What Are You Doing on Craigslist?

July 18, 2009

By Janet Dodrill

craigslistHaving used Craigslist (www.craigslist.org) for a couple years now, just what I do there varies to include searching for Job opportunities, posting household items in the For Sale area, and browsing the items being sold. I also enjoy checking-out the Wanted section under For Sale. In the Services section I found a cat that needed a home in the Pet category and successfully placed it. Since the web site is community-driven, there seems to be something for everyone, and it reaches audiences all over the world.

The brainchild of Craigslist is Craig Newmark from Morristown, NJ, who received his bachelors and masters degrees from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and initially developed it while in San Francisco working as a freelance software developer.

According to a blog article on Case.edu, “He created an e-mail list to tell his friends about art-and-technology parties he thought were cool. Those friends forwarded the e-mail to others, and soon the list became the de facto grapevine for the Bay Area’s ‘Geek Establishment’. New readers sent Newmark their own bits, and the list’s utility grew with its membership.

Newmark has said in several media interviews that he only had the one idea to create the list, but that the content comes from the community. Newmark is a fierce proponent of keeping the Internet as free as possible. All listings on the site are free, except for help wanted ads in select cities and paid broker apartment listings in New York City.”

Because of his success, Newmark was asked to deliver the commencement address as keynote at Case’s graduation ceremonies last year.

Some entertainers have featured Craigslist in their acts. Weird Al Yankovic has a popular YouTube music video named “Craigslist”, which pays homage to The Doors and runs nearly 5 minutes in length.

One of my favorite spots is The Tonight Show’s Conan O’Brien and Slash shopping for a guitar on Craigslist.

Even though the interface on Craigslist is simple and basic, it is easy to navigate and interesting to browse if you have the time. Best of all it is (for the most part) free.