ContraCostaTimes (owned by Knight Ridder, who owns one-third of the JV that owns CrossMedia Services and their site, ShopLocal.com) writer Ellen Lee writes a fair article on local shopping site, Cairo.com.
Like ShopLocal (whose results are syndicated by AOL’s In-Store shopping site), Cairo.com is focused on “steals and deals” (vs. entire product inventories), allowing consumers to quickly locate items that are on sale.
Unlike ShopLocal, Cairo.com gets its listings the old fashioned way… by indexing the web. (ShopLocal relies on CMS’ relationships with major retailers, wherein CMS digitizes the printed & zoned circulars that appear in local newspapers.) And unlike ShopLocal, Cairo lets you use popular comparison shopping engines to validate your savings.
When I first wrote about the CMS deal, I noted that it was a “good basis to build upon.” And I still believe that. But the time for the Newspaper Co’s to build on their shopping and search platforms is now, not in another 6 to 12 months.
Newspapers… Perhaps it’s finally time to really embrace them medium, and invest in Internet technologies, the same way you invest in technologies of a time long past (i.e., $1Bs of printing presses)?