Washington Post’s Express Classifieds Launch
After a week or so delay, the full online edition of the Washington Post’s Express (its free metro daily intended to attract younger audiences) launched today. It’s a clean, nice looking site and contains the Oodle classifieds marketplace integration. I wrote about it in an earlier post:
[T]he Washington Post has struck a deal with classifieds aggregator Oodle to power a classifieds marketplace on the site. Oodle will be doing several things: hosting it, providing Washington DC-area content and its search/refine/browse capabilities to Express. Those capabilities make it instantly better than most newspaper classifieds sites operating today. (LiveDeal.com is another classifieds provider that has extensive newspaper relationships.)
This means that Express becomes a classifieds aggregator for the DC area online. (Note that this is not the WashingtonPost.com, but the secondary brand.) This is precisely the kind of thing that newspapers should be doing. And if this goes very well, over time the Post will probably integrate this approach into the main site.
There are both free and paid classifieds categories. It will be interesting to see how the Oodle integration and the Express in general affect the Washington Post’s main site over time. The Express design for example, is much more user friendly, though with admittedly less content than the main site. And compare the two classifieds sections:
* Express/Oodle (the alerts feature is also very nice)
* Washington Post main site (visually appealing in some respects, but dense and harder to use)
If the Express is successful it can’t help but have an effect on the “parent” site. There’s more to say about the “secondary brands” online strategy for newspapers, but more on that later.
Greg Sterling is the founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, a consulting and research firm focused on online consumer and advertiser behavior and the relationship between the Internet and traditional media, with an emphasis on the local marketplace.