Site Logo

Archive for the ‘Web 2.0’ Category

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…

Thoughts from Web 2.0

Just flew back from the Web 2.0 show, and boy are my arms tired… seriously, my voice is shot. As always, it was a jam packed 2 1/2 days of non-stop conversation.

The hallway conversations were wonderful and energizing. The sessions, however, were just okay. The one stand out session for me was Evan Williams’. In a short talk, he made a clear case for why less is more in a UI (think google search box, twitter, etc.) and the need to minimize the “cognitive load” of a web site (roughly paraphrazed, the amount of decisions a user needs to make to move forward). It was fun to listen to and I walked away with a great framework. This was how most of the talks at Web 2.0 were 3 & 4 years ago…

Other quick highlights: Rupert Murdoch was great, and Mary Meeker was bearish!
This was my fourth Web 2.0 show, and I think it’s interesting how the tone of this show seems to reflect the current temperture of the internet community. In 2004, for example, the show was like a big therapy session, convincing ourselves that everything was going to be okay, that things were going to come back. In 2005, everyone’s head was buzzing and debating about a new world order the included Ajax, new ad models, and tons of new startups. In 2006, the show was down right giddy. The show was definitely mainstream and everyone was drinking champagne.

This year, however, the show was a lot more corporate. The sessions weren’t really covering any new ground or fostering any good debate. And there was lots and lots of talk about widgets and Facebook (they’re going to be really, really big). Having said that, the hallway conversations were great, and I’m looking forward to going back next year!

You are currently browsing the archives for the Web 2.0 category.