Is Craig Building Community Or An Empire?

Tim Redmond of San Francisco Bay Guardian is not a big fan of Craig, nor his list.

Craig Newmark, the stumbling, self-effacing creator of Craigslist, was the keynote speaker at last weekend’s Association of Alternative Newsweeklies conference in San Francisco. It was an odd choice: Most trade associations don’t invite someone who is costing members millions of dollars and who is often described as the number one enemy of their profession to show up and give an address. But AAN is an unusual trade group, and there he was.
So I made sure I got to ask a question.
How, exactly, does a San Francisco outfit moving into, say, Burlington, Vt. and threatening to eviscerate the local alternative newspaper, help build community?
Craig’s answer: I only go where people want me.
I’ve got no problem with Craig making money. He revolutionized advertising, and that’s not entirely a bad thing. If he wants to build an empire, that’s his right under the (warped) rules of American capitalism.
But don’t give me this community-building bullshit.

Anil Dash calls Redmond’s editorial “a blatant example of scapegoating horseshit.”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Indiana Gividen says:

    Wake up and smell the coffee grandpa Redmond. Craiglist is building the community. CraigList is better and more cost effective than your cave man style.
    PS Stop asking me to program your VCR.

  2. Now there’s a new site very similar to craigslist that allows users to create their own local classifieds board based on zip codes…