In "Craigslist: Paid classifieds killer, or impetus for more lucrative classifieds business," I put forth that:
It is not for Craig Newmark, Jim Buckmaster, or any member of the craigslist community, to worry about “feelings” within the newspaper industry, or about the future of the newspaper industry. Rather, it is the challenge for newspaper executives to develop products that provide better classifieds solutions.
Craig Newmark is Founder, Chairman and Customer Service Representative of craigslist.
In 1995, he started craigslist which serves as a non-commercial community bulletin board with classifieds and discussion forums. Touting a common sense, down-to-earth approach, craigslist hopes to "make the 'net more personal and authentic," while advocating social responsibility through the promotion of small, non-profit organizations.
I was honored to feature Craig Newmark in my first interview at this Digital Markets blog last May (see "Craig Newmark targeting 'bad behaviour' at craigslist").
I touched base with Craig today for a quick review of why he founded craigslist and "what it stands for."
Q) You created craigslist almost 12 years ago in your home city of San Francisco. Why?
CRAIG: I had seen a lot of people helping others on the early 'net, like the WELL, and figured I should give back a little.
Q) Why did you expand craigslist to ten additional big cities in 2000?
CRAIG: People kept asking for new cities (they still do) and Jim Buckmaster started the new cities, one of his first acts of leadership.
Q) Craigslist now counts 450 craigslist sites in all 50 US states, and over 50 countries. What would be the impact on the world if craigslist no longer operated as craigslist?
CRAIG: I don't think we're that big a deal; whatever helps people is good.
Q) eBay, a $46 billion market cap corporation, acquired 25% of the equity in craigslist from a former shareholder in 2004. Why haven't there been any eBay induced changes to craigslist?
CRAIG: No need for them.
Q) Why would it be a bad thing if craigslist were to become more commercialized?
CRAIG: What would be the point of it? We like to live well, but not everything has to be about money.