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!