Posted by Frank - Follow me on Twitter

credit attributed to http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdlasica/

I recently talked with the founder of Craigslist.org, Craig Newmark.  I wanted to pick his mind in regards to how social media and social networks helped build his brand and how he uses those tools to build his community.  I’m very appreciate that Craig could take the time out to answer these few questions.

1.  When you first built craigslist.org, did you think it was going to become as huge as it is today?  What made you create it and how has social media plus interacting with the community help grow your business?

In ’94, while evangelizing the Net at Charles Schwab, I saw a lot of
people helping each other, then in early 1995, decided to reciprocate.

No clue as to what would happen. I have as little vision as possible.

We’ve continuously engaged with our community since day one.

2.  How did you use social media to build your brand or was there anything in particular outside of media that you used?

Never really did anything to build the brand, it just happened. It helped that during,  from the beginning, we were continuously engaged with people.

3.  At this point are you still actively controlling operations with craigslist.org?  How have you seen it grow compared to when it first launched? Did Twitter or Facebook play a role in it’s growth?

In 2000, after realizing that I suck as a manager, I turned over operations to Jim Buckmaster, and do customer service for a living.

Growth has always been slow and consistent.

4.  They say word of mouth is the best form of advertising.  It seems today that the platform that best describes this is Twitter.  Why do you think people still aren’t getting how powerful of a tool it is and that a lot of positive effects can come from interacting with the community?

I think people do get it, but everyone’s learning how to use social media
to good effect.

5.  If you were going to share any advice with people about using social media or what you did to grow your busniess, what would that be?

Treat people like you want to be treated.

So, would you all like to see more interviews like this on the site?  What did you think of what Craig had to say?  Did any of it surprise you or seem expected?  I think the fact that he has always been involved with his community shows exactly why he is where he is today.  His success leads by example.  Let me know if there’s anyone else you would like me to interview and I will do my best to see if they’re interested.

Further reading:

How To Prevent Business Suicide

Social Networks Manager – A Future Position At Companies?

When Are Social Networks Least Helpful For Business?

The One Social Networking Tool Essential For Your Business