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People Want to See All the Listings

There are two types of classifieds listings: private party listings, where consumers buy and sell with each other, and professional listings, where a business (car dealer, landlord, real estate agent) is selling to a consumer. When you’re looking to get the best deal, it’s important to see both types of listings so that you can evaluate all of your options.

A few years ago, I was shopping for a used Suburban. It was extremely useful to see both what other people in my area were selling, as well as what was for sale at the local dealers. I only needed to pay a little more to get the car from a dealer (which is what I did). If something went wrong, they would be a lot easier to deal with.

Every category has its own natural ratio of private party to professional listings. Merchandise & Personals are made up almost entirely of private-party listings. About one-third of Car inventory is private-party (the other two-thirds is made up of dealers and independent lots). In contrast, Real Estate is almost entirely professional listings (except for a small, albeit growing list of for-sale-by-owner listings). Rentals and Employment are similarly comprised of almost entirely professional listings. Interestingly enough, however, small landlords and employers act a lot more like consumers than professional sellers (but that’s fodder for another blog post).

Across our network, we continue to explore ways to better integrate private-party and professional listings to provide the best user experience. One area we are currently working on is better integration of the seller identity in search results. Private-party listings are increasingly tied to a person’s online identity (on Facebook, MySpace, Oodle, etc.).  Similarly, professional listings will be increasingly tied to the local advertisers brand and online identity.

It’s highly unlikely that you’ll buy a home or rent an apartment directly from another consumer. So as we roll-out new categories in the Facebook Marketplace, such as Cars, Homes and Jobs, we’ll also be experimenting with ways to best introduce professional listings into the mix. Integrating professional listings into Oodle’s community marketplaces such as Facebook and MySpace goes beyond figuring out ways to appropriately mix the two types of listings, however.  We’re experimenting with ways to present professional listings in a way that makes them more social. More on that in my next blog post…

Oodle Teams With MySpace Canada to Address User Demand for Social Classifieds

Today I’m thrilled to announce the launch of MySpace Canada Classifieds http://canada.classifieds.myspace.com/, a new social classifieds service powered by Oodle.

Last year, we launched the MySpace Classifieds channel in the U.S. Since then, we’ve seen tremendous growth as more and more people are turning to social classifieds as a way to buy, sell and find things — from cars to guitars. We’re excited to work with MySpace Canada to bring social classifieds to a broader audience.

Because user profiles are linked to each listing (as opposed to anonymous IDs), there is inherent transparency in who you are selling to, trading with or buying from. These features make MySpace Canada Classifieds a safer environment and provide a more efficient way to connect buyers and sellers.

Users of MySpace Canada can also quickly spread the word about what they’re selling or share information about what they are looking for through MySpace bulletins and blogs. Every listing also has a forum for asking questions or sharing additional details about listing.

We’re thrilled to be working with MySpace Canada to broaden the appeal of classifieds by offering a safer — and more social — alternative for people to share their listings.

The New Facebook Marketplace Powered by Oodle

Today, we’re launching Facebook Marketplace powered by Oodle. Facebook first introduced the Marketplace application in May 2007 as a way for people to post classified listings on the site — helping them buy and sell furniture and household items in a trusted environment. Late last year, Facebook turned to Oodle for our expertise with online classifieds, and we’ve built an entirely new version of Marketplace focused on giving people a trusted place to buy, sell or give things away to other Facebook users.

We’re also introducing a new feature in Marketplace — Sell For a Cause which allows you to donate the proceeds from items you sell to over a million participating charities including UNICEF, the Sierra Club and local organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco. Right now, I’m selling some things my kids have outgrown (train table, bicycle) to support the Samaritan House — a local charity in Oodle’s hometown of San Mateo, California that supports programs for families in need. If even 10% of the users on Facebook sold something for $10, we would be able to collectively raise over $175 million for causes around the world.

In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out even more functionality and categories. Please share your feedback on what we’re doing.

In the meantime, I urge you to buy or sell for a cause you believe in!

Welcome AOL to the Oodle Network

Today, I’m thrilled to share the news that AOL has joined our network with the launch of AOL Classifieds, http://classifieds.aol.com.

More and more users are turning to classifieds in these tough times. We’re looking forward to helping AOL users have a more successful experience. They’ll now be able to find the best deals with access to all the listings in the Oodle Index (over 500k new listings ever day). They’ll also be able to effectively sell things that they aren’t using. Listings posted in AOL classifieds are promoted across our growing network.

AOL joins some great partners who have recently joined our network – most notably MySpace and Comcast.

