The Clovis/Portales area finally got its own craigslist recently. I was very pleased, because we had been asking to get our own section for a couple of years and were having to make do with the nearest craigslist sites--Roswell and Albuquerque in New Mexico; Lubbock and Amarillo in Texas--none of which made much geographical sense.
As soon as I found out that there was a site for Clovis and Portales, I did what I could to spread the word to everyone I knew locally, only to get puzzled replies back saying, "...err, what's a craigslist?" So I set about finding a nice craigslist definition and a little bit about its history.
According to Wikipedia, craigslist is a centralized network of online communities, featuring free online classified advertisements – with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums.
I use craigslist to find out about communities where I might like to move, so I look at craigslist's real estate ads, and then at various other ads that give me an idea for the "feel" of the community--pets, miscellaneous for sale, farm and garden, etc.
Here is some of the organization's history:
Craigslist began as a simple mailing list put together by its founder, Craig Newmark. Starting in San Franciso in 1995 as a website for free classified ads, it became a company in 1999.
According to a 2008 Marketplace report on National Public Radio, four years after becoming a company:
... the phenomenon known as craigslist would appear in nine other U.S. cities. Now, it is a staple in over 450 cities spread across 50 countries. Even though craigslist is for-profit, the driving force behind the company is less the blind accumulation of wealth than to create a social community within a given city.
The site's revenue comes only from charging for paid job ads in several cities ($75 for one ad in San Francisco, $25 for New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Seattle, Washington D.C., Chicago and Portland), bypassing other possible sources of ready revenue from charging for other ad categories.
The craigslist Fact Sheet tells us that craigslist gets 20 billion page views per month, which places it as number 7 worldwide in terms of English language page views. In addition to English, craigslist is available in French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Portuguese. Its users self-publish about 50 million new classified ads each month.
Here’s the part that is so fascinating. Picture a newspaper or any traditional print media outlet publishing 50 million classified ads per month. How many employees do you think that would take? Because craigslist uses the power of technology and the community itself to self-publish its own ads, it employs just a whopping 30 people working out of offices in San Francisco.
Ready to look at the craigslist for your area? Just go to the craigslist Online Community page go see an index of craigslist sites, in the U.S. and around the world.