It's no secret that newspapers are struggling to figure out how to adjust in the digital world. Despite the fact that many are still quite profitable, there are worries about growing pressure from the internet. One big aspect of this is the "Craigslist effect," where newspapers find that their classifieds section is unable to compete with Craigslist -- which, by the way, is not the same thing as saying that Craigslist somehow "costs" newspapers. There's no cost at all. If the newspapers can't compete, that's their problem -- not Craigslist's. While a few newspapers are trying to compete more directly with Craigslist (with some success, it looks like one newspaper in Boulder, Colorado is taking a different route. Instead of focusing on their online efforts, they're trying to make sure more people view their paper classifieds by moving all the stuff people always read (comics, horoscope, TV listings, puzzles and Dear Abby) right into the middle of the classifieds. Steve Outing over at E-Media Tidbits thinks this is a good idea, but it does seem a lot like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The problem isn't that people don't know where to find the classifieds -- but that they don't believe there's much value in them. Putting Dilbert and Dear Abby next to the listings doesn't change that.
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