Comcast Expands its Online Marketplace With Oodle Network

We’re excited to share the news that Comcast has joined our partner network. Today, Comcast expanded its online marketplace to include tickets and pets powered by Oodle: www.comcast.oodle.com. Now Comcast users have access to the largest compendium of sports, concerts and theater tickets and events on the web.

We’re thrilled to have been chosen by this industry leader and look forward to helping them extend their vision for a compelling local classifieds service.

The addition of Comcast to Oodle’s partner network of more than 200 leading brands, including Walmart, Facebook, MySpace, and Cox Broadcasting, now gives Oodle access to over 200 million uniques worldwide.

Oodle and CanWest: Perfect Partners

CanWestToday we’re excited to announce a major partnership with CanWest, Canada’s largest media player. CanWest owns the Global Television Network, is Canada’s largest publisher of English language daily newspapers, and also owns many other television channels, web sites and radio stations all over the world.

This partnership is strategic for both Oodle and CanWest. Powering CanWest’s classifieds will significantly boost Oodle’s Canadian footprint, and we will benefit from the great content CanWest will bring into the Oodle network. CanWest will benefit from Oodle’s top of the line classifieds platform, our expertise in content aggregation, and having a unified classifieds service across all of their papers and properties.

If you want to see the Oodle marketplace in action on CanWest sites, check out the Canada.com and its regional network, such as Victoria Times Colonist and the Calgary Herald.

Oodle Partners with The Car Connection

We’re excited to be partnering with The Car Connection, a great online resource for car reviews, news, tips and shopping guides.

Users of The Car Connection can now buy and sell their cars using an Oodle-powered marketplace. This means they get to see millions of used car listings from all over the web, and when they sell their car, their listing will be displayed on hundreds of sites within the Oodle network, including MySpace, Lycos and Local.com.

The Car Connection

The Car Connection will also be providing Oodle users with car reviews. The reviews, combined with Oodle’s largest database of car listings and pricing guide, give users valuable context for an optimal car buying experience.

Cars is an important category on Oodle and we’re thrilled to be working with The Car Connection.

Mobile Classifieds? Oh My!

At Oodle, we believe in the phrase “power to the people.” We’re sort of like John Lennon that way. So what do the people like? Mobile phones. In fact, in many countries, there are more mobile phones than people.

As the leading classifieds network and as fans of John Lennon (before the Yoko Ono days or maybe during the Yoko Ono days, after Abbey Road but before “Cold Turkey”) and definitely fans of Gandhi or the Dalai Lama, we asked ourselves “What can we do that will change the world as we know it?” I’m glad we asked.

See, today, we here at the Oodle UK offices began an experiment with the next phase of classifieds – mobile classifieds. We’re launching this service with one of our partners, Magic Radio. The service, which has been developed using technology through Mobiya, allows users to post ads directly into the Oodle network via their mobile phones.

If you live in the UK, all you do is take a picture of your item for sale, describe it, and then text the info to 66121. You’ll get a couple more texts asking for your location and keywords to better describe the ad. And voila – we publish it to the web (and it reaches over 1 million potential monthly buyers in a snap).

The process is both easy and cheap – you’re only charged normal SMS rates to post an ad. If someone replies to your ad, they’re charged .25p. If you get a lead and want to accept it, you’ll be charged .25p. An easy sale for only about .50p.

Try out the service this Friday, and listen to Magic FM for the accompanying advert. Also, check out: http://magic.mobiya.co.uk/docs/66121FreeAds.php for more info.

MySpace and Oodle: Two Weeks Later

Two weeks ago, we re-launched MySpace’s classifieds. The goal for the partnership was to create the best possible classifieds experience for MySpace users – local classifieds from all over the web mixed with the inherently social nature of MySpace. The results and responses from MySpace users have been phenomenal.

Check out some of the Best Of posts from MySpace users.

Looking for some baby fancy rats? Look no further.

rats.png

Or, if you’re in the mood, you could send this guy $1

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Check at all the Best Of posts at Oodle’s MySpace profile. While you’re at it, become our friend!

New MySpace Classifieds Powered by Oodle

homepage.png MySpace users now have a smarter classifieds site – more listings, better search and helpful pricing guides. The site is also more social: listings are linked to MySpace profiles – not anonymous IDs, and users can enlist their friends to help them buy or sell through MySpace bulletins and blogs.

We’re big believers that classifieds are a form of “social commerce.” Transactions start online, but they end in a face-to-face interaction and a handshake. In the coming months, we’ll be busy working with the MySpace APIs to make their classifieds experience more social and conversational…

Our partnership with MySpace also represents another important addition to the 200+ sites in the Oodle Network giving private sellers and advertisers such as Prudential the ability to easily reach a wide local audience with their listings.

Go ahead. Try out the new MySpace Classifieds and let us know what you think.

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