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The Internet

Craig and his List 79

Schlemphfer writes "The San Francisco Chronicle has published a long interview with Craig Newmark of Craigslist. The interview covers topics like running a business with a moral compass, hiring people while finding leadership to grow a website, and last week's eBay purchase of 25% of the site."
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Craig and his List

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  • by BubbaThePirate ( 805480 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @09:24AM (#9973631)
    Must be into /., BSD (not GPL), non Apple fangirl, into promiscuous sex.

    this is in or around the slashdot area
    it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

    • into promiscuous sex

      promiscuous, adj.:
      1. composed of all sorts of persons or things
      2. not restricted to one class, sort, or person : INDISCRIMINATE [education... cheapened through the promiscuous distribution of diplomas -- Norman Cousins]
      3. not restricted to one sexual partner
      4. CASUAL, IRREGULAR [promiscuous eating habits]

      I think definition 3 applies. So, you want a geek girl (a true geek, not a GPL wannabe) who has sex with everyone instead of being faithful to you?

      Thanks for sharing.
    • by Sajma ( 78337 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @11:41AM (#9974284) Homepage
      BSD: Bondage, Sexual Domination

      no GPL: no viral effects, please!

      non-Apple fangirl: Fiona is too skinny. Curves good.

      into promiscuous sex: er, I agree with the other post---this seems like a bad idea!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    in comes ebay, and... craig's moral compass starts to swing wildly!
  • Seriously! Read the casual encounters section. I wonder if that really works. If you were a guy who was looking for BJs from a transexual, craigslist would seriously be your mecca.

    Another funny thing is there are always a lot of posts like "Gay dude seeks straight male for discreet oral -- No reciprocation." To each his own and all, but I can't imagine that being successful.
    • "Another funny thing is there are always a lot of posts like "Gay dude seeks straight male for discreet oral -- No reciprocation." To each his own and all, but I can't imagine that being successful."

      I imagine it's more successful than the ad that runs "Gay dude seeks straight male for discreet oral -- reciprocation mandatory."

  • Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xshare ( 762241 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @09:39AM (#9973673) Homepage
    Craig uses only Linux PCs and a linux PDA.

    Anyways, back to the subject at hand: Craig said they didn't really promote Craigslist... yet now it's so huge they even charge for job listings in certain cities(that's how they get all their money). Wow. This is really showing how the web can really be a great place for community building an etc.
    The interview's long but it's well worth reading. Craig touches up on how he will work with the eBay fraud people to find new ways to combat fraud now that Craigslist is getting bigger (and hopefully better).
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by daviddennis ( 10926 ) * <david@amazing.com> on Sunday August 15, 2004 @11:32AM (#9974246) Homepage
      I don't see that much potential for fraud in Craigslist. I bought a PowerBook through it; I went to the guy's house, checked out the PowerBook, bought it, took it home and it's worked great ever since.

      I much prefer that to eBay, where you're essentially committed to buy the item before you get to see it. In most cases, I still try to buy big-ticket items from people who are nearby, so I can pick up the item and make sure it exists.

      (Erotic Services, of course, are illegal and so cannot be described accurately. That's a problem for consumers of same).

      D
      • Re:Interesting... (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I only first found out about the erotic services and casual encounters pages this week when reading the other Craigslist articles on slashdot. All I can say is... WOW!

        There seems to be prostitution and drugs advertised on there. Crazy. But, interestingly enough, no one says "marijuana" - they say "420" (I assume "snow/slopes/skiing" is cocaine?). And one erotic ad said "The $250 charge is simply for companionship. No sexual activities are expected or should be implied. Anything that happens betwee

    • This is really showing how the web can really be a great place for community building an etc.

      This shows how prevalent network effects are on the internet. Craigslist becomes more and more attractive as more people use it. The same is true for auction sites like ebay.

