Friday, November 11, 2005

Craigslist, represent!

A fine cultural institution of the United States has been operating in India for at least six months -- but nobody here seems to care.

That institution, my friends, is Craigslist. What, perchance, is Craigslist? A short primer:
  • Local community classifieds and forums - a place to find jobs, housing, goods & services, social activities, a girlfriend or boyfriend, advice, community information, and just about anything else -- all for free, and in a relatively non-commercial environment.
  • Started in early 1995, by Craig Newmark, in San Francisco, California.
  • About 3 billion page views per month
  • More than 10 million use Craigslist each month, meaning they list or respond to a listing
  • More than 6 million classified ads and 1 million forums postings each month
  • There are now 190 craigslist sites in all 50 US states, and 35 countries
  • A page for Bangalore was created in November 2004; Delhi and Mumbai pages were created in April 2005; a Chennai page was added in September 2005
And yet it seems to me these pages are not widely known. Most users appear to be either expatriates or Indian high rollers, looking to capitalize on the wealth of expatriates. For example, looking for a flat to rent in Delhi (one of the most popular uses of Craigslist in the states, through which I once landed roommates), my options are Delhi Escape apartments, which charge $99 (US) per night, or a Rs 41,000 per month pad in Greater Kailash II. Too rich for my blood, chaps!

It's a great system! Through Craigslist, I've gotten a free television, bought a great laptop, and even found sources for stories. It's a damn shame that there are only around 10 postings per month on a system that helps bring people together.

So...spread the word! Use Craigslist! If you need to get rid of old stuff, list it in the free section! If you want to lease your flat without involving a broker, list it! If there's a really cool gallery opening or a reading, list it! If you are looking for volunteers for your NGO, list it!

Because there should be more meaningful exchanges than postings like this:
having hard times in India? come to America! It's great here! Tons of buffalo roaming! Marry me and get your green card! contact my email! My email name is CHIMPSAREHUNGRY and I am at yahoo mail

Or this:
I am 26 Years old Young man, I am avilable for any interested lady from India for sex with different style of Yoga and give extreemlevel of sexual enjoyment, interested mail me.

6 comments:

vish said...

Hi,
We have launched a site thats a local news search engine and also allow craigslist style postings. While craigslist is live only in a few cities, we are live in all cities in the USA. We also support several international cities..Please visit http://www.citiposts.com

Rahul said...

I use craiglist, but it needs overhaul. Its too cluttered. Yes being a geek in a previous life, I'm all appreciative of the blazing fast response to search queries, but c'mon, we all like some lipstick here and there, don't we?

I know the following demand of mine isn't justified, but they should archive the classifieds for a while. I mean I heard about some top notch job in my already-too-niche area of work being displayed on bangalore.craiglist, but by the time I reached, it was gone, boom!

Kuch cache wache maintain karo yaar!

vish said...

Meri oopar waali posting padh! Hum log cache wache maintain karte hain...:) hum Banglore kya aur bhi bahut saare desi cities mein live hain...Vish

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Mathew said...

Craigslist is the same dynamic in the employment space. It's hit and miss, city by city, and also job byGaragesale_title job. I've had great success with posting certain positions in specific metro areas, then I run the same pitch in a different metro area - and nothing happens. And I mean NOTHING.
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