Craigslist limits use of HTML, chaos ensues.

Posted April 17, 2008Blog

Ted Adler

President
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I heard via an Inman Community posting that the popular classifieds-style site Craigslist has announced its intention to limit the use of HTML. An exceptionally heated forum resulted (warning, much of the language used in the posts lacks sophistication and subtlety). I, personally, don’t have a problem with HTML in Craigslist, but some folks clearly do. Wading through those forum posts yields some insight into the thinking of Craigslist’s social marketplace. I’ve filtered through a few, provided here to be used as a direction of Voice of the Customer research for anyone using Craigslist for marketing (I have added the emphasis and corrected spelling). Notice in particular which needs are being met or not met by HTML in Craigslist.

“I agree, if you guys need to limit the HTML to get a handle on these high strung crazies, DO IT, it won’t effect me and it will just make my browsing easier and less annoying.”

“I am completely OVER finding all this ridiculous garbage about national get rich quick or real estate or any of the other trash nobody really wants to see.”

“It is getting ridiculous. It is all car dealers and realtors. Plus the car dealers pretend to be “by owner.” Can we please crack down on these low lifes. Even they know what losers they are because they hide the fact that they are dealers and deceive people right of the bat.”

“Plus, the real estate section is turning into huge corporate ads.”

“This site is becoming too corporate! Please, no HTML is necessary. That is not the idea of this web site. It started as a simple bulletin board, and that is why people love it.

“Is there a way that you can allow still POSTLETS if the change goes thru? It makes posting Real Estate ads sooooo much faster and easier without having to upload pictures every time.”

“Please do not limit the HTML codes generated by Postlets for advertising individual houses….these are very helpful to all of us in the real estate section!”

“Postlets, Vflyer and other ad generating sites like them are the problem. There are currently over 5,100 ads with the postlets.com url posted currently in the Austin apartments for rent forum alone. Not to mention the other parts of the site. Craigslist software doesn’t recognize ads that have been posted over and over as similar ad postings when generated by these sites.”

Do you use Craigslist as part of your online marketing? Anyone tested the results on using simple HTML coding like Craigslist is moving towards vs full HTML or ads generated by services?