The New Stuff

Craigslist Loves You?

Part 1: Exploring All Options or Are The Pickings That Slim?

"I've tried the other websites but Craigslist is quick and easy..."

There are many things available on the internet that I wished I'd thought of 15 years ago. I can name inventions like Facebook, The Google search engine, and internet porn as being some of the top choices, but another one of those great ideas, would have to be Craigslist. If you don't know what Craigslist is, it's a website geared towards centralizing free ads which connect sections such as jobs, forums, community gigs, housing, for sale, and personal ads on one website with not much policing when it pertains to inappropriate content, virus spam, and other problems your neighborhood publications would never allow. Think, the newspaper classified section handled on international waters, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what Craigslist is about.

The site serves over 20 billion page views per month, putting it in 37th place overall among web sites worldwide and 10th place overall among web sites in the United States, with over 49.4 million unique monthly visitors in the United States alone. The popularity of Craigslist primarily comes from the site's ability to help people find quick work with upstart companies and great deals on new or used items that people who post, look to rid themselves of. But probably it's most popular feature, could be the personals section, which has been a local haven for sexual hook-ups and drug trafficking for over 8 years. Many posts on their personal ads section features individual profiles using coded words to solicit prostitution and drug selling. Even more profiles feature sexually graphic and nude pictures of male and female genitalia with offers of immediate sex depending on if you fit their race, body measurement, and gender requirements. But there's a new trend developing with the likes of lonely (and horny) hearts on Craigslist. And that trend is finding people searching for love at one of the most unlikely places.

Searching through the personal ads on Craigslist for (*clears throat) research, I not only found the sex and drug ads that we're normally use to seeing, but I found many more ads with both men and women looking for serious relationships and don't want to pay the $29.95 or fill out the "compatibility surveys" that other online dating sites require. Responding to many of these ads for (*clears throat) research, I met both men and women who gave me insight as to why they've now turned to Craigslist in order to find that special someone. When I talked to "Beth" (Beth being the fake name I'm using for her anonymity, which I can't blame her for) after a few corresponding emails. She states, " I've tried the other [dating] websites but Craigslist is quick and easy when I want to find someone locally to go out and have fun with."

Many other sources share the same sentiment while collectively adding that you never know where you'll find love. Craigslist has entered the top 10 on most lists of "The best online dating sites" in the world! Maybe these lonely hearts are correct. Maybe love doesn't have one web address. And maybe, just maybe... Craigslist love you.

Next, we'll take a look at some of the people using Craigslist vs. other online dating sites, and learn about their success and the chances they're taking on meeting so many accessible singles.

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