CRESA Partners cosponsored the January 12th, 2007 iBreakfast with Craig Newmark of Craig's List. Here's the official event recap: 6 Billion Pageviews Worldwide It is fascinating to meet the man behind a site that grew from a "new-kid-on-the-block", programmer’s social advancement tool to a six billion page view worldwide listing phenomenon.
"The lunch event on Friday was wonderful. I felt like I'd been dipped in a fountain of fresh water." - Sharon Anstey, ClickandBuy "Gentle" View of Capitalism What emerged from this event are the sincere humanism of Craig Newmark himself, the site’s focus and intent on serving the community and its very gentle view of capitalism. Clearly, there are some great lessons to be learned here, especially for high-profit, investor-pressured organizations that have to compete against a Craigslist. We believe the challenge is adding more value and sharpening the marketing tools. Five (5) Top Takeaways: 1. Who’s Zooming Who - Craigslist isn’t putting newspaper classifieds out of business as much as specialized and focused classified sources with aggressive salesmanship are. (At one point in time, Craigslist is rumored to have taken $64 million out of the Bay Area newspaper economy.) 2. International Growth - Craigslist is in 450 cities worldwide but growth overseas is slow. Apparently, even giving something away overseas is an uphill battle. 3. The Net Neutrality Debate - This is a big deal that few people understand. It is filled with disinformation and pseudo-public interest ads ("astroturf") by telcos who see an opportunity for big bucks. The problem seems to be that the average user will be hurt even if big business is free to buy premium services. 4. User Ratings - While eBay may own a piece of Craigslist, so far the site is not utilizing a reputation system. We predict that this will change in the near term as Craigslist has become too much of a target for scammers. 5. Wikis and Other Forms of Immortality - If there was one wistful note it is that Craigslist is filled with ephemera and Craig seemed to admire Wikipedia and other forms of durable data. This is particularly in light of his interests in non-profit social issues and liberal politics. Expect to see more from Craig on these issues.