Jeff Clavier and Dave McClure organized an interesting session at Google on the classifieds business for SDForum last night. Google Base, Oodle and Edgeio demos, and insightful panelist/audience comments, illustrated key themes in the business.
There's a good amount of leap-frogging going on here. Aggregators want to crawl all the other sites and rake out relevant content to post the most comprehensive listings, a strategy that seems to be working well for job search sites like SimplyHired and Indeed. When you consider the prospects for Google to attract large numbers of listings on their own, it was news when their Product Manager, Bindu Reddy, was pressed to admit their willingness to be crawled by other aggregators. Who becomes top dog when all that information is set free from their distinct repositories? I'll leave it to other bloggers to cover the associated revenue models (tagged as searchsig).
Craig Donato (Oodle) asserted that classified ads cover items or services that are perishable, geographic and social in nature. That certainly covers the type of inventory we intend to bring to the market. Whenever a residential or commercial property owner determines that a parking space can be available to drivers, it becomes an asset with a finite life and defined location. CarHarbor is an example of a new type of business model that we call dynamic or real-time classifieds. Online communities, armed with mobile devices, are able to coordinate new classes of resources and solve real problems. Parking (throw in carpooling as another example) is an excellent vertical to illustrate the potential for real-time classifieds.