NAA Task Force to Develop Standards for Online Classifieds

The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) formed a task force to develop standards for collecting newspaper classified advertising information to facilitate electronic exchange and enhance online searchability.

The task force will be discussed during the 1998 NAA Classified Conference in
Boston this week.

Print newspaper classified advertising tends to vary in length and detail from
ad to ad–even within the same newspaper, the NAA said. In the era of online
newspaper classified advertising, however, there is great value in the user’s
ability to search by key words. NAA’s Classified Ad Standards Task Force will
create a standard data set to collect information in a similar format for
automotive, real estate and recruitment classifieds.

“The value of online classifieds in the future will largely be dependent on
both the depth of the data and the power of the database,” said NAA President
and CEO John F. Sturm. “By establishing these standards now, the task force is
helping newspapers leverage the power and strength of online classified
advertising in the future.”

Once the standards have been established, a format for collecting the
information will be developed in XML.

The task force, which already has begun to identify information that should be
included, has planned a series of meetings and expects to be completed with
its mission by the end of the year. It is made up of 40 representatives from
newspaper classified, technical and new media operations, as well as new media
technology providers, traditional newspaper classified system suppliers and
large classified advertisers.

NAA is a nonprofit organization representing the $51-billion newspaper
industry and more than 1,700 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada.

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