The last time the founder of Craig’s List visited San Jose was over 2 years ago to attend a science fiction convention. Conclusion: if San Franciscan Craig Newmark won’t drive an hour South more frequently than that, we need more things to do in San Jose to attract nerds. Note to Convention Center boss Dan Fenton: call the Star Trek convention organizers.
Craig is a self-proclaimed nerd with self-described nerd values: do well, do good, and don’t sell out. I’m going to adopt this motto even though I’m not a nerd – not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Craig’s List, the most successful community bulletin board on the planet, has been phenomenally successful for one overarching reason: Craig monomaniacally focuses on customer service. He works at least 6 and 1/2 days a week responding to comments and feedback. He can’t remember the last vacation he took, unless you count his San Jose convention visit.
If his co-workers are as dedicated as Craig, they will continue to eat the proverbial lunch of Bay Area newspapers. I asked Craig about a report that Craig’s List takes $50 million annually in advertising from the Mercury News, Chronicle, and Contra Costa Times. He said it was “guesswork” and grinned. I take this to mean it’s roughly accurate and someday all reporters will be working for Craig’s List – not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Media Notes: Our site’s traffic and readers’ comments continue to impress. Mercury News columnist Scott Herhold featured our online debate about San Jose’s future in his old style (i.e. printed on something called “newspaper”) column last Sunday. Today, San Jose Inside blogger Tom McEnery will be on KGO (810 AM), 11 a.m. to noon discussing our site and other matters with Ronn Owens.
Mea Culpa: Last week, I wrote that the city of San Jose received a C plus from Governing magazine. It’s actually a B minus. I don’t know what’s worse: admitting a mistake or admitting I re-read a Governing magazine article.