      This would predict that 1) early movers have a big advantage, and 2) newcomers will have a hard time breaking in.
      • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by stephanruby ( 542433 )
        This would predict that 1) early movers have a big advantage, and 2) newcomers will have a hard time breaking in.

        That's true to some extent, but there are other things you can learn from Craig.

        1) If you become popular, don't hire more than one or two people. This way, in hard times, you will still be able to thrive.

        2) Usability and simplicity are important unless you have a lot of money to burn.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @09:44AM (#9973691)
    Q: A former employee of Craigslist sold 25 percent of the firm to EBay Friday. Did you try to stop this?

    A: We tried to channel it toward a partner we could live with, with a similar moral compass. It was not my intention to have any of this happen, but we're happy with the results.


    In other words:

    A: Yeah, it really blows. Because we still have business morals, where eBay don't have much. We'd have prefered a partner with some morals left, but now they're stuck their foot in our doors, hey, I guess eBay is really really great after all...
  • by wobblie ( 191824 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @09:47AM (#9973700)
    Ridiculous. The only way for an organization of individuals to have any sort of lasting "moral compass" is to dilute power among it members. There is a practical method for this, it's called democracy. In business circles it's called a cooperative.

    Anything else will fall apart or centralize to the point of paralysis.

    A heirarchical organization has only the "moral compass" of the fellow at the very top - not much of a moral compass.

    It is quite amusing (well disheartening actually) these days to watch all these "internet activists" attempt to recreate (in complete ignorance) what syndicalists were doing over a century ago.
    • The only way for an organization of individuals to have any sort of lasting "moral compass" is to dilute power among it members.

      Isn't diluting power what causes paralysis in the first place? If no one agent has enough power then no action can be taken.

      A heirarchical organization has only the "moral compass" of the fellow at the very top - not much of a moral compass.

      You could argue that the person at the top of the hierarchy only mirrors the values of those that keep him on the top of the hierarchy.
    • Nonsense (Score:4, Interesting)

      by werdna ( 39029 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @10:10AM (#9973807) Journal
      The issue is not who has the power to act, but rather to whom the actors are accountable. A hierarchy works fine, indeed far better, than a committee, so long as there are adequate checks on the hierarchy.

      As to decision-making by committee, the problem is that "None of us is as dumb as all of us." Consensus will almost never equate to moral decisions. This is one of the reasons why the United States operates under a constitution that strips the power of the majority to act in certain areas -- precisely because MORAL conduct often requires sacrificing the will of the many for the benefit of the few.
    • ID Software has no fair distribution of power and they do just fine.

      The idea that an individual automatically has a weaker moral compass than a group, simply because he is an individual is not correct, and frankly, is insidious.

      The number of people who agree with you is not a barometer of your "correctness". Stupidity and immorality typically travel in packs.

      In fact, I would go so far as to argue that companies with a nebulous board of directors have done far more wrong than companies headed up by
    • Ridiculous. The only way for an organization of individuals to have any sort of lasting "moral compass" is to dilute power among it members. There is a practical method for this, it's called democracy. In business circles it's called a cooperative. ...

      It is quite amusing (well disheartening actually) these days to watch all these "internet activists" attempt to recreate (in complete ignorance) what syndicalists were doing over a century ago.


      You're confusing two things.
      Syndicalism puts trade unions in ch
      • I'm not confusing anything - coops make unions obsolete - such was their aim. The ultimate aim of unions was always something like a modern coop (which makes a union uneccessary).

        Trade unions and syndicalists were always at odds. They have very little to do with each other.
  • by RabidPuppetHunter ( 620593 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @09:52AM (#9973719)
    This article restored my faith in the "google" philosophy, Craig is doing the right thing and not selling out. Until reading this in-depth interview I interpreted the story earlier this week implying Craig had sold out. On the contrary, it turns out a former employee with 25% (closely held) shares sold them independently which is a whole lot different from Craigslist negotiating a sale to eBay.

