New and Venerable Institutions: Craigslist
Craig Newmark created San Francisco's most recognized online community with an intention so simple that he doesn't even remember the date he launched Craigslist, which now logs a million visitors per month. "Some time in 1995," became the City's online outpost, a platform says Craig, "where people can get a break." If you're looking for a job, a ride, a place to live, someone with whom to play the harmonica (or bass, or theremin for that matter), a nanny, stuff, a place to sell your stuff, or a date, Craigslist is for you. Craig, who founded the web site from his Cole Valley apartment, is one of few survivors of the dot com gold rush. Before starting Craigslist, the 49 year old self described nerd was doing programming on a contract basis. "There used to be a lot of work doing that," he deadpans. Today, Craig is a reluctant celebrity. He says he had no clue the site would become so successful. "It's surreal," Craig says, "But that's okay; our lives in San Francisco are surreal and absurd." He was featured on Mornings on 2 as one of the City's most eligible bachelors, one of many media appearances including the Today show. Craig didn't get a date from the local show but jests that Katie Couric was "all hands." Craig is disarmingly funny for someone who claims to lack basic social skills. On April 1, 2001, Craigslist issued a press release "admitting" there was no Craig in Craigslist, and that Newmark was a fictional character. Local scribes might be a little wary the next time April Fool's Day comes around.

Copyright 2002 Hank Donat home