Skip to primary content


New York Magazine Profiles Craig Newmark

Interesting, snarky, fun-to-read profile in New York Magazine by Philip Weiss about Craig Newmark and his craigslist.

About the New York transit strike, we read this:

Scott Anderson, a blogger for the Tribune Company, noticed with sadness that the ride-share space on, a Tribune holding, was empty while Craigslist was going crazy with offers. “Yet another crisis and Craigslist commands the community,” he wrote. “How come Craig organically can touch lives on so many personal level–and Craig’s users can touch each other’s lives on so many levels? It’s just frustrating that even when we [newspapers] try, we more often than not find we are absolutely losing what may be one of the most important parts of the business as it more and more moves onlin–the ability to connect people to one another and to activate conversations. To not just be the deliverer of news and information . . . but the catalyst of connection.”

I think public broadcasting in some cities has been able to do that. Especially in Minnesota, where I worked for Minnesota Public Radio. People loved it. They felt ownership, and the management at MPR fostered that, and that’s why some 87,000 people a year send in money.

I think the New York Times could build its own community, people as loyal to it as the family trust is. The family should start thinking of how to expand that community, just as craigslist has expanded its community. The Times could become almost like a club that people, who were interested in helping preserve what that the paper is and has been, could join.

The article also says Newmark:

“went on to deny that Craigslist was having any effect on newspaper revenues. “Somebody invented recently a myth that we’re hurting newspapers. I’ve done a lot of research. That appears to be an invention…We’re a minor factor.”

But the Weiss contends:

The more honest response is that the Internet is undermining newspaper readership, and if it wasn’t Craigslist, something else would be driving the business to the wall. But Newmark is so wedded to the idea that he is just giving people a break, he can’t acknowledge any downside to his achievement.

Want to read more about Newmark’s comments on the future of newspapers or see him a video, then go to the final report from our Wake Up Call conference. He was there, and here I am with him in the photo; he is the better looking guy on the left, which doesn’t say much for me or my self-portraits.

Comments are closed.