    I recommend /. readers read the entire interview (warning, its long, but hey, its Sunday morning...). My faith in (as Craig calls us) nerds is restored. We gotta make a living but we don't have to sell out.

    Its a long shot to think that eBay could expand to include a highly regional business. My guess is its not likely to happen, but if it does I may take another look at eBay. In the mean time, Craigslist meets all my needs and after reading the article I an reassured that they match my philosophical views too. Like Google, doing simple very well can be fair and also profitable.
    • My faith in (as Craig calls us) nerds is restored. We gotta make a living but we don't have to sell out.

      Just wait till Craigslist gets really big and Craig Newmark sells out, to make a handsome lump and retire early, while you'll still go to work looking for some other honest nerd to have faith in.

      What do you think? that the guy is immune to the lure of money? hell, if I was him, I'd try to pose as an honest nerd until I can sell everything and move to Grand Caiman...
    • This article restored my faith in the "google" philosophy, Craig is doing the right thing and not selling out. Until reading this in-depth interview I interpreted the story earlier this week implying Craig had sold out. On the contrary, it turns out a former employee with 25% (closely held) shares sold them independently which is a whole lot different from Craigslist negotiating a sale to eBay.

      Craigslist has ALWAYS had the Google philosophy--Do what's good for the community--Everything you do comes back t

  • Truly A Help (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by artlu ( 265391 )
    I've used Craig's List in order to seek investment capital for a new company [groupshares.com]. I've received more responses from my posting on the list then any other attempt.
    Does anyone have any statistics on the amount of page views or posts per day?

  • If you ever wonder if Craigslist has either sold out our lost the grassroots huminity that makes it so great, just read a couple of posts from the Best of Craigslist. There is some stuff in there that at times is even funnier than the Onion.

    A few of my favorite recent posts:

    <a href="http://portland.craigslist.org/about/best/w d c/32135822.html"Fucking Cicadas - 27 ></a>

    <a href="http://portland.craigslist.org/about/best/wd c/35320278.html">A great story of racial harmony in the DC subw
  • by Anna Merikin ( 529843 ) on Sunday August 15, 2004 @03:45PM (#9975729) Journal
    Craigslist has/had its problems but it has become an institution here in NCAL. It is so hugely popular that people try selling their castoffs for incredibly high prices -- two-year-old laptops for a couple of hundred more than when they were NEW. And because the ads are free, nothing is lost. A poster, f'rexample, has advertised the same 1983 650cc motorcycle for $2500 every other day for nearly two years. Craisglist is, to me, a free spam area as well as a public, community service. Myself, I have bought several motorcycles (one FREE) and two laptops, a mobo/CPU combo, and the odd PC network card and CD-burner through CL over the years.

    NB: I believe it is a credit to Craig's readers that the overpriced motorcycle has NOT been sold!

    And because, like /., there is no moderation as such of their forums, and mostly no registration needed either, flame wars, OT posts, misinformation, etc. abound.

    "Craig is a coder" is the `explanation in the feedback forum. He bu8ilds what people ask for or seem to need, and pays little attention to the way his service is used.

    If EBay can buy into Craigslist, can't someone sell shares of Debian (if there are any) to MS?

    I don't understand how a .com can own a .org. Or am I missing something?
  • i vaguely remember some spat that an ex-craigslist employee had with the rest of the org, a few years ago. this was right about the time that they briefly changed the name to listfoundation.

    the ex-employee/partner/whatever created a splinter site (a fork!) in a lame attempt to take over craiglist's role on the net. I wonder if this is the same person who sold their 25%.
  • One thing I haven't noticed folks saying is this: eBay now has their toes into the inner workings of CL. They'll see how it's done. Then, one day, they'll announce a series of city-centered services that compete with CL. They'll undercut CL's prices in the three cities in which CL charges, and provide lots of bang for all the cities.

    CL will then wither, over months or years. eBay has the cash to run a loss while CL dies (in a plausibly deniable way: "hey, we didn't kill it, we were a minority share-holder"

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