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Web 3.0 & Gannett (Part 3)

Posted on Wednesday, Sep 26th 2007

Web 3.0 Framework discussion

Below is a quick overview of the Web 3.0 framework for the Gannett sites. We have not gone into the details of all the properties, but you can review the Web 3.0 section of this site for detailed discussions on each vertical category. This segment also includes an overview of the prevalent business models in the Gannett properties.

Context
If you are looking for an apartment or a roommate in any of the top cities in the US, then Apartments.com is definitely the place. I found the Moving Center on Apartments.com very helpful as it provides very good information on packing and moving starting from truck rent to moving quotes.

I also like the Research section on Cars.com. It allows users to research new and used car before they actually make the purchase. Side-By-Side Comparison on Cars.com allows users to compare cars.

On the other hand CareerBuilder scores high on contextual navigation. Broad job categories like College and Interns, Non Profits, etc. are well articulated.

Content
Gannett being an old media company, understands the value of content and all its sites are known for their quality content. Be it CareerBuilder, ShopLocal, Apartments.com, Cars.com or Topix, all the sites are rich in content. I also like the way they have included local content in the sites to enrich them. The sites also have a number of tools that allow the users to perform various comparison, search and other activities, thereby enhancing the user experience.

Apartments.com users can also access the site’s MovingCenter to research community information, arrange truck and furniture rental, instantly check credit reports, change addresses through the postal service and more.

CareerBuilder, users for example, can search for jobs, online courses, post resumes and read articles on career and employment. The site is the largest job site in the US with more than 13 million resumes in its database and has as many as 13 categories for searching or posting of jobs for both job seekers and employers.

Topix users can post, edit, talk and discuss on news, pictures, current affairs, sports, etc.

Community
Gannett has lagged other media companies in integrating community features in its sites. Be it Cars.com, Apartments.com or CareerBuilder, all the sites have relatively poor community features. Though ShopLocal has added Eva’s Shopping Blog it is nowhere close to IAC’s Pronto. However, Topix has very good community features and is probably the only site in the Gannett portfolio that is worth mentioning. I like the forums section of Topix.

Commerce
Sites like CareerBuilder and ShopLocal earn revenues from e-commerce. CareerBuilder, in partnership with Amazon.com, retails books. CareerBuilder has partnered with ShopLocal to retail digital cameras, car alarms, i-Pods, etc. ShopLocal is a multi-channel shopping services provider. It has tie-ups with top retailers like Sears, Target, CVS, Best Buy, etc.

Personalization
Personalization on Gannett sites is similar to other sites and nothing to write home about. CareerBuilder allows registered users to search for jobs, posts resumes, save searches, get e-mail alerts for job offers, job fairs, and career advice.

Topix allows users to create profiles, post pictures, create and edit posts, and bookmark favorite forums. Personalization on ShopLocal allows users to receive price alerts, find the hottest deals, swap information on great sales and deals in the ShopLocal Community forums and customize one’s shopping experience.

Vertical Search
Apartments.com is distinguished by its highly customizable searches. CareerBuilder allows job searching by 13 categories, including keywords, companies, industry, designation, location, salary, level of experience, qualification, date, job type (full/part/contractual), place of residence, recruiter’s location.

Topix allows users to search for news by city, state or postal code. Cars.com, ShopLocal, etc. have good search engines. Search features on the various Gannett sites are nothing outstanding but very functional.

Business Model
The various Internet properties of Gannett earn revenues from online advertising, subscriptions and e-commerce. ShopLocal earns mainly lead generation revenues. Cars.com earns both advertising and lead generation revenues. Apartments.com earns mainly advertising revenues from property owners. CareerBuilder earns most of its revenue from commissions from career center services and subscription fees from employers. The site also offers resume services for $169 to $269. It also offers thank you letters, contact lists and cover letter services from $10 to $50. CareerBuilder is also a top choice among advertisers.

(To Be Continued)

[Part 1]
[Part 2]

This segment is part 3 in the series : Web 3.0 & Gannett
1 2 3 4 5

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Web 3.0 & Gannett (Part 5) - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Friday, September 28, 2007 at 6:41 AM PT