I remember sitting in a meeting where Dan Gillmor once talked about the benefits of blogging. He advised this room full of editors to always assume that your audience knows more than you do and think of the blogging experience as a way to learn, stay current, refine ideas, among other things. Apologies to Dan for not getting the quote exactly right.
Well, yesterday I had my first example of learning as one benefit of blogging. I posted on developments in classifieds, making observations based on what I can see as an observer of these new services. Craig Donato of Oodle commented that he agreed with my premise – the marketplace is the Internet. Then Craig introduced me to some new vocabulary on buy-side and sell-side of the classified equation. At Knight Ridder, we have been discussing this trend, namely the increasing disconnect between where a consumer posts something and where it actually gets seen/found, but hadn’t standardized the vocabulary. Craig also pointed me to the Microformats Wiki where new standards are being proposed to create and simplify the sell-side (the posting side) of the equation. Craig points out that the companies, many search in nature (like Oodle), will create simple ways to find/discover and “process” the right listing.
There are two or three layers that make these markets efficient. Information, provided my the most efficient search engine. Communications, linking buyer and seller to engage the transaction, and finally the financial layer needed to complete the transaction. So, for the information, clearly engines like Oodle, propose to handle the information layer. But what about the communications layer? Skype? Something else? And the financial layer? Paypal?
So, thanks to Craig for steering me in the right direction.