Monday, January 30, 2006

CW Interview with Craig from Craigslist.org
Craig Newmark is a driven man. Driven and very committed with an almost altruistic desire to help people. In fact a brief look at the craigslist.org site affirms the principles that remain at the core of that philosophy for over 10 years.

Craigslist is about:

*giving each other a break, getting the word out about everyday, real-world stuff.
*restoring the human voice to the Internet, in a humane, non-commercial environment.
*keeping things simple, common-sense, down-to-earth, honest, very real.
*providing an alternative to impersonal, big-media sites.
*being inclusive, giving a voice to the disenfranchised, democratizing ...
*being a collection of communities with similar spirit, not a single monolithic entity.


Today the Craigslist.org website is used by more than 10 million people each month and generates around 3 BILLION yes that is right 3 BILLION page views a month as well. Fueling this is the 6 million or so classified ad postings and over 1 million forum posts. Staggering stats to say the least. Even more impressive is the entire operation is maintained by a staff of less than 20 people who work out of a Victorian House in the Inner Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco. The reach is literally GLOBAL. There are now 190 Craigslist sites in all 50 States and 35 countries. And more to come.

Craig by trade is a senior Web-oriented software engineer with over 25 years of hands on experience at such firms as IBM, BANK of AMERICA and Charles Schwab. 18 years at IMB alone. Craig has become a pillar and strong community leader as a result of his vast experience. Serving on the advisory boards of Climate Theatre and the Haight-Ashbury Food Program as well as supporting local writers through Grotto Nights.

Since Newmark founded Craigslist in 1995 he remains the firms Chairman and surprisingly to some a dedicated Customer Service Rep who takes an active role every day in the company from answering questions via email, moderating the forums to doing quick interviews with people like me. Craig does it all! It is obvious Craig still has the burning desire to make Craigslist a success and retain the personal touch as well as staying as non commercial as possible. In fact all revenue is created by "Help Wanted" ads from the San Francisco, NYC and L.A. sites. You won't find any annoying banner ads on Craigslist.org. In fact Ad rates for the Help Wanted are well below the current market rate and a nationwide survey of 50 recruiters by Forrester Research Inc rated Craigslist as being more effective than Careerbuilder, Monster and Hotjobs.

CW thanks Craig Newmark for taking time out of his incredible schedule and doing an interview with CerebralWaste. We hope you enjoy it!

CW: Where did you go to school?
>CN:Case Western Reserve Univ, Cleveland OH.
CW:What gave you the idea or concept for craigslist?
>CN:People in the community. I only had one original idea, a mailing listfor arts and technology events.
CW:Where do you see Craigslist in 10 years? 20?
>CN:I'd like a craigslist site everywhere we're welcome.
CW How has the investment that Ebay has made done for Craigslist?*
>CN:There wasn't any investment.
CW:How many emails do you get per day?
>CN: Over 300.
CW:What kind of traffic does the Craigslist site get?
>CN: Over three billion page views per month.
CW:Did you envision Craigslist getting this popular?
>CN: nope
CW:What is on the horizon for Craigslist?
>CN: Improving the rental listing market by charging.
CW:Did you ever think about tossing in the towel and saying I QUIT!
>CN: No, I'm committed.
CW:What was the best advice you have received business wise?
>CN: Remember my sense of humor.

CW Craig thank you again for sitting down to answer these questions.
*You can read about the Ebay/Craigslist connection at the link provided in the question..

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