While there are still some newspapers who are oblivious to the Craigslist threat, it's clear that some are finally figuring out that they need to compete. It was getting a bit tiresome to hear about newspapers claiming how they were "losing business" to Craigslist. They weren't losing business, they were failing to keep it themselves by being unwilling to change with the market and compete. However, it appears some are starting to figure it out. The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting early success in their attempt to compete with Craigslist. Realizing that something needed to be offered for free, they're allowing classified ads for free in a variety of categories if the product is less than $5,000. They're also letting those ads show up both online and in the print edition -- an area where they have an advantage over Craigslist. They are still charging for extras (longer runs, photos, better placement, etc.), and have found that they're getting a lot more usage out of the classifieds. What they don't say is what it's meant in terms of revenue. However, if they had continued on the path of ignoring Craigslist, you can pretty much guarantee that revenue and usage would be decreasing.
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