Making Money On Craigslist

The History of Craigslist

The popular website,, was created by Craig Newmark in 1995 as an email distribution list of friends, featuring local events in the San Francisco Bay Area, before becoming a web-based service in 1996. It was incorporated as a private, for-profit company in 1999 and has been expanding to cover more and more different cities since then. 

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark observed people helping one another in friendly, social and trusting communal ways on the Internet via the WELL, MindVox and Usenet, and felt isolated as a relative newcomer to San Francisco. He decided to create something similar for local events.

The first emailed San Francisco event listings debuted in early 1995. The initial technology encountered some limits, so by June 1995 new software was installed to handle the expanding website better and the mailing list "Craigslist" resumed operations. Newmark submitted most of the early posting himself and they were notices of social events of interest to software and Internet developers living and working in the San Francisco Bay area.

Soon, word-of-mouth led to rapid growth. The number of subscribers and postings grew rapidly. There was no moderation and Newmark was surprised when people started using the mailing list for non-event postings. People trying to get technical positions filled found that the list was a good way to reach people with the skills they were looking for. 

This led to the addition of a category for jobs. User demand for more categories resulted in the list of categories growing and expanding.

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