Saturday, June 30, 2007

craigslist expenses: how hard can it be to come up with a good estimate?

Jim:"Craigslist uses a 3 tier architecture:Cache->Web->Database and deploys approximately 200 Intel-based servers built to our specs with a LAMP (linux, apache, mysql, perl) framework. Mod_perl , mod_gzip; 175,000 page views per kilowatt-hour" (answer to forth question)

and they have 24 employees... and "approximately 7.5 billion" pageviews per month
(answer to sixth question)

you'd think anybody familiar with the type of business should have no problem figuring out how much does that cost...


P.S. Again,(P.S. for that entry), Donna deserves credit for having gotten a more detailed breakdown of what it takes to run craigslist than I've previously seen... D.

Friday, June 29, 2007

April Fool's joke... or *was* it?

UPDATE: sorry, the link below was wrong (should be fine now -- just click on the the "CL ad plan" link)

Banner ads wasn't the means... but it appears that craigslist got that extra mountain of cash some other way...


P.S. it's striking how familiar the B.S. tap dance is: "constructive" use of feedback, claimed community consensus , made up statistics... D.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

(looks like) Craig can't sleep at night...

... worrying about other peoples' dishonesty... (he may well have some sort of a dysfunction -- he keeps claiming he does...) D.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

what happened with Nancy Melone's share of craigslist?

early on, there were only three people at craigslist: Craig, Nancy Melone (listed as CEO) and Phillip Knowlton... even if Phillip was the one who sold the 25% to ebay and not Nancy, as I though might have happened (Craig says the one who sold was a "he," so IF Craig can be trusted not to straight out lie... Nancy didn't sell to ebay), what did Nancy do with her share? (Nancy left craigslist on unequivocally bad terms...)


P.S. a 50/25/25 split between Craig, Nancy and Phillip makes sense in the light of what Craig has said about his shares of craigslist having gone under 50% only when he made Jim CEO

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Howard gives Donna some good pointers...

EVEN MORE: Same tactic Jennifer fell for

MORE: same tactic here (Jim) and here (Craig: "we don't know what to do with the money")... just listen to the interviews, speeches etc. (they are full of this crap...)
re: (purposefully) misconstruing inconvenient questions


P.S. still, Donna deserves some credit for having asked some real questions, this time... (her serve wasn't bad but she needs to work on her backhand:) D.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

(vague and ambiguous) Jim on craigslist's current revenue

MORE: in any case, unless giving 1% of revenues to charity (aka the Craigslist Foundation) can also not be relied upon... estimating craigslist's total revenues (by multiplying by 100) sould be a pretty accurate method... D.

Jim, in an email to Andrew Clark of the Guardian: "We couldn't in good conscience recommend relying upon the figures you have mentioned (or any other publicly available figures for that matter) for the purpose of accurately estimating revenue" (15th paragraph)

notice Jim just muddles up the issue (he gives no clue in what direction the estimates are off or what is the scale of the error...)


Saturday, June 23, 2007

"where does the money go?"

MORE: wrong answer...

introducing a real estate fee for NY, for instance, was said to increase craigslist's revenues by 10% -- Jim hasn't denied it, there is an article somewhere --; there appears to be no relationship between craigslist's increases of revenues as a result of imposing a fee in new cities and the costs of running the site... (the only apparent relationship with anything is the "maturing" of the local markets in case -- reaching the "critical mass") ; as to introducing fees for categories that were previously free, such in the case of real estate, I think we will see more and more of that as time passes... until everything will be monetized... ; I would also expect price increases... D.

best question! (that has been asked every time new cities were going to have to pay...)


P.S. this shouldn't be a question... the money should go towards *paying the bills* (customer service and improvements) -- this is what Craig said when he started charging -- but it certainly appears go straight into Craig&Co's pockets....

Friday, June 22, 2007

(when it comes to image) every little bit helps...

Mathew, I think Craig is an *investor* in Daylife (saying that he "has helped financially" gives the wrong idea that he is a *donor* of some sort...) D.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

what feels right for Craig...

Craig: "Do what feels right, and then follow through with it"

well, if for Craig it feels right to just pocket the money (instead of spending it on customer service and improvements) ... I must say... he's certainly followed through with it! :) D.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

totally honest?


not a grudge... if you want more detail, feel free to check out my craigslist criticism blog (it appears to have motivated some people to really look into things such as Craig's honesty -- Mark Rose, for instance)


P.S. but if you are JUST trilled that, at this point, craigslist is free for the purposes you want to use it... you may just want to ...forget about looking into things... don't worry, be happy! sort of thing :)... D.

follow up for Gil


Well, you *did* say "totally honest" in your original post (that's why you got a comment from me).

