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Craigslist shuts down metasearch tool

craig newmarkLike people in more than a hundred cities in over 30 countries, I use Craigslist a lot, to do everything from hunt down used computer gear to check out local real estate (no, I don't use the personals — get your mind out of the gutter!). And from the beginning, I've been happy with Craigslist's friendly, community-oriented approach. It's the closest thing to a real community bulletin board you'll find online. (And how can you not like a site that uses a peace sign as its favicon?)  So, I was surprised to find out that Craigslist has strong-armed a third-party developer into shutting down a search engine that was designed to search all U.S. Craigslist sites simultaneously — a useful tool if you're, say, looking for a job and willing to move just about anywhere for it. In its letter to the developer, Craigslist pointed out that the tool "goes against the basic intent of Craigslist to be a local tool." Maybe so, but as William Gibson says, "the street finds its own uses for things." Too bad Craigslist has decided they need to own this particular street.

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