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from Honolulu Advertiser, July 22, 2003

Craig's List brings humanity to Internet
By Burt Lum

As a general rule, there exists a cool Web site in every person I talk to.

I get asked all the time how I come up with the topics for each week's column. With the millions upon millions of Web sites a mere click away, random searches can be an overload of trivial information. But people act as good filtering agents.

It's just a matter of picking up that rare tidbit of information as it spills from their lips.

So, a bunch of us were at Aloha Tower Marketplace on a Friday afternoon when a friend mentioned Craig's List as a place he posted his resume.

The resulting job involved work in Hong Kong. I don't recall the details of the Hong Kong story, but Craig's List stuck in my mind.

Back at my computer, I immediately went to

To my surprise, is not just a place to post your resume or personal classifieds, although they seem to be major reasons for its appeal.

This site is free of banners and pop-up ads, and it acts as a portal for people to post messages to community forums, seek jobs, list personal ads, find housing and more.

It's about giving each other a break, getting the word out about everyday, real-world stuff and restoring the human voice to the Internet, in a humane, noncommercial environment.

It's a virtual community that started in San Francisco and is now springing up in other cities around the country.

The guy who started Craig's List is Craig Newmark, who back in 1995 wanted to leverage the Net to let people know what was happening around San Francisco.

Over the years, it's remained true to its origins and, as you will see, is rather spartan and utilitarian. But what it lacks in graphic design it makes up in entertainment value. I enjoy reading the Best of Craiglist at

While perusing the postings, you are always able to flag a posting as a "best of" selection. I'd assume that the post with the most gets to be on the list. ;-)