Classified aggregator Oodle has offered to integrate its listings into community site iPoste. The press release doesn’t mention if listings will flow in the other direction, but they should based on Oodle’s aggregation model.
Classified aggregation is all about in/out increasing the content aggregated and the outgoing points of distribution. Of course it’s a lot more complicated than that, but we’re seeing lots of deals in the online classified space that build on this premise in some way (i.e., Oodle/WP Readexpress deal, Yahoo! “amigos” consortium, Edgeio/AdStar deal, etc.). Then you also have technology and widget overlays meant to infuse more functionality and multimedia capabilities into existing classified marketplaces. VFlyer is the best example of this.
IPoste appears to be a Craigslist clone with the marginal advantage of being more multimedia friendly but the significant disadvantage of having very little content so far. It also has the same spartan site design as Craigslist, which works well for the somewhat underground appeal Craigslist is going for but isn’t advisable to clone. Craigslist’s success comes from reasons much greater than its site design. It will also be a tough proposition to get users to post classifieds, personals, SMB advertising and community boards here instead of the tried-and-true Craigslist or worse, post in two places.
So content “in” should be the site’s biggest objective at this point, and Oodle’s aggregated listings are a good start. This should meanwhile help Oodle’s own “out” distribution the value of which will be determined by iPoste’s ability to attract destination traffic. Similarly, if Oodle can continue to establish distribution points, it can fashion itself as more of a destination for users to post classifieds, which are then pushed out to various sources a one-stop shop of sorts.
The site (which recently raised an $11 million round of VC funding) is already a one-stop shop for users to get classifieds from various sources, but value could also lie in a model for sellers to get wider distribution from one place. VFlyer’s model is based on this seller-centric strategy. This model has the potential to ease the aforementioned concern about having to post in more than one place and could be an enticing enough proposition to attract users (sellers, buyers, etc.) away from Craigslist. Could is the key word here; this is no small feat.
iPoste meanwhile needs to work on getting its value proposition across to users in order to accomplish this same feat by communicating (rather loudly) that it is Craigslist + video, without actually saying that …