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The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret

April 9, 2007 / Toby Dayton

Lots Of News Today – Craigslist, Death of Newspapers, U.S. Jobs Market…..

sb-craigslist-uv-graph-12.gifScott Karp’s blog recently highlighted an excellent analysis from Compete.com on the true catalyst behind Craigslist’s success in the online classified space. Written by Stephen Bragg and entitled ‘Craigslist’s Dirty Little Secret,’ the post basically states that the largest segment of Craigslist’s traffic is generated by ‘Erotic Services’ classifieds, and that within that category, “a deeper look into the metrics reveals a real power group behind Craigslist’s impressive numbers: men seeking men.” While the data is not the least bit surprising given the fact that so many technological innovations have arisen from the porn/sex industry (VCRs, 1-900 businesses, online video, etc.), the data should cause employers to think twice about the free/low-cost employment classifieds that Craigslist sells, at least for employers that are interested in their employment branding.

In a March 31st Financial Times article ‘The Exaggerated Reports of the Death of Newspapers,’ media editor Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson cites a Zogby Poll, commissioned by Reuters and the World Editors Forum, of 435 editors and news executives as evidence that the outlook for the daily newspaper industry isn’t as bad as people think. Those would be the exact group I’d look to for an objective, honest look at what is happening in the industry – the very people who have had their heads buried in the sand for the past decade. The article goes on to report the global circulation data (up 10%) as further evidence of a healthy outlook. While those numbers are impressive, the growth is occurring mostly in under-developed nations and has little bearing on the U.S. newspaper industry. Indeed, the fact that online advertising in the U.K. recently surpassed print advertising expenditures, combined with the growing popularity of freesheets in Europe and their somewhat recent introduction in the U.S., should cause people to recognize that the storm clouds over the entire industry are not going to dissipate anytime soon.

The March employment report, released last Friday, indicates that the labor market continues to tighten despite the slump in housing. The U.S. economy created 180,000 new jobs (net) in March, January and February numbers were revised upwards, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.4%. While debates are raging about the fundamental cause(s) of the bullish numbers, the obvious fact remains that there are simply not enough workers to meet demand and, other than minor aberrations along the way, there won’t be for a long, long time. As I have said in past posts, companies are going to have to keep working harder and finding more effective ways to attract and retain their human capital.

Time to read the daily newspaper this morning: 9 minutes and 2 seconds.

Daily recommendation for the dailies: Take Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson’s advice to heart – “If newspapers want a future, they must provide something more original than just pictures of Paris Hilton.” It’s the only accurate paragraph in his entire article.

[tags]Craigslist, online classifieds, recruitment Advertising, U.S. Labor Market, Financial Times, Death of Newspapers, Jobs Report, Department of Labor, Human Capital Management, War For Talent, Talent Management[/tags]