Craigslist is a 4-year-old [UPDATED]

Poor Craigslist. Everyone uses it, everyone loves it, and recently there have been some newcomers trying to make it a bit more usable. PadMapper, 3Taps, and Craiggers are a few of the more popular ones. They take data posted on Craigslist and repackage it so it’s easier to see pictures, locate sales or housing, and generally alleviate the web-1.0-ness of Craigslist proper. And Craigslist isn’t having any of it.

They’ve recently sued PadMapper for copyright and trademark infringement, and 3Taps has sued them right back with an antitrust claim. Now it might be because I’m not a lawyer, or because I don’t feel like taking the time to read the boring lawsuits, but I think if I were Craigslist, I would either A) be happy all this innovation is occurring because it means my website is awesome and people want to use it; or B) lock down all my data but start implementing these features that people seem to want. Craigslist has chosen option C) whine a bunch but otherwise do nothing.

People use Craigslist because it’s simple and ubiquitous, and for that reason is also kind of in a league of its own. The first thing anyone says when someone talks about wanting to sell something is “have you thought about putting it on Craigslist?” And while I get that CL doesn’t want their name recognition to be cannibalized by sites like PadMapper and 3Taps, most of the sites that futz with their data have names like Craiggers, Craigs Little Buddy, CraigsPro, and the like. It’s true that they’re capitalizing on the brand, but they’re also perpetuating it, which on balance seems like a good thing.

All that said, there’s no way I’m going to stop using Craigslist. Just like with Twitter and their recent data lock-down campaign, I’ll fall in line with everyone else because it’s such a useful service. Still, it doesn’t mean I won’t grumble because I can’t use my favorite tools, and a grumbling user base is never a good thing.

UPDATE: Well, well, well. Seems that someone at Craigslist has their ear to the ground.

via The Verge

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