated the market. Mr. Rainie cited Craigslist's relief services after Hurricane Katrina as an example of its ability to meet the needs of a large, diverse consumer group. "One of the most appealing things to users of Craigslist is how adaptable it is," he said.

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