As to his "manner and sensibility" it may all be an "act" as you say :)...

And pocketing millions after millions... year after year after year... (money that should have been spent on customer service and improvements) is not a virtue as far as I can see...

But if you've got your mind made up, you've got your mind made up...


P.S. anyways, take care! D.

re:"It doesn’t seem like a big deal, its totally simple, *totally honest* [my emphasis]…and hugely successful. Makes you think!"

Hi, Gil!

yes, it should!


P.S. you may want to check out Andrew's Clark recent article in the Guardian...

P.P.S. take care! D.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

isn't this embezzlement?

they've said (over and over and over) that craigslist was non-commercial, that Craig just wanted to give something back to the community (this claim is still on the craigslist site today) so the community trusted Craig&Co that they were honest, that they were going to charge to *pay the bills*, as they asked...


P.S. instead, craigslist appears to have severely violated that trust by pocketing millions and millions of dollars, year after year after year... D

Friday, June 15, 2007

Craig&Co asked how to pay the bills (*not* how to get rich off of craigslist...)

MORE: there is plenty more on this in prior entries

re: "In 1998 Craig asked craigslist users how to cover the cost of running the site."
(first question under "Background")


P.S. while the costs have been kept as low as possible (minimal customer service and improvements) millions and millions of dollars seem to have just disappeared... D.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

(Listpic moves to Oodle) innovators should skip craigslist altogether...

looks like they are only interested in getting peoples' ideas... for free, of course (Craig, Jim &Co are the ONLY ones entitled to make money, dont forget...), without giving them any recognition and treating innovators like they are bad news -- don't even tell them what you are thinking! (just do your own thing or go to places that appreciate what you are doing and treat you well... craigslist doesn't desirve a moment of your time!)


Monday, June 11, 2007

craigslist appears to make things up...

re: what the community wants/needs to suit their own interests...

e.g. Jim:"We have a sense that small employers don't find a fee burdensome" -- 8th paragraph under the sekers speak up" heading (Jim is usually no this sloppy -- notice he is talking absolutes here, referring to all small employers ... how on earth could that be true?)

He is also vague and ambiguous (looks like Craig's school): at least some of the small employers are very likely to find the $25 $ fee "proposed" burdensome -- just read their posts in the special forum -- (but Jim is talking about "a fee," not the specific fee in case).


P.S. the MSM seems to be eating it up again (re" craigslist proposes [my emphasis] charging the $25 fee to employers looking for workers in Sacramento, Orange County, Chicago and Portland, Ore." ; 4th paragraph... like there is any real chance they are not going to charge... -- looking at what happened in prior circumstances and at least mentioning it seems to have been too much work for them...) D.

Friday, June 8, 2007

(inadequate improvements) why doesn't craigslist use some of those tens of mills in profits...

UPDATE: well, he sort of answered on craigslist (not on his blog) -- same ol', same ol'... way too vague and PRish to know what the heck is he really saying, if anything -- WILL craigslist do anything about it? Not to talk of Jim (the guy seems to be pulling percentages out of his hat any time something like this comes up... and it's all so ridiculous... and pointless)

But anyways, great show of what the community really thinks! ooh... and a good part of the thread (including all of Craig's comments) was moved to the "Isles of Misfits" (only craigslist officials can do this) -- why??? could it be that it's harder to find it there? (some articles refer to Craig's comments but you have to be familiar with Craigslist to know how to find them, and the context, after removal to the Island) D.


T. Cain to Craig: "Hey, remember--It's about us (the customer)!" -- precious! :).... and nope, no response from Craig... D.

..... do some improvements? and why on earth it's stopping others from doing them? D.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

chatter it *is*... (Donna Bogatin's blog: Insider Chatter)

Craig:"Donna Bogatin, who as of yesterday was the leading blogger at zdnet"

really? Donna was ZDNet's star??? (God help ZDNet!) then again, according to Craig, that was yesterday... Donna gives us no clue as to what happened... (why isn't she with ZDNet anymore...? Could it be that they finally realized she was supposed to interview people -- to ask them real questions -- and not just chat with them and agree with everything they would like her to publish, like she did and keeps doing in Craig's case?)


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

another disappointing podcast...

David Weinberger: "so... I have some questions" (Oh...great! except he doesn't have any real questions... he just seems to be enjoying himself buttering Craig up like so many others have done before him... what a shame -- give that microphone to somebody who knows what it's for, will you?) D.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Craig&Jim have stopped talking about Alexa statistics... wonder why?

craigslist keeps going down... (in the past 3 month, it's been going down on all ctiteria: 9% in reach, 1% in page views by user and down 7 in traffic ranking)


P.S. again, thanks to Laura, for having looked into in and brought it to peoples' attention! D.

