Craigslist offers listings for everything from apartments to lawyers to dates. It is free for users to search and in most cases, free for posters to put up their ads.
Patricia Nakache, a general partner at the venture capital firm, Trinity, is backing start-ups that figure people would be willing to pay for higher-quality, screened listings.
Because Craigslist does not much care about making money, it can be hard for a profit-driven business to compete. Just ask newspapers, which have seen their classified ads virtually disappear. But Ms. Nakache argues that “people are willing to pay for a better experience.”
Quiz: What’s the No. 2 search site?
Answer: If you guessed “Yahoo,” you’re wrong. Internet users now conduct more searches on YouTube (2.5 billion in August) than they do on Yahoo (2.4 billion), according to comScore’s expanded search query report.
So it is not surprising that YouTube’s parent, Google, is thinking of turning those searches into dollars. The company has begun testing video ads that are targeted to specific YouTube searches. The system works a lot like the hugely profitable AdWords system for search ads on Google. Type “Tina Fey” into YouTube’s search box and, along with the search results, you may find a somewhat relevant ad for the movie “W” as well as a significantly less relevant ad for the University of Phoenix. (This is a test, after all.) The “W” ad links to a trailer on YouTube for the Oliver Stone movie and the University of Phoenix ad links to that school’s YouTube channel.
“We are constantly testing a wide range of options to find the right advertising format, for the right content, for the right video experience on YouTube — whether you’re watching short videos or long videos, uploading videos, or even searching for videos on our site,” said Aaron Zamost, a YouTube spokesman. “We do not believe there is one advertising solution for YouTube, but lots of valuable ways for advertisers to engage with our audience.”
If Senators John McCain and Barack Obama actually do debate Friday night, you will be able to watch what thousands of viewers think of their verbal sparring almost as they talk. Twitter, the service that lets techno-hipsters broadcast their thoughts in 140-character bursts, is setting up a special politics page to make it easy to tune into the chatter.
At midnight Thursday, the company is launching election.twitter.com, the first specialized section of its site. Like Twitter’s main service, it is dominated by a big white box. But instead of typing an answer to What are you doing? the election site asks, What do you think?
In its latest report on information technology spending, Gartner projects a massive switch by companies to cloud computing.