Two or three weeks back, job listings site Oodle was blocked by uber community Craigslist. Both have been rah rah'd as web2.0 icons (well ok, oodle much, much less so). The thing is, even if you have a bunch of VC cash, and a cool name, a scraper is a scraper, and guess what? Nobody likes a scraper...
I saw the headlines when this happend, and didn't think it so newsworthy at the time, but Tom Foremski at SVG just posted some interesting data on exactly why Craigslist doesn't like being scraped for other peoples profit:
I had an interesting chat with Jim Buckmaster, ceo of craigslist, about this issue. Jim said that Oodle was the most aggressive in checking its listings and this was slowing things up for users.
Jim showed me a chart of craigslist traffic and how much traffic Oodle was bringing, and you could barely see Oodle's red line graph coming up off the x-axis, while the blue line of craigslist was flying high up in the logarithmic realms of the y-axis.
"We try and be fair and reasonable but aggregation sites like Oodle put a big strain on our infrastructure," he said. "We don't want our users suffering because of this."
It funny, because 4mts ago you couldn't move in the blogosphere for people yelling at the top of their 20something lungs about the joys of "remixing" and "aggregation", and to an extent, that thinking still continues, but lately there's been somewhat of a backlash.
Now we're suddenly seeing VC's, businesses, like Craigslist and pundits start to cry foul over what is, whichever way you dress it up, scraping.
Roll on the maturation of the current set of teenybopping, vc loaded, "what business model" remixing morons i say. Idealism is for the bathtub, or a quiet smoke in the garden, when there's money at stake it can take a hike...