Monday, June 4, 2007

is craigslist a "scheme"? I certainly *appears* to be...



again, ALL I'm doing (on this blog and elsewhere I post in this respect) is put down what *I* see and try to give evidence for why things look that way to me... and, no, I'm not claiming I have access to the ultimate truth of the matter -- I think this will eventually surface for all to see but it may well take a very long time (things like refusing to disclose profits are making it very difficult if not impossible for ANYBODY to really know what's going on at the moment)


Sunday, June 3, 2007

will he sell? (and what would happen if he did?)


Sorry about the delay... (was away for the day). I disagree (re: deceit and a good PR game are often synonymous): there may be a fine line, but there is always a line.

If you are really interested in this, I suggest you take a look at his prior claims on the issue: he has repeatedly said for a long long time that he is not going to sell. He has asked for and accepted the community's help: people have helped *because* of that -- he is still getting free work based on that claim to this day.

I'm not familiar with the details in the case of Amazon but if they would have made anywhere in the range of claims Craig/craigslist has made, I think we would have heard about it. As far as I'm aware, Craigslist is a very special case as far as its history, claims and benefits derived from those claims. If Craig ends-up selling, I believe there would be enough evidence of fraud, for instance.


P.S. re: competitors; the way I see it, the centralized model for classifieds is breaking down (this model is what made craigslist a success): the new winners will be those who make best use of technology and *really* help their customers (craigslist does neither, it spends as little as it can get away with on customer service and improvements and appears to have no intention to change).

P.P. S. As to my blog, it's simply a chance put put down what I'm seeing and, no, I'm not affiliated with any groups. D.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

the cash cow that's already monetized... not selling *right now*... and such


Mark, I agree... but I'm afraid this goes way beyond PR -- it has deceit written all over it! D.

UPDATE: the post below is a "streamlined" version of the one I posted on Mark's blog (not displaying yet): I seemed to have crammed too much info in that one... this should be clearer

follow-up for Mark:


There would have been no problem whatsoever with "living comfortably" -- however comfortably he could legally manage -- would he had been upfront about wanting to make money... would he had not asked for and accepted loads of community help for a very long time before turning for profit...

There is a big burden on the community that made craigslist what it is and has to make do with rudimentary customer service and very few improvements... because Craig/craigslist keeps talking the grand talk and quietly pocketing the money... instead of spending it on customer service and improvements...

The *really* "shrewd strategy" would be ... to do exactly what he appears to try to do: maximize profits in the long run and milk craigslist for as much as he can at the moment... (while keeping long term profits in mind: plenty of things that could bring money in now, would be a bad idea in the long run).

It's just that... people are bound to wake up at some point and serious competition is starting to show up. So... yeah... I think he may well end-up selling, although he's been saying no, no, no... hell no! for a very long time...


P.S. anyways, at least you find it conceivable that although he's been pretty much swearing he would never do it, he might in fact sell -- meaning you are NOT a groupie, like so many of those writing about Craig/craigslist appear to be... take care!:) D.

Hi Mark!

I'm just wondering what you thought of Craig's answer to the would-you-ever-sell question from the audience: "*Right now*... [my emphasis] we are just not interested in selling..."


P.S. oh...and the cash cow is already monetized to the tune of 50-70 mills in estimated profits (while customer service continues to be severely understaffed...) D.

Friday, June 1, 2007

(inadequate customer service) Craig has no clue what's missing? (pants on fire...)

re: "I don't know what's missing... and that's frustrating..."
(8 min mark)

yeah, right... he has no clue that he NEEDS more customer service people given the volume? that he NEEDS to spend much more on that and forget about tens of millions in profits... that there is no way 12 people can handle the demand...


P.S. and I do sympathize with the poor employees -- he must be working them to death... as to his own contribution to customer service: I constantly hear people he personally "helped" weren't impressed, to say the least... -- latest example I came across he was telling somebody to just flag, when it had nothing to do with the problem...(just plain dizzy...)

P.P.S. again, I can't find the quote... D.

(vague and ambiguous) Craig wouldn't sell... *right now*?

question from the audience: "is there some point where somebody can offer you something that you'd be willing to sell?"

Craig:"Right now... [my emphasis] we are just not interested in selling... (...) so right now [my emphasis] we are happy just not selling...

(starts at 18:13 min mark)

looks like this may be another tipping point... -- notice how he introduces ambiguity again (he vaguely introduces the idea that things might change in the future -- that they may indeed sell -- while in the same time appearing to be just repeating things he's said before... that he would never sell...


P.S. also notice how he distances himself from that decision (he was asked if he would sell, but he uses we in his response) D.