I have been fortunate to sit in on a few Kijiji and eBay Classifieds meetings over the past year and I’m always left feeling inspired after getting a chance to sit down with General Manager of Kijiji US, Martin Herbst. His passion for what he does on a daily basis is infectious. He and his team had given me a heads up last week about some key enhancements to the Kijiji US site which at first glance may not seem so significant but together they really reflect one of his team’s goals of enabling an easy-to-use marketplace to help families find better values and new jobs. The importance of which, given the current state of affairs, can’t be stressed enough.
I thought I’d take the opportunity to see if he’d share 5 minutes for Ink readers too. Being the GM, he is a really busy guy (I actually snapped the above pic while he was conducting a meeting) but that’s why we call it “5 minutes with…” after all. So, what follows is 5 minutes with Martin Herbst, GM for Kijiji US, proceeded by an overview of enhancements to the Kijiji US site with corresponding screen shots.
Full Name: Martin Herbst
Nickname: Herbstinator (not really, I just made that up)
Official Title: GM, Kijiji US
What You Really Do: Figure out how to make Kijiji.com better and get more people to find that out.
Your First Day at eBay: March 31, 2006
Education/Schooling: Colgate University (BA); NYU Stern (MBA)
Interests: Film, politics, hiking with family, running, swimming
Favorite Quote: If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking. (General George Patton Jr.)
Most memorable eBay experience: Mastering the flying trapeze at a Kijiji US offsite
Most recent eBay purchase/sale: Got some Radiohead tickets at Greek Theater on eBay (but I’m mostly a Kijiji guy)
Favorite Albums: Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd), OK Computer (Radiohead), Turn on the Bright Lights (Interpol)
Favorite Movies: Sorry, no favorite movies, just favorite directors: Coen Brothers, Stanley Kubrick, Ang Lee
What You Wanted to Be Growing Up: A fireman. I’m still holding out hope.
Fill in the blanks:
I should have spent more time with my family yesterday.
I wish that I could slow down the earth’s rotation to fit more into one day.
The first thing I do when I get to work is write a list of what I need to accomplish.
Enhancements to the Kijiji Site:
The Kijiji team is consistently asking for feedback and input regarding how to enhance the online classifieds experience. They’ve made it pretty easy to give them feedback too, in addition to providing a continually updated FAQ and also a traditional email contact option, they’ve also been pretty active on Twitter.
What follows is a breakdown of new features introduced last week as a result of user-generated feedback:
*Some category changes have been introduced, including:
• Created new “Resumes” category to clearly distinguish jobs being offered and jobs wanted
• New “Swap / Trade” category (users can now specify a price of “Swap / Trade” in almost any category and it will appear in the Swap / Trade area).
• New “Foreclosure, REOs” category in Housing.
• Collapsed “Cars under $5K” and “Cars over $5K” into one “Cars” category (but similar price filter remains)
* Users can now upload their resumes when replying to job ads:
* More visible “ad flagging” tools have been introduced so the community can quickly and easily let the Customer Support team know about any suspicious listings:
* Rolled out a new “Watch Ad” functionality which allows users to flag certain ads they want to keep an eye on, and then compare them side-by-side in detail: