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Posts Tagged ‘Craigslist’

Study: Craigslist Hurt Local Newspapers

A new study by two business school professors (one from NYU and one from Harvard) reveals that when Craigslist hit the world wide web, it cut local newspapers out of billions of potential revenue from classified advertisements. The duo’s report also found that as a result of Craigslist, papers that relied on classifieds were unable to charge as much as they could before, and therefore saw a 20 percent drop in ad rates.

The findings support what many have said before: That Craigslist hurt small newspapers the most, and they never recovered from the damage inflicted. On the flip side, while papers were losing out, consumers were saving. The report found that because Craigslist offered such a cheap alternative to papers’ classifieds, consumers saved about $5 billion between 2000 and 2007.

Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, just recently told The New York Times that his site had no impact on newspapers classified advertising. “I’m still waiting to see any hard evidence for cause-and-effect,” Newmark said. “I’ve been paying attention for a long time.”

It appears that wait is over.

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Village Voice Media Sees Huge Revenue from Escort Ads

It turns out that Craigslist closing its “Adult Services” section last year was something of a windfall for Village Voice Media, whose site Backpage is now the only popular classifieds site left willing to host prostitution services ads. And, as the New York Observer reports, business is booming:

In the month after Craigslist closed its erotic services sections under pressure from Congress and state attorneys general, Backpage enjoyed a half-million-visitor bump in traffic, according to Quantcast, and became the No. 1 publisher of escort ads on the Internet. The Aim Group, a media consulting firm, estimated that in January, Backpage brought in $2.1 million in revenue from erotic services ads alone.

Aim Group founding principal Peter Zollman actually thinks that the reason Backpage hasn’t contested these figures is that they underestimate how much money adult services are pulling in for Village Voice Media.

All the same, if an adult services giant like Craigslist stopped featuring escort ads, it’s hard to imagine Village Voice Media lasting long under the pressure from lawsuits and unsavory news items, which has already begun. In September a former child prostitute sued Village Voice Media for knowingly publishing advertisements of her, and later that month 21 attorneys general called on the company to follow Craigslist’s lead and ban escort ads.

Craig Newmark Subscribes to The New York Times for the First Time

34142gg763.jpgCraig Newmark of Craigslist is over at that LA Times talking about the only thing any media people are talking about these days: the future of newspapers and whether there is one. Newmark seems to hew to the increasingly popular school of thought that the future of newspapers is local. But he also revealed this little interesting tidbit: he recently became a first-time subscriber to the New York Times! Apparently it all had to do with a mysterious woman named Wendy.

And basically, what I’m hearing from them is, and what I’m seeing too — I was on a panel with Dean Singleton — what people seem to want are a few sources of national news overall and then a lot of very local stuff, because now and then we do care about really big issues, and that’s important, and for that reason people do want national newspapers in some form. And that’s why I recently, for the first time ever, subscribed to the New York Times. If you’re ever talking to Arthur Sulzberger, tell him you’ve heard about the mysterious Wendy who convinced me to subscribe to the Times. It’s a running joke.

Craig Newmark Hearts Fishbowl, Fishbowl Hearts Him Back

Craig Newmark tells CNN that when it comes to online reading he “checks out the Fishbowl sites.” Hi Craig! We are also big fans — we have Craigslist to thank for our apartment, desk, kitchen table, and DNC accommodations, the list goes on.

Embedded video from CNN Video

Ad Assumes UCLA Writers are Bad at Math

This is from the venerable Craigslist:

Please read entire ad. UCLA writers needed
Reply to:
Date: 2008-08-04, 9:53AM PDT

Our company is looking for people who are very familiar with student life at UCLA. We pay per review and are very flexible on the amount of reviews you write. We are looking for reviews of topics such as campus dining, safety, classes, parties, and nightlife. If you are looking to make some extra money on the side from a flexible job, please contact the e-mail provided.

Note on pay: we pay $0.90 per review. Please take a minute to consider this before writing it off as unreasonable.

Our posts are short: they only need to be a minimum of 90 words. The average words per minute for original composition is 19 words per minute. To give you a good sense of how long 90 words is, 5 lines in Microsoft Word in Times New Roman at a 12 point font size is about 90 words. If you can write 40 lines an hour (that’s one page in the same font) about your school in one hour, that is $7.20 an hour. We already have hundreds of writers happily writing for us, if you would like to become one of those writers, please ask for more information from the email provided.

* it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
* Compensation: per review

Less than a dollar per review?! We like how they have to explain how their job doesn’t suck as much as it seems. “Yeah, in Microsoft Word, in Times New Roman, or even Helvetica Bold – if you work ridiculously fast (eight reviews an hour) – you could make close to minimum wage. We have many writers happily working for us.”

Pshaw – they’ve never met writers if they think that of them.

Looking for a Journalism Job on Craigslist? Try Working for Craig


Our sister site FBNY called our attention to this NYT piece about Craig Newmark, the “Craig” of Craigslist who is dismissing the accusation that he single-handedly destroyed newspapers but is — funny enough — financing investigative journalism.

In the face of this expansion, Mr. Newmark is becoming more of a public figure, capitalizing on his success to promote causes that include supporting the Barack Obama campaign and financing investigative journalism — not, he insists, to compensate for any damage Craigslist has done to the newspaper business, which he calls “an urban myth.”

Newmark has donated up to $20,000 to various journo organizations including, and In case you’re looking. And let’s face it, you are.