Tuesday, September 07, 2004

NETWORKING For those who missed it, The New York Times snuck a pretty good profile of Craigslist and its founder Craig Newmark into Labor Day editions.

The piece discusses eBay's recent acquisition of 25% of the free classified listing site, and provides a rough sketch of Newmark's governing philosophy.

Among the more interesting passages:

Craigslist.org accepts no banner advertising. It posts no pop-up ads, requires no visitor registration and charges no fees, except to employers posting job offers. But people involved in several proposed deals said it could be worth $100 million if Mr. Newmark decided to sell to the highest bidder.
Mr. Newmark handles the creative neurotic part. He has a kind of condition: obsessive customer-service disorder. He is not totally at peace if there are e-mail messages in his in-box complaining that someone is falsely advertising, defacing or hacking into the site or blanketing various forums or channels with sales spam.

The complaints run the gamut. Lately, Mr. Newmark's pet project is making sure that apartment rental agents in New York do not post in a section reserved for no-fee apartment listings.

"Something smells funny about this one," he said of an advertisement for a one-bedroom apartment at 76th Street and Second Avenue. Mr. Newmark sent a note to the poster, asking him to disclose the name of his brokerage agency.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.