The office hunt: Newspapers? Feh! Craigslist rules

By Steve Outing

So I’m looking for some office space in Boulder. We’re ready to stop being a virtual company. I’ve been watching the Denver Craigslist for Office Space For Lease ads, and there’s lots to choose from there.

But being an old newspaper guy, I felt it only fair to give my local paper’s classified ads a chance. So I took a look. Good grief! They’re next to worthless!

The paper’s classifieds listings for Office Space For Fease are sparse compared to Craigslist’s — only 39 ads turned up on a search of the paper’s website. But worse, the ads are typical print newspaper length. Just as in print, the ads present a few words to advertise an office for lease. Here’s a typical ad:

Riverbend Office Park across from Bldr Foothills Hosp. 300-2600sf. $12.50 NNN. $450-$3900/mo gross. 303-449-5389

Most Craigslist ads, on the other hand, include lengthy text, often some photos, and when there’s an address in the ad a link to a Google Map showing the location. Some of the smarter landlords also include links to PDF flyers for the properties. There’s enough information on most Craigslist ads to know whether it’s worth it to call. Mostly that’s not so on the newspaper classifieds.

I find this frustrating. How long has the newspaper industry known about the Craigslist threat? The best my local paper can do is shovel print text ads onto the Web? Pathetic.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

4 Responses to "The office hunt: Newspapers? Feh! Craigslist rules"

  1. Howard Owens
    Howard Owens 10 years ago .Reply

    I posted an item recently with this headline: \"Daddy, why did they used to read news on paper?\"

  2. Rick Waghorn
    Rick Waghorn 10 years ago .Reply

    The pitch me and my ad man use to our potential advertisers runs on very similar lines.

    My little man is seven years old tomorrow. He\'ll never read a newspaper – it\'s not in his genes.

    What will be in his jeans – not tomorrow, he\'ll have to settle for a mini table football set – will be a mobile phone. Or the equivalent thereof. That\'s where he\'ll read his old man\'s football reports.

    On what\'s in his jeans when he\'s ten or twelve years old.

  3. Pascal Chesnais
    Pascal Chesnais 10 years ago .Reply

    I think there is a future for the small community news services – which almost went extinct due to the high costs of printing. With the internet as a delivery engine, locality focused media can be revived. I am looking at such issues on my blog as I, too, realize that my daughters will not be reading the print newspaper.

    I believe that hardcopy will be a small element of the news experience, but it will be at the expense of the individual. Portable delivery options – mobile phones, wireless laptops, and future devices will mean that the reading experience will be a distributed one. A theme we explored at the MIT Media Lab\'s News in the Future consortium a decade ago.

  4. brick barbecue 10 years ago .Reply

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