‘Craigslist Now Asks for Exclusive License When Posting’

The headline says it all, and this is likely a response to Craigslist recent spree of trying to lock out others from using Craigslist data (think PadMapper). I can’t be the only one that thinks Craigslist is ripe for a disruption, because there is so much wrong with it that goes beyond the hideous and user hostile design of the site.

Many have pointed out that Craigslist is secure because they have a huge network of users, both sellers and buyers. That’s true, Craigslist is the second best way to rent apartments in my experience, with a sign in the yard being the best way. That’s how far and fast Craigslist has come for many.

But, I would remind you that no matter the size of your network, if you service becomes too douchey the users will flee for greener pastures. Primes examples: MySpace and Digg — both relics of a different time (though Digg is trying a comeback).

MySpace and Digg both got big fast, but died (or almost died) because they started doing things that users didn’t like, that didn’t help users, and another service popped up that seemingly didn’t do those things.

I for one would love to see someone try to disrupt Craigslist, here’s my suggestions of what to do:

  1. Clean, user friendly design.
  2. Allow searching of all locales at once.
  3. Integrate a payment gateway like Stripe so a secure payment could be made when the item is in hand.
  4. Allow the data to be used and viewed through APIs.
  5. Charge per listing, like $2 to post an ad. This does two things: removes ads; and helps cut down on SPAM listings.

Those are just a few quick suggestions at the top of my head, but it seems to me the time to strike is now.

Originally posted for members on: August 1, 2012
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