When San Francisco suffered an eleven hour blackout on Tuesday, the people in the city weren’t the only ones affected. All across the country, people who rely on certain websites to do business or have fun were left in the dark. That is, besides people, the city also contained data centers with servers and computer equipment for websites such as Craigslist, LiveJournal and Technorati.
The power outages were caused by a series of problems with Pacific Gas & Electrical Equipment, although false rumors are still running rampant across the Internet saying that the absence of Craigslist was due to some sort of intentional sabotage. The outage, says Jim Buckmaster, the Chief Executive with Craigslist, was the longest they have ever had.
The New York Times quotes one person whose job was seriously affected by the Craigslist outage, a residential real estate agent who relies on the free ads on Craigslist to post ads for rental properties. When the site went down, his business e-mails stopped coming in and he basically had to take the day off.
Craigslist started in San Francisco, but has branched out all through the world. Visitors can post free classified ads offering anything from friendship to the sale of vacation homes. The ads are separated out into local areas, generally by major city or region.
I am a frequent visitor to Craigslist, looking mostly at the ads for garage sales and baby clothing, as well as freelance writing work. While the ads are free, there is a general peer system in place in order to prevent and/or remove offensive or inappropriate ads.The sense of community responsibility is what makes craigslist so unique, I think.I remember last holiday season, when a few entrepreneurs decided to offer the hot toy, TMX Elmo for hundreds of dollars more than the retail price. Other users quickly shut them down and the posts were removed.
Mary Ann Romans also writes for the Frugal Living Blog here at Families.com, where she shares money saving tips for today’s families.