Saturday, January 14, 2012

History Of Craigslist...!

I'll be willing to bet that I use Craigslist at least once or twice a week, at the very least!

But, like most folks, I had no idea of their history! Well, thanks to the site called Now I Know...I do! You might find this interesting!

Craigslist

Craigslist, the website, is one of the few inhabitants of the rarified air reserved for the upper-echelon of consumer-facing websites such as Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, and Amazon. With over 20 billion (yes, billion) page views each month, it claims to be in the top 10 of all companies by English language pages served. Over 50 million Americans use the site each month — with craigslist having only 30 or so employees. Not thirty thousand. Thirty.

The service — a mostly unfiltered, almost entirely free series of local forums — seems incredibly simple, so simple that many copycats have tried to enter the space. If you build it, they will come, the copycats believe. Grab a domain name, install some software, maybe put up some flyers and wait. People will post jobs they need filled, apartment listings, and try and buy and sell everything from baseball tickets and used books to old couches and broken electronics. After all, that’s how the Craig of craigslist did it. A fool-proof plan.

Except that isn’t how craigslist came to be.

In 1994, a java developer named Craig Newmark was living in San Francisco, working for Charles Schwab, the investment services firm. Being connected to the nascent consumer Internet, he caught onto a salient fact rather early: people were using the new technologies available to them to self-organize around topics, helping each other out by sharing knowledge and information. Newmark himself was looking for more social events in and involving the SF technology scene, so he started his own online community — an informal email list consisting of a handful of friends. Newmark would email out events that he thought looked interesting. No heavy technology involved; just a simple email — basically, a way to manage a liberally-used “cc:” field.

Pretty quickly, the list grew, in both size and scope. List members told friends about this guy Craig’s list. And recipients of the email began requesting posts for things other than events — jobs, stuff for sale, etc. Newmark himself realized that apartment listings were also a natural fit. By the middle of 1995, about 250 people were on the list. Not huge, but significant, especially for his mail server — which could no longer handle the list size. He installed a list server (called majordomo) to manage the emails, and intended to call the list “SF Events.” But list members were already calling it “Craig’s List,” and he deferred.

But users were clamoring for more; specifically, a web interface. In the fall of 1997, Newmark registered the domain craigslist.org. And the rest is history — the history you already knew.

As the man once said...Now you know the rest of the story!

I'm having coffee in the kitchen this morning. Want to join me?

15 comments:

Anthony said...

Thanks for positing a bit of Craigslist history.

HermitJim said...

Hey Anthony...
More than happy to do it! I'm glad if you found it interesting!

Thanks so much for coming by today!

Lamb said...

Just this week I sold our buck goat on Craigslist and re-homed our German Shepherd (he was not a good fit for us...he kept trying to kill the livestock!) I love Craigs List!

Ben in Texas said...

Have used it on occasion, in Fact thinking bout putting my truck on there now.
Thanks Professor.

Sixbears said...

It's where I found my sailboat. I don't use it that often, but when I do, it's great.

Got some organic fairtrade Colombian brewing.

JOJO said...

Very Interesting, thank you for another great lesson.
I am alway ready to join you in the kitchen for some nice hot coffee. Tried making scones last night, well I hope the trash can enjoyed them. :(P they were awful.LOL

Billy Bob said...

For years I have used Ebay for online purchases of "cheap" items. Then Amazon for brand spank'n new stuff. Then I discovered Craigslist. It's right on the edge of addicting.
Thanks for the history.

buddeshepherd said...

I bought a Dynaco stereo amplifier and in the process met a really interesting person. A fascinating life story and an apartment crammed with old audio equipment.
I also sell chicken feed on Craigslist and it is just one stream of really interesting people. No two are the same. Some are a little scary, some are a little crazy. One gave me a lemon tree!

HermitJim said...

Hey Lamb...
Sorry you had to get rid of your dog, but I can certainly understand if he was going after the livestock!

It is handy, for sure! I like it!

Good to see you again! Thanks for coming by today!


Hey Ben...
Sorry to hear you may put the BOT up for adoption. I do think that Craigslist would be the place for it, though!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!


Hey Sixbears...
You can find nearly anything on there!

That Colombian sounds good! Nice way to start the day!

Thanks for dropping by for a visit!


Hey JoJo...
I sure am sorry that the scones didn't work out, but sometimes that happens!

It's always my pleasure to have you for company, sweetie!

Thanks for the visit today!


Hey Billy Bob...
That sounds like a workable plan to me. I use them all, or at least visit them!

You have a great day...and thanks for the visit!


Hey Buddeshepherd...
I guess that it's a great cross section of life!

I sure appreciate the visit today!

Anonymous said...

Anyone know how they make any money on Craigslist? Don't see how they do? If not, do they just keep it going for the goodness of it or what? I hoped to see this addressed in this article.

Gorges Smythe said...

Never even been there. Guess I live a sheltered life! ;-)

Mystic Mud said...

I used to love craigs List. I sold A LOT of our 'stuff' on there before we moved, and after a while I was less in love with it - there are some pretty strange and freaky people out there. Nothing bad every happened, but I got burned out on it. I'll use it to buy, but I swore I'd never sell another thing on it once we were moved....we'll see if I can keep that promise. Thanks for the history lesson though:)

HermitJim said...

Hey Anon 12:27...
The list gets it's revenue from charging a fee for jobs listings. In some markets, they also charge a fee for classified ads.

The job fee is only charged in the most active of markets. These busy markets may also have to deal with a fee for real estate ads!

Hope that helps!

Thanks for coming by today!


Hey Gorges...
It's a pretty good list, but not something that everyone uses.

It's still privately owned, but 25% is owned by Ebay!

Thanks for coming by today!


Hey Mysticmud...
I can see how you might get burned out on, after doing it for a while!

Better place to buy than to sell, I think.

I really appreciate you coming over today!

treesong said...

From our first listing to those currently, Craigslist has been the place to sell - and buy. We've sold cars, tractors, furniture, antiques, art, clothing, collectibles and more. We bought most of our furniture for the move to the U.P. from Craigslist - while still living downstate. Now, we've listed this place, antiques, books, golf cart and more on the site. Even made a few friends along the way due to Craigslist transactions. The key has been telling them you ignore emails and only accept calls. And we only take CASH.

Alex Difrawi said...

This is a great overview of the early history of Craigslist. I found it very informative! I also wrote a quick blog post about Craigslist's history that goes beyond the early history and into the issues that Craigslist is dealing with today. http://www.alecdifrawi.com/alecs-insight/history-of-craigslist/