Corner Brook Classifieds, a new website that I’ve been working on for a few weekends is now in beta testing. It’s a free classifieds ad site for the area in which I live and hopefully it will become a major part of the community.
Yes, I do realize that the online classified ad niche is pretty saturated and dominated by a few larger players (i.e. Kijiji, Craig’s List). However, in creating my reasons for creating Corner Brook Classifieds – a free online classifieds site was not to use it as a revenue generator but to use it as a learning tool on several different fronts.
I’m interested in learning the intricate details of mod_rewrite, a mechanism to rewrite URLs to more friendly SEO versions. The online classified ad script used as the backend of Corner Brook Classifieds does not have an SEO friendly mode and relies entirely on mod_rewrites in the .htaccess file to accomplish this task.
I also have a social interest in how users from the local Corner Brook, NLarea will interact with the site given the changing dynamics that have occurred with social media/social networking the last few years. User generated content is more prevelant and more accepted now than what it was eight years ago when I had attempted to launch another free classified ad system that failed within 6-months of its launch.
What’s changed with Corner Brook Classifieds this time around that makes me want to go through the process of building a site, promoting it and maintaining it especially after it failed once?
I’m not as naive as I once was, thinking that a person could throw up a website, promote it, offer things for free and it would be an instant success. Boy was I wrong!
I have learned a lot about running online businesses in the last five years. I’ve developed an understanding of internet marketing and SEO. I have learned a lot about social networking and social media and watched as users have evolved and matured with technology. It is a much different social landscape online than it was eight years ago.
Corner Brook Classifieds has a much narrower focus and a more targeted audience. It will provide me with a mechanism to continue my learning and refine the skills acquired these last few years.
Wish me luck!