Steve Outing wrote (again) a worth mentioning 'reading, thinking and doing column': Stop The Presses on Editor & Publisher (24-Mar-2005) - might change soon to subscription only access -
A New Age of Classifieds
He is asking the question: Can newspapers transform classifieds from a dull database to a thriving community?
And his answer is: They are going to have to!
Like anyone else in the business he takes on Craiglist as an example where "a dull database" is lively, liked and used by many because (and when) it is served on community space ...
And the Craiglist experience gives the newspaper industry the good and the bad examples for success:
Without the driving force and acknowledgement of a community classified in many newspaper (& magazines) and in many (of around) 100 Craiglist cities (in 20 countries) are dull (and ugly) ... and in some newspapers & some Craiglist cities classified are shiny, liked and used by many.
Classified Intelligence Report published by Peter M. Zollman