As I get ready to leave for Keley’s Drilling Down on Local conference, these are the things on my mind.
- Craigslist is not the problem. A lot of people in newspapers still fixate on Craigslist. Craigslist is more emblematic than it is the major threat. Craigslist has its own problems (I’ll cover some of this in a future post dealing with some of my own recent experiences with Craigslist). I don’t believe there is yet the definitive online classifieds model. There is still room and opportunity here for newspapers. Ebay is part of the clue, as is craiglist, as is Google, but I believe newspapers, with their local advantage, can still develop the right online classified model.
- IYP. A big opportunity for newspapers, but as yet inchoate. In this space, along with video, newspapers have their best opportunity for replacing lost print revenue.
- Hyperlocal journalism. This involves lots of databases as well as distributed media tools. Rob Curley has come the closest to getting this right, but most newspapers are still struggling to get beyond shovelware online. Unlike classifieds or IYP, the path here is clear and has been since 1995. The big problem is newspapers have been unwilling to make the necessary investments. That’s starting to change.
- Video. Video is always on my mind. It will win us audience and make us money. It is an opportunity in each of the three previous thoughts.
UPDATE: The other thing I wanted to mention — in commodity products such as IYP or classifieds, can one model or one brand really win the day in a distributed media environment?