Craigslist – community-moderated and largely free local classifieds and forums – offers free ads for “jobs, housing, goods, services, romance, local activities, advice – just about anything really.” Getting more than 20 billion page views per month, Craigslist has become a cheap and easy online resource for people buying and selling goods, looking for employment, and all of the other things described above. I have perused Craigslist on many occasions and although you have to sort through a lot entries, there are some great deals. There is a section dedicated to free items for sale. Even large companies use these classifieds – my pub uses Craigslist to look for staff.
My favourite Craigslist ad has to be the one below where a man ‘breaks up’ with his bike. Look at the photos. Hilarious! I also happened to know the divorcee. Find more fun ads here on Best of Craigslist.
My issue with online classifeds
As a journalist I am put in a difficult position. Although I love the availability and ease of free online classifieds, it is also taking away chances for me to be paid to write. Part of the decline of investigative journalism and feature articles in newspapers is attributed to the decline of revenue from classified advertising. People no longer pay to put their ad to sell their furniture or rent their apartment in the back of the newspaper. Why would they if they can do it for free online? That money paid the salary of journalists. Without this money, their are fewer jobs and the journalists left are stuck rewriting press releases as fast as they can to keep up. On a positive note, though, because of this came the rise in the blogosphere (and my blog).