Classifieds for the digital generation

Craigslist has almost single-handedly put traditional newspaper classifieds out of business.

These days, anyone who has searched for a new job or a new apartment has come across Craigslist at one time or another. Craigslist took classified ads from print to digital in the 1990s and is still going strong on that front today. Along with the standard fare, such as job listings, housing ads, and a personals section, the largely free Web site features an active community sector and various discussions boards.

Indeed, the community involvement is what keeps Craiglist nearly entirely free, as those who use the site also police it, flagging inappropriate listings and providing much of the customer service offered by the site. As a result, you can browse for jobs for free, sell your stuff gratis, and search for a roommate for no dinero. The few fee-based areas (job posters pay $25 per category listed, for example) support the remainder of the site's financial needs.

Craigslist's overall look and feel hasn't changed much in the many years it's been online. The site has a very simple, text-based main page with classified sections clearly defined in the standard newspaper column style. Any images or graphic art are only found in the ads themselves. One thing that has changed is the scope of the site, which is now available in nearly every major metropolitan area in the United States and about 60 different countries.

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