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Saturday, March 12, 2005

eBay the Latest to "Get" Local Search Potential

At first I wasn't sure about eBay's new Kijiji service, essentially an international answer to Craigslist. Would this new brand gain traction? Why not use a different brand, like eBay Local, or indeed Craigslist, to accomplish the same goal?

But it's probably the case that Craigslist wouldn't resonate or translate well to other places, so the new approach -- intended to facilitate transactions amongst locals who are buying and selling items that are cumbersome to ship -- may be the best one. I was curious as to why you would need Kijiji in a city like Toronto, where Craigslist has already started to grow. But I see Kijiji is currently only being piloted in Montreal and Quebec City, places where Craigslist may not resonate as well.

eBay definitely has something interesting up their sleeve, even if they say the launch won't materially impact this year's revenues.

Not long ago, Jeff Bezos made an interesting point -- that "local search needs are most acute." But maybe put in plainer language, local transactions are just different. Why would you want to go through the trouble of having that leftover slab of marble or rare photograph shipped to you when you could not only view it but tote it back to your place after purchase? With Kijiji, a text ad for "Schnauzers on sale now," will no longer just be a joke about dynamic keyword insertion.

eBay, of course, has a 25% stake in Craigslist, and has no plans to launch Kijiji in the United States.

Posted by Andrew | | | Permalink

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Clueless Emailing Rages On

Seth points to an ironic mixup by the producers of Spamalot. (And I thought it was ironic when I heard that one of the Jupitermedia brass was heading out to see the show with a Yahoo notable.)

Sometimes you wonder where some people have been hiding for the past ten years. I just received a press release from the communications director of a well-meaning nonprofit -- it went to 500 Canadian journalists (why I'm on that list is another question mark; in a separate incident, I have been hearing in painful detail what Tennis Canada is up to lately), all of whose email addresses were neatly exposed, not just in the cc: field, but in the To: field!

Public relations 101: don't spam, don't reveal hundreds of email addresses. Although I am grateful that I now know how to contact a couple of my favorite people at the Weather Channel and the light rock station.

Posted by Andrew | | | Permalink

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Monday, March 07, 2005

AOL Lances Boil on User Experience

Last year, AOL's Advertising.com ad-serving subsidiary quietly stopped doing business with spyware makers Claria, WhenU, and 180Solutions, according to Online Media Daily.

Posted by Andrew | | | Permalink

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

For this Weather Nut, Google Uprade is Welcome

Carrying on with its widening use of "invisible tabs," Google offers up a capsule five-day weather forecast when you type something like "tampa weather" into the search box. For added specificity it's probably best to type the state abbreviation.

Of course the weather info is only good as the underlying source, which appears to be Weather Underground.

Looks like it's chilly in Myrtle Beach. I feel sorry for you people.

Posted by Andrew | | | Permalink

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