Arrrgggghhh. Sometimes that is the one reasonable response to what people write about Craigslist. Of course we realize that due to network effects Craigslist will reach a critical mass in a city and that those cities will then be transformed. We also know that along the way the people involved with Craigslist, the posters, responders, discussion forum arguers, will touch many lives and be used by many different people. However, what we can't stand is that any time this happens a few writers, bloggers, media members and journalists will write about it as if it is the first time and no one has ever written about it before.
Almost all of these articles fall into one of a few categories:
The "Craigslist Community" Article. This article is usually written in some "hip" style with some "edgy" Craigslist postings discussed.
- The "Look at the Amazing Internet" article. This type of article, with its complete lack of statistics and reliance on a single anecdotal example, can be particularly howl inducing.
- The "People on the Internet are evil and everything is terrible" article. Honestly, there must be a cottage industry of writers whose job is to simply write on how the Internet is bad.
- Story about how a guy did [fill in the blank verb] or saw [fill in the blank noun] on Craigslist article. Even we can sometimes find these articles interesting. But only sometimes. And only after 2 to 3 beverages.
- Craigslist Housing. In the past we have seen articles about how Craigslist is changing the housing market. Sometimes they are interesting and actually contain facts. But generally they are neither interesting, nor contain facts.
Please don't get us wrong, we love that people write on Craigslist. However, most of the "information" in the above articles adds nothing to any of the real discussion that should be going on. Is community-flagging enough? Is this Internet fast paced if it happened more than 3 seconds ago I don't care NOW NOW NOW life style, which Craigslist embodies, really a good thing? We just wish that the moral, ethical and philosophical issues with this service, which is changing the world, would get written on a little more.
Also, just for the heck of it check out this listing, in particular the email address...SFist Nick, contributing.