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Craigslist is a centralized network of online communities for free classified advertisements (with jobs, internships, housing, personal advertisements, erotic services, for sale/barter/wanted, services, community, and pets categories) and forums on various topics.

Description[change | change source]

The service was founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark for the San Francisco Bay Area. After incorporation as a private for-profit company in 1999, Craigslist expanded into nine more U.S. cities in 2000, four each in 2001 and 2002, and 14 in 2003. By September 2007, Craigslist had established itself in approximately 450 cities in 50 countries.

In 2007 Craigslist operated with a staff of 24 people.[1] Its sole source of revenue is paid job ads in select cities ($75 per ad for the San Francisco Bay Area; $25 per ad for New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Chicago and recently Portland, Oregon) and paid broker apartment listings in New York City ($10 per ad).

The site serves over nine billion page views per month, putting it in 56th place overall among web sites world wide, ninth place overall among web sites in the United States (per on January 10, 2008), to over thirty million unique visitors. With over thirty million new classified advertisements each month, Craigslist is the leading classifieds service in any medium. The site receives over two million new job listings each month. So it is one of the top job boards in the world.[2]

Criticism[change | change source]

  • In July 2005, the San Francisco Chronicle criticized Craigslist for allowing ads from dog breeders, and thereby allegedly encouraging the over breeding and irresponsible selling of pit bulls in the Bay Area.[3]
  • In January 2006, the San Francisco Bay Guardian published an editorial criticizing Craigslist for moving into local communities and "threatening to eviscerate" local alternative newspapers. Craigslist has been compared to Wal-Mart, a multinational corporation that some feel crushes small local businesses when they move into towns and offer a huge assortment of goods at cheaper prices.[4]
  • In August 2007, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin wrote a letter to Craigslist asking the company to take steps to avoid unwittingly enabling child prostitution through its classified ads.[5][6]

Craigslist troll[change | change source]

There is one troll that infests the Craigslist auto, fixit, housing and motorcycle forums. This one guy has multiple handles:

Kenzz, NightOwl, fedguy, 315dude, wedgeheaded, holigansdog, jburnswhenipee, Eeegads!, twee, curmudgeon, bh7, FixitMike, auldshaman, jerseyscrounger, fredy2, oilfieldtrash83, misshome, scram, LeoJ4, MeintheIE, renovic, buttmonkey, creiigette, DNFTT, fieraci, hoofitaka, thestring, thehvactruth, Bobmobster, restoman, carpenterguy, taragonman, spellcaster, and elecertrickytech ... all the same bizarre freak.

He must spend 16+ hours a day on Craigslist, switching handles. He makes a series of offensive and ignorant comments using one handle, then switches handles. His second handle then gives strong positive ratings to, and agrees with, the posts made by his previous handle. The new handle also insults, gives negative votes to, and flags anyone who disagrees with his previous handle's posts. This second handle also makes some of the most inaccurate and derogatory posts you could ever imagine. He then switches to a third handle. This new handle agrees with, and gives positive ratings to his first two handles, and also disagrees with, gives negative votes to, and flags anyone who disagreed with any of the filth and stupidity that his first two handles posted.This third handle also makes some revolting and downright dumb posts of its own. He then switches to a fourth handle, and well you get the picture. This guy has at least 34 known handles(in fact, there are variations such as NightOwl_jlk and 315dude-10 which are still the same person...), and switches between them all the time.

As stated earlier, this guy must spend nearly every waking moment of his on Craigslist doing this, constantly cycling between handles, agreeing with and upvoting himself, making dubious and distasteful comments, and downvotng and flagging anyone who points out the obvious errors and/or the disrespectful/insulting comments in his posts. This stretches back to c.2000. He has been doing this for FOURTEEN YEARS. Along the way, he's lost some of his various handles, as occasionally one of his accounts is blocked, but like the Hydra more sprout forth. Certain handles such as thestring, thehvactruth, and 315dude-10 have all only appeared within the past few months.

The problem is that this one guy has driven various productive, knowledgeable people away. It's likely some people have felt threatened by what they perceive to be a cabal of trolls, constantly praising each other and telling each other how brilliant each other is, but this "cabal" is just one guy with dozens of Craigslist accounts.

Nonprofit foundation[change | change source]

In 2001, the company started the Craigslist Foundation, a § 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps emerging nonprofit organizations get established, gain visibility, attract the attention of potential donors, and develop the skills and knowledge required for long-term success.

It accepts charitable donations, and rather than directly funding organizations, it produces face-to-face events and offers online resources to help grassroots organizations get off the ground and contribute real value to the community.

Awards[change | change source]

  • NYPRESS: 2003, Best Local Website, by Manhattan Reader's Poll[7]
  • Webby: 2001, Best Community Site, by the Academy[8]

Cities[change | change source]

The first 14 city sites were: [9] (entire list)

Vancouver, British Columbia, was the first non U.S. city included. London was the first city outside North America.

In November 2004, Amsterdam, Bangalore, Paris, Sao Paulo and Tokyo became the first cities outside of primarily English speaking countries.

In May 2008, 500 cities in 50 countries are represented.[9]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Can small businesses help win the war?". USA Today. 2007-01-02. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
  2. Lenhart, Amanda; Shermak, Jeremy (2006). "Selling items online" (PDF). Pew Research Center. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
  3. Ilene Lelchuk (July 11 2005). "Craigslist pressured to ban dog, cat ads". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
  4. Tim Redmond (July 11 2005). "Editor's Notes". San Francisco Bay Guardian. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
  5. David Pendered (August 222007). "Mayor rips craigslist over child prostitution".
  6. "Atlanta mayor says Craigslist used for child prostitution". San Francisco Business Times. August 22, 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  7. "Readers Poll Results—Best of Manhattan 2003 Readers Poll". New York Press. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
  8. "Best Web Sites of the Year Honored at the 5th Annual Webby Awards". The Webby Awards. July 182001. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
  9. 9.0 9.1 (May 2008). "craiglist fact sheet". Retrieved 2008-05-30.

Other websites[change | change source]

Official sites[change | change source]

News and media[change | change source]