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Writer for Wired is really, really ticked off at craigslist

In "Why Craigslist Is Such a Mess", Gary Wolf unburdens himself of a considerable amount of angst and irritation at craiglist and its founder, my brother-from-another-mother, Craig Newmark:

With more than 47 million unique users every month in the US alone—nearly a fifth of the nation's adult population—it is the most important community site going and yet the most underdeveloped. Think of any Web feature that has become popular in the past 10 years: Chances are craigslist has considered it and rejected it. If you try to build a third-party application designed to make craigslist work better, the management will almost certainly throw up technical roadblocks to shut you down.

It goes on like that, gripe after gripe, for a long time. It's amazing. Don't read the whole thing.

He won't reply this way--he's too nice--but if I were the real Craig Newmark I would say this: Dear Gary, what part of F-R-E-E do you not understand?

Oh, and there's this arresting paragraph:

Newmark's claim of almost total disinterest in wealth dovetails with the way craigslist does business. Besides offering nearly all of its features for free, it scorns advertising, refuses investment, ignores design, and does not innovate. Ordinarily, a company that showed such complete disdain for the normal rules of business would be vulnerable to competition, but craigslist has no serious rivals. The glory of the site is its size and its price. But seen from another angle, craigslist is one of the strangest monopolies in history, where customers are locked in by fees set at zero and where the ambiance of neglect is not a way to extract more profit but the expression of a worldview.

As the kids today say, "Jealous, much?"

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