Craigslist is often referred to as the “online classifieds” or “village marketplace.” It’s a global website with localized sites in countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany and many more. You can’t scroll through your Facebook newsfeed without seeing someone post a link to a Craigslist nashville listing.
But how much do you know about Craigslist? If you’re like us and only spend about 10 minutes looking for free stuff there every few months then probably not too much! That’s why we’ve put together some interesting facts that you might not have known about this popular site.
1. The founder of Craigslist, Craig Newmark is a self-professed nerd who loves to surf the internet. His favorite website was the news site Slashdot. Newmark launched the first version of Craigslist in 1995 and called it “craigslist,” which is short for “classifieds” or “craigslist.”
2. The word “craigslist” has been used as a verb. The new verb form, used by most people in the US, means something different depending on if you’re posting on Craigslist or reading one of the listings. If you are posting, you are creating a listing or craigslisting your stuff. If you’re reading, you are getting craigslisted.
3. The original 1995 version of Craigslist was a plain HTML website that didn’t have any visual elements except bold text headlines and lots of white space. Computer geeks like Craig loved it!
4. About two thirds of the posts on Craigslist are for personal ads. Listings include personal ads, missed connections (people who just missed meeting someone and want to find them), and erotic services, as well as listings for casual encounters, erotic massages, phone sex and sexual fetishes.
5. Craigslist is seen in over 50 countries and is available in 18 languages, including Chinese, Spanish and Arabic.
6. Craig Newmark launched Craigslist with a business position that it would be free and available to everyone, no matter how small or large their budget or online presence was. It wasn’t just for big corporations or advertisers; everybody was welcome!
7. The oldest Craigslist ad posted is from the early days of 1999 . It’s for an apartment building in the heart of San Francisco and posted by someone named Dennis who is looking for new tenants to pay $850 a month plus utilities (about $1,290 today when adjusted for inflation).
8. Craigslist was once sued when a man posted a personal ad looking for a male roommate to fill the vacancy of his gay roommate, who had recently left the apartment. Craig Newmark fought the lawsuit and won!
9. Craigslist has its own love story. Back in 2003, Craig Newmark met his future wife on Craigslist after he posted an ad looking for someone to buy him a tripod for $25 (he needed it to take photographs of flowers).
10. Craigslist has its own photo blog about some of the most interesting “missed connections” that have been posted on the website over time. Some are sad and others are really weird; some are romantic and others are just strange stories. Check them out here .
11. Craigslist’s popularity is growing rapidly. It has been ranked by Alexa as the 14th most visited website worldwide and the 18th in the United States.
12. Craig Newmark’s nonprofit, Craig Newmark Philanthropies , focused on finding solutions to some of the hardest bottlenecks in American society that are holding back innovation and economic growth, including homelessness, education and housing affordability.
13. It’s estimated that around 25% of all people in the US have used Craigslist at one time or another. The site has been credited with making it easier to buy and sell cars, housing, furniture and other items.
14. The slogan “People helping people” is used to describe the mission of Newmark Philanthropies .
15. Craigslist has its own secret language that is used by many of the posters when they get into heated debates in the forums section. Some of these words include “WTF,” “lol,” and “YMMV.”
16. You can post on Craigslist for free if you are not doing it for money or for commercial purposes (like a company trying to sell something).
17. There’s a growing scam where someone will post a new listing of an item they want to sell, probably on Craigslist, but using the seller’s email address. The person will then use a virus or a Trojan to steal the rightful owner’s identity and use it to commit fraud or other crimes.
18. You can now do your grocery shopping on Craigslist! There is a directory set up in Los Angeles that lists all of the people who are interested in buying and selling food as part of their CSA (community supported agriculture) program. It’s called the Los Angeles Food Swap .
Craigslist is a great way to find things for free and even sell those items too. You can post free ads, take photos and see what your neighbors are up to.
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