Looking for Something? Craig Newmark: You Can Get Anything You Want from His Amazing Web 'List.'

Article excerpt

Byline: Steven Levy

When people encounter Craig Newmark they can't believe they're meeting the Craig. It seems that the founder of craigslist.org--the wildly popular Internet site that's becoming the world's bulletin board--has reached the single-name status of Arnold, Cher and Madonna. The fame is surprising to the plump, bald, 52-year-old former computer programmer. "I'm just keeping it very simple," says Newmark.

Simple is almost a religion at craigslist. Begun in 1995 as an e-mailed dispatch of San Francisco job leads and apartment vacancies, the list now covers more than 75 cities, from Anchorage to Zurich. Six million people every month use the free service to search for jobs, junk, tickets, apartments, roommates, mates and temporary intimates--often requested with shocking specificity.

What will undoubtedly prove not simple for Newmark and his CEO Jim Buckmaster, is managing the list's meteoric growth while maintaining what Craig refers to as "nerd values." Essentially, that means being smart and open about making the world a better place. It also seems to encompass an aversion to frills. Headquarters is a battered Victorian house in San Francisco's Sunset district. …