I Heart Craigslist

I must be honest here, I probably spend way too much time on the Internet, as most people these days tend to do. (Okay, so maybe probably is an understatement, but who’s keeping track here?)

With as crazy advanced as technology is becoming these days, your online life has rapidly become just as complicated and stressful to keep up with as your real world life. In fact, you’ve even developed your own routine for it. First, you check your email, both your personal email (say, your Hotmail or Yahoo account), and then your strictly professional email (Gmail, all the way baby!). After this, you must make sure you’re up to date on all you social networking sites. Yes, all of them. Facebook to “like” your friends’ status updates and to shamefully view last night’s drunken photo uploads; Twitter, for 140 character headlines; LinkedIn to keep track of your professional connections; Myspace for…uh, is that still around?; and if you’re super duper cool, then you’ve recently added Google+ to this ridiculously growing list.

What a freakin’ headache!

Yet, back in your real life, you have to deal with everyday issues– finding a job, scoring a hot new date, purchasing a new couch for the new apartment you’re looking for, and even finding out what’s crackin’ on a Friday night. And for everyday broke-asses like you and me, a Mr. Craig Newmark answered our prayers: an online networking site of FREE classified advertisements.

Yup, after allllll of that social networking BS, I check Craigslist. Why? Because IT’S FREAKIN’ AWESOME.

Okay, okay. I understand that it is now half-way through 2011 and Craigslist has been on the radar of the online community for quite some time now (since 1996, to be exact.) But, seriously, I just can’t even handle how awesome Craigslist is. Nowadays, you can find everything and anything there!

The idea of the site was derived from an email list that Newmark would share with his friends, listing local events from around the San Francisco Bay Area. He was a relatively new resident to San Francisco at the time and was feeling isolated, looking for an easier way to share and engage in local activities. The site took flight and although it was originally used for postings primarily of interest to Internet and software developers, to Newmark’s surprise, the site expanded and was began to be used for non-event listings as well.

Newmark’s success with Craigslist has allowed him to expand to cities and countries all over the map. As a broke-ass, Craigslist is definitely a go-to site. Jobs? Check! Apartments? Check! Events? Check! Craigslist can even act as a source of valuable humor. With ad postings available for free to anyone with internet access, you sure do get some crazies! In the Best-of-Craigslist, users have marked their top favorite postings and some are just too, too funny.

Here’s one eyebrow-raising example:

September 10, 2009
Long Beach, CA

Beautiful Fly

I caught a fly.
Shimmers green, red eyes.
Measures approximately 9mm by 5mm, flies great.
Want to give to a good home.

Say what?

Other favorites include “An Open Letter to the Men who post in Casual Encounters (Tips!),” “Sex and Periods,”Grammar Patrol,” and “Bong Operations Engineer.

Nowadays, Newark continues to support the broke-ass community, by serving as an advocate of keeping the Internet free. According to David Usborne for The Independent, in 2006 Newmark donated $10,000 to NewAssignment.Net, a non-proft which plans to combine the work of amateurs and professionals to produce investigative news stories on the Internet. (Way to go Craig!)

So, I’m rambling on and on about this Craigslist site and I’m willing to bet big money that Craigslist is not something foreign to you. And if you’re a broke-ass like me, than you surely frequent the site. So why this blog post? As my first contribution to this Broke-Ass website, I needed to pay homage to (a personal local) broke-ass hero. Because seriously, there is no better place to get so much FREE shit than Craigslist. Yup, it’s the bomb. Thanks Craig!

Love Always,

Your Number One Fan

Photo courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

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About the author

Paulette Greenhouse - The Penny Pincher

Paulette Greenhouse is a journalist and graphic designer, obsessed with her beloved pet hedgehog, Lisa Pickles. Seriously, she can talk about that prickly little princess for days! Paulette enjoys fashion, music, and art (cool points are gained if DIY). Although she tells outsiders that she lives in San Francisco, Paulette actually lives in nearby Pacifica because she can't afford to be that cool. The truth is she hates money and believes that it is source of many major problems in the world. But since society has made money so damn important for adequate survival, she slaves away at a lame local corporate restaurant, receiving crappy tips from people even cheaper than she is. (damn!) But above all, Paulette believes in giving exact change– it's a way of life!