Why Craigslist Sucks

craigslist  Let’s begin by defining terms. Craigslist is awesome in many respects–free, comprehensive, simple, and massive–but in other respects it sucks.  The crappy elements include:

  • Design (none)
  • Tons of Garbage listings
  • Poor organisation (listings organised by date instead of function)
  • Inability to find only what you are looking for

But here’s why Craig, Jim, and co. don’t do anything about it:

  1. Craig clearly grooves on the fact that Craigslist sucks. Every day is an inside joke on all those bozos who spend millions building super-sexy graphic-intensive sites. Those sites have no users and big losses. Craigslist has millions of users and huge profits.
  2. Craig understands the same secret that Plenty of Fish proprietor Marcus Frind does: Sites that look like they suck are often a hundred times more useful and popular that sites that actually suck). Why? Because the key to Craigslist and Plenty of Fish is their ability to connect users to useful user-generated content, and vice versa. Everything else, as Frind says, is “trivial.”

Craigslist could be made more useful and pleasant if it eliminated more garbage listings and improved the search/find interface, and, hopefully, it will eventually get around to doing that. (If it doesn’t, it will eventually run into the same problem as eBay: bad “buying” experience send users elsewhere). But even if Craigslist spruces up listings and navigation, it will still look like it sucks.

Web designers take note!

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