Designing Interactions

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Craig Newmark

Who hasn't heard of Craigslist, the Web site that has dramatically altered the classified advertising universe with its largely free want ads and for-sale postings? Craig Newmark started it in San Francisco in 1994. Out of school, he landed a job at IBM and worked in the Detroit branch that served General Motors. When he later joined Schwab, his new job allowed him to move San Francisco, but he soon decided that he could have more fun, make more money, and take more time off working as a contractor, writing a mix of Perl and Java code. He started Craigslist as a "cc" list to a few friends about cool arts and technology events in San Francisco, like Joe's Digital Diner or the Anon Salon, and it took off from there. He started a pattern then of listening to suggestions, doing something about them, then listening more. He is a vocal advocate of keeping the Internet free and using it for investigative journalism. He lives in San Francisco's Cole Valley, where he blogs and tweets, and attends to his customer-service job at Craigslist, mostly dealing with spammers and scammers.

Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, describes his approach to developing his amazingly successful and ubiquitous site for want ads and for-sale postings. Craig believes that the community that he has created has a lot in common with Wikipedia and admires the achievements of Jimmy Wales. He sees similarities in philosophy, community spirit, technologies, and internal architecture.

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