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from Associated Press, June 21, 2004

Milwaukee gains Craigslist site
by Associated Press

Milwaukee now has its own Craigslist Internet site, joining more than three dozen other communities with the hip online designation.

"In the industrial age, the measure of whether a community had made it into the top tier was whether it had a professional sports team," said Lee Rainie, the director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

"In the digital age, getting on Craigslist is ... one marker that the town has become wired enough and sophisticated enough in all things digital."

The Milwaukee site is a hodgepodge of apartment and employment postings, personal ads and community listings.

Such sites were started in 1995 by Craig Newmark, a San Francisco computer enthusiast, and now are up for 45 cities in North America and Europe, with dozens more posted to a waiting list.

Jim Buckmaster, the site's chief executive officer, said Milwaukee was chosen to receive its own site based on requests and the number of Wisconsin items posted to the Chicago site, which went online in 2000.

The Milwaukee portal has had about 15,000 views a day from about 1,000 different people since it was launched late last month, Buckmaster said.

"It seems to work best in good-sized urban areas," Buckmaster said. "The site is about individuals in the same geographic locale exchanging whatever they want to exchange."

Tim Hansen, 23, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee film student who recently moved back to Wisconsin after a year living near San Francisco, heralded the site's arrival in Milwaukee as a chance to get some things for nothing.

When he lived in California, he said, he was able to get motor scooters, synthesizers and "a really nice modern lounge chair" for free from the Bay Area Craigslist.