The future of classifieds

The future of classifieds

: Blogging VC Fred Wilson posted a job listing on his site the other day and I left a comment saying this is the future of classifieds… and of headhunting: A member of a community posts a job not in some marketplace — whether that’s a paper or Monster or even Craigs List — but on his own site, speaking to his own network.

It gets better. Fred then sent me to a link on a search from, the specialized jobs aggregator and search engine that scrapes many job sites: Fred’s job listing was there. Now, in fact, Fred tipped them off to his listing and so they added it. But it’s not hard at all to see that they could have scraped blogs or other sites and found that listing — especially if the listing had some tag or tags that made it easy and reliable to identify.

I’ve been saying for a few years now that this is the future of job classifieds. Monster and Craig are merely waystations — disruptive and cheap new marketplaces competing with big, old marketplaces — on the way to a distributed future when there are no marketplaces, when buyer and seller (employer and employee) list their information anywhere on the internet and they are put together by aggregators and search engines.

And the aggregators aren’t all computers. See also Rafat Ali’s great listing of digital jobs at It’s not only a collection of jobs, it’s also a great source of industry intelligence I read and quote often to see what companies are up to.

So what used to be advertising is now just data… and community… and content.

This is the new distributed world. I don’t know how anybody makes money in it but I do see how many people save money. As has been cited too often now, Craig destroyed — did not transfer but destroyed — an estimated $65 million in classified revenue in San Francisco alone. But Craig still charges for listing jobs. Indeed doesn’t; it merely finds them.

Aggregation is cheap. Aggregation is efficient.

If I were a headhunter, I’d start looking for a new career. And I wouldn’t make it real estate.