Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Death of Craigslist

There are times when you realize that something is over. Like when you notice that there are signs everywhere (literally—actual signs) saying "Disco sucks!" Or the day that you realize that spending 30-60 minutes a day signing back onto the AOL dial-up connection, after repeatedly getting kicked off, is costing you far more (10-20 hours per month, times your hourly rate) than it would cost to just get DSL, even though DSL was $50 a month, and AOL was $20. Or when you see that the only people who take Facebook seriously are the narcissists in your life, who want you to admire their carefully curated virtual "life" and just applaud. "Yay you! : )" No real two-way conversation from you needed, nor even desired.

And now, just like disco, AOL, and Facebook before it, craigslist has earned the boot from my life. In the last few weeks, as I wrote in the previous post, all translation ads were getting flagged off of the Seattle craigslist translation section. Not only that, but all ads in the writing/editing/translation section were being flagged off every day or two, in Seattle—and in Portland, too. There is no other explanation for this other than foul play. There is no evidence to be had that craigslist, despite being alerted to the disappearing translation ads, did anything effective against it.

In theory, community flagging sounds like a great idea. In theory, communism sounds like a great idea. In practice, though, human nature being what it is, neither works well in actual practice for long.

It wouldn't take much for craigslist to hire a few truly customer-service oriented people to curate the ads in each city. Anyone with investigative skills can quickly tell which ads are legit or not, and which ads are overposted or miscategorized. Community flagging, though, should go the way of communism generally; not because it is a bad idea, but because it

Until that happens, and it won't, craiglist will just keep alienating legitimate advertisers, leaving only the scammers and the scum. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.

R.I.P., craigslist.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

ALL Translation Ads on Seattle Craigslist Being Flagged

I posted this to Craigslist at 7:10 a.m. on Tuesday, November 12, 2013. I also wrote to Craigslist and received their usual, and unhelpful, autoresponse.

Really?? Seattle's translation section on Craigslist used to regularly support 15-20 Spanish translators, and 8-10 translators of other languages, and now suddenly all of us are flagged off for violating the terms of use that we have not been violating? Messages to Craigslist just get an autoresponse suggesting posting in a forum where bullies heap abuse on anyone who asks what happened to their ad. Nowadays, though, it's usually nothing posters did wrong. Posting a single ad in the correct section of Craigslist offering services in one's own geographical area is not a TOU violation; it is legitimate people trying to make a legitimate living. I am thankful my living does not depend entirely on Craigslist, but I am concerned for those who have little other option.

It may be time for us to get together and set up something better.

If you agree with this post, please flag it above for best of craigslist. If enough good people will do that, maybe that will finally get the head office's attention to this problem. Thank you.

And if you are spending all your time being a destructive force in other people's lives to feel good about yourself, then I suggest that when you are old enough (probably next year; I believe you can be working in Washington at 14 or 14 1/2), you try working at an ice cream store instead. You will be doing something productive and positive for yourself and for others, customers are happy when they come in, and they are happy when they leave, and you will feel good about yourself, this time for real.

It does get better. It does.

Spanish Pronto

PS Please flag for best of craiglist if you agree. Thanks.