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Newmark’s New Enterprise

No doubt most of us have bought, sold, or at least surfed the addicting abyss of junk and jewels known as “Craigslist.” Sure, we’re all familiar with the amazing market space that has been created by San Francisco-based computer nerd, Craig Newmark. But what does this entrepreneurial programming nerd do in his spare time?

In March of 2011, Craig Newmark decided that—although his online bazaar, Craigslist, has reached over 50 participating countries—he wanted to make a real impact. To accomplish this task, Newmark launched his new website Craigconnects.org, a hub in which he hopes to connect those who are using technology for the common good, and through which he hopes to make a real difference in the world.

 

Craigconnects targets 7 primary areas:
1. Supporting military families and veterans
2. Support and promotion of old-fashioned, honest journalism
3. Public Diplomacy: expansion of and training in proper internet usage in underprivileged areas
4. Government: Helping to improve government agencies improve their efficiency to “improve return on the taxpayer dollar.”
5. Consumer protection: working with banks and government agencies to partner with Consumer Reports for the purpose of improving these companies’ customer service.
6. Technology for the Common Good:  supporting  microenterprises and provision of internet to underserviced areas. Also support of nonprofit rating services that help to provide potential partners to the most effective, honest nonprofits.
7. Voter Protection: supporting organizations working to protect Americans’ right to vote.

Newmark also posts regularly on his site, and hosts guest writers who have input into one or more of these target areas.

This successful programming nerd set out to create a center for connecting technologically-minded people in their desires to make a positive impact on their world. It will be interesting to see the success of this site in fostering such visionary relationships.
Craigconnects’ mission statement is easily summed up in their website tagline:

“Craigconnects: using technology to give the voiceless a real voice and the powerless real power.”

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Craigslist – are you really going to move?

Let me say one thing from the start. I have an apartment. I know where I am going to live, and I do not plan on moving any time soon. Even so, I have seen just about every apartment listed for Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Lawrenceville, Friendship and Bloomfield under Pittsburgh’s Craigslist page. I don’t know why, but it is addicting. I can’t help but visit again. Craigslist has such an intuitive user interface you can’t help but get exactly what you want. It is so simple that it seem like you are just chatting with neighbors about renting an apartment, or buying a couch, and not conducting some business transaction. This casual feel of the site adds a great deal to its attractiveness. Even if I don’t end up taking that cool 3rd floor on the busline with a balcony, I promise you I will always know it is out there.

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Loose your focus, Loose your shirt??

Craigslist is an innovative and centralized network of online communities designed for help online users in a variety of ways. Craigslist gives users all over the world a  place to sell unwanted junk, find a roommate, post their job resume, search for singles, even sell their house. When does this variety become too vast? As business students, we’ve heard the “loose your focus, loose your shirt” strategy for years.

Ironically, Craigslist has chosen to focus on being general. With 10 billion pages viewed per month at 450 craigslist sites in all 50 states and over 50 countries, it is safe to say the site is extremely successful in spite of its seeming lack of focus and dull web design. This level of exposure is the key to Craigslist’s success.

My personal experience with Craigslist has been one of mixed feelings. I was faced with task of hiring and intern last summer, and my boss instructed me to post an ad on Craigslist. The site was very clear and simple to navigate. Within a week, I had about 20 responses. The problem was the applicants were terrible. While I think that Craigslist is a good place to post a resume, I am skeptical of the perceived level of quality taken on by job seekers. And, this perception can transfers to any of the offered services on Craigslist.

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Craigslist vs eBay?..

I personally think that craigslist is much easier to use than eBay. I experience craigslist sell tool, because I had to sell a lots of staff for my boss, and I have found that listing my items through craigslist have gave better results. One of the features that I like in craigslist is that you can post or list your items within your state, which makes more sense fore me. With this feature the customer can find an item within the distance that he or she is willing to travel, and that’s one of the things that eBay does not offer to the customer. Another advantage of using craigslist is that sellers do not have to pay a fee to post the item, however, this has a downfall because craigslist does not offer protection for buyers of sellers. But unlike eBay the costumer has the option to go and pick up the item the same day. In my own experience this have not been a problem yet, and is easier for me to list something on craigslist without worrying to pay a fee, which is good because I am a college student who does not have much money. I think this two selling engines offer the costumer different tools to sell or buy, but in my opinion I will pick craigslist, because offers you a free service and amazing bargains.

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Craigslist.org vs. ebaY.com

Both of these websites can be used to sell possessions on-line, but the important question is which one is better to use for the seller of goods? The reason most people sell items on the Internet is because it is often easier than selling something to a consignment store and there are more opportunities to find people who will demand your product, raising the price, and generating more profit to the seller. People want to sell their items on a website that is either free or doesn’t cost them a lot of time to sell something. E-bay.com allows your item for sale to be viewed by millions of people everyday. You can decide how long to leave the item up for sale and transaction costs are relatively easy because once an item is sold all you need to do is collect the money from the buyer and ship them the item. If you have a lot of items to sell you can open an E-bay store but this costs money. If money is tight craigslist.org seems to be a wiser choice. You can open up a free account anytime. After you have an account you simply enter in what geographic location you are from and categorize what your item falls under. While you may have to do a little more marketing with your ad, it is worth it in the long run. You can post your classified ad URL in the bottom of your emails, message boards, or pass it along in your email lists to friends and family. Also if your item is near enough to somebody, they might even come pick up the item without you having to take care of shipping responsibilities. Craigslist.org is thus becoming more locally centered while E-bay is more international.

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