Funny how connections are made. When I was in Nashville a few weeks ago, desperately trying to find a job, I, like many other job seekers in metropolitan areas, turned to craigslist.org for help. But instead I was greeted with a litany of scams. Frustrated, I Twittered something to the effect of “Is there one motherfucking real job offered on craigslist or is it all bullshit?” Thats when THE Craig (I’d say the most well-known Craig on earth aside from maybe Jenny Craig?) contacted me about rotting out these scammers trying to take hungry job-seekers for what little they have left.
I was impressed. I mean, this guy personally took it upon himself to try to make craigslist better for one single person. That, my friends, is customer service. So I asked Craig if he’d grant me a short interview. He agreed. And from thence forth N. Frank Daniels’ faith in mankind was at least temporarily restored. Here’s the interview:
Me: Craigslist is one of the most popular and well-known web-sites on the
planet. It is a place where people can buy and sell items, where one can
look for dates, but in these difficult economic times it is probably most
depended upon as a place where job-seekers turn to look for work. As with
any site as highly trafficked as craigslist, it is also seen as a mecca
for scammers and spammers. Can you give me a brief run-down as to what you do to try to cut down on these sorts of activities on the site?
Craig: I don’t think we’re seen as “mecca” for bad guys, since they learn that
we’re really good at helping cops locate bad guys. However, our first
line of defense is our use community, which flags away most of the bad
stuff. Over time, we’ll get even smarter about dealing with this.
Me: You’ve told me in previous emails that you put in 15 hour days personally trying to rid the site of as many of these scammers and spammers as you can. What is the process you use to try to rid the site of these manipulators? Do you find that this is an ever-increasing problem now that websites such as CNN and others are publishing stories of individuals looking for work on craigslist, thereby increasing the visibility even more?
Craig: Every day, I work around eight am to eleven pm irregularly, taking the hours off I need to get errands done, to relax, maybe see friends. for the
most part the bad stuff is brought to me attention using a variety of
tools including email and internal software tools. It’s not really
increasing; there are only so many bad guys out there.
Me: Any advice for us job-hunters as to how we can smell out these fraudulent job offers?
Craig: We have a lot of good advice at:
Me: Do you take pride in the fact that craigslist is playing such a major role in giving desperate job seekers a glimmer of hope in finding work? Does
this increased visibility on the help wanted section of craigslist change
the over-all vision you have for the site?
Craig: I feel really good about that for a moment, then it’s back to work, in
part, wondering how we can help more. No vision, just, how do we do
Thanks for taking the time, Craig. Again, I appreciate your help with this. Just the fact that you have taken the initiative to personally answer my emails says volumes about you as a buinessman and a person.