Craigslist was started in 1995 in San Francisco, by Craig Newmark. He started it as a forum where people could post local community events. By 1999, Craigslist expanded to include major cities across the United States. Craigslist remains free to use but in major cities, ads cost money which is how they are able to keep the site going.
The look of the site has not changed much since it began. It is available for use in several different languages and has expanded to 700 local sites in more than 70 countries. All this and it is still run out of San Francisco with approximately 30 employees.
A Craigslist user can find job listings, buy or sell just about anything and find local community forums and chat groups. Craigslist is not a bad idea but in my opinion, it needs better regulating.
Anyone can self-publish an ad if for example, they would like to sell a used car. This is where the biggest problem with self-published ads is. Many of the vehicles for sale contain pictures that are not always the actual vehicle that is for sale. Many times this is obvious. That is deceptive advertising and although users have the option of flagging an ad, with so many ads like this, it can get frustrating to use the site.
The other huge issue with Craigslist self-publishing is that many times, the ad itself appears to be written by someone who is either borderline illiterate or has very little understanding of the English language. If you need a chuckle, reading the cars for sale section will give you that and more. The problem is if you are seriously looking for a used car, you can get really angry over the ads you have to look through before you find a legitimate and intelligently written one.
Job postings are also an aggravation. With the unemployment rate being so high, people use Craigslist as another option to finding a local job. Several job postings are not actual jobs at all but are deceptively placed as ways to get people interested in schooling. Other ads are for employment agencies and the “job” they have posted doesn’t actually even exist. You can spend hours on Craigslist, desperately looking for a job to apply to and later find your in box filled with spam from on line colleges but no offers for an interview.
Craigslist is great for users because you can list items like furniture for sale without it costing any money. It is a way to reach out to those in your community. With local newspaper charging outrageous fees to place a classified ad, Craigslist is a great alternative.
User beware, flagging an ad may have it removed but with every flagged ad that is removed, several more remain. Craigslist charges ad fees for jobs in 18 cities, brokered NYC apartments and therapeutic services. This is how they are able to keep it free for most users. The idea of having a place where people can go to find just about anything for free is a good one. With the amazing growth of this site, maybe Craigslist needs to have a little bit more than 30 people running it. That way it will be of better use to its users.