In the last days of my trip to Berkeley California I realized that I hadn’t planned some sort of pilgrimage through Silicon Valley. Honestly, my geographic knowledge of the West Coast is close to nil. Assuming the Bay area was too expansive to cover in a 6 day trip, I didn’t think about the possibility to drive in search of the monoliths of the computer industry in the area. It was only after a day trip to San Jose, after a 2 hour tour of the Winchester Mansion, that we made the wrong turn off of the main highway and had to do a U-Turn at the entrance of eBay that I realized how snugly fit all the cities of the Bay Area really were. But by then it was too late. At that point, The only thing I could do was look through the area map and only imagine where in Cupertino Apple Computers might be, or Google’s Mountain View camp. I could almost imagine how the majority of headquarters of these famous sites might look with their low-rise expansion of buildings scattered across lush green grounds, maybe a small knoll with the companies logo modestly displayed. I’d be back someday, and maybe it was too soon to start making these type of recent-history pilgrimages, I thought to console myself.
Perhaps the least conventional of them all might have been the headquarters of Craigslist, which I had seen on television before. Craigslist is housed in a modest 4 story San Francisco style house in the Sunset District. What attracted me to Craigslist was what I had been hearing about Craig Newmark, the listings’ founder. It was known that unlike the other pirates of the Silicon Valley, Craig was not out to conquer the world, but more simply to put the idea of neighborhood into the internet-where people help one another for the benefit of all – contrary to current money making schemes. Furthermore, I read in wikipeadia that unlike most companies out there Craigslist had no plans to maximize profits – making it a very peculiar for-profit company and perhaps one of the more humble of all vestiges on the web today.
There is more trivia on the wikipedia entry for Craigslist if you care to learn more. The section “Significant events for Craiglist” highlight some interesting facts such as their eBay auction bid that won them the rights to beam 2 million classified ads into outer space. Craig’s comment was, “We believe there could be an infinite market opportunity”.
Another interesting thing I discovered on Craigslist.org was their “Best of” list compiled by readers… These are a few from Craigslist’s Best of …New York City. Reading them now is starting to make me home sick
20 Apr 2008 – who put the dead bird in my mailbox? – w4m
19 Apr 2008 – KERMIT SEEKS PIGGY
17 Apr 2008 – Ibanker seeking romance
12 Mar 2008 – Silda Spitzer, I will totally do you. – m4w
27 Feb 2008 – OK . . . I give up . . . just fuck me like a whore
07 Feb 2008 – Fingered on the RED line – Columbia University – w4m
25 Jan 2008 – Dear Star Wars ex-boyfriend, my vag is sore
10 Jan 2008 – Replying to w4m casual encounters ads? A little feedback ..
26 Dec 2007 – No, really – someone come get this horrible Chili Beer
18 Dec 2007 – fancy being lavished during the holidays?
02 Dec 2007 – To the person who broke into my car last night
26 Nov 2007 – Wanted: Heart Surgeon for 1/2 Day Gig – No Pay
21 Nov 2007 – Help me keep the shell people alive.
11 Nov 2007 – Why Must You Bother the Nice Women?
23 Oct 2007 – We met for a drink and you caught me making out with a man – m4w
11 Oct 2007 – To the gentleman who called me a depreciating asset
14 Aug 2007 – Diola lle, lovers of Middle Earth – w4m