Craigslist Booty – Part 5

With this, we wrap up the all Craiglist & Booty Week.  If you’re new here, don’t sweat checking out all four previous posts, but I do think Parts 2 & 3 are pretty alright.  I feel like I should have learned something from all of my fuck-ups and fuck..s.  Here’s what I think, so feel free to tell me I’ve misinterpreted my experiences.

On craigslist itself:

  • It’s fuckin’ crazy.
  • It’s a lot of fun to read.
  • It’s full of sex, and you can get in on some of that if you know how.

On avoiding making a bad internet personals ad:

  • Being too vague
  • Being too specific
  • Being too lewd
  • Being too “vanilla”
  • Being Boring
  • Promising something you can’t deliver
  • Being too suggestive

On things that have worked for me:

  • Being clever
  • Being silly
  • Being firm and assertive
  • Being open
  • Being odd
  • Saying what I mean
  • Innuendo
  • And most of all – A Picture!

By the way, I don’t think I’ve mentioned this – any kind of personals place is very dangerous.  The internet doesn’t necessarily make it more dangerous, but rather introduces additional aspects to the classic, newspaper based personal ads model.

  1. Lack of a vetting process
  2. Extreme Volume
  3. Inherent anonymity

Newspaper personals have some kind of vetting process, if nothing less than to keep to a standard of decency.  Every place with personals does have its own set of rules, and craigslist’s rules are a lot stronger than most would think.  However, the standard of decency is much lower on the web.  Don’t mistake that for people actually being more decent with newspapers than with craigslist.  It just means that they appear more decent in print than on screen.  Keep in mind – John Wayne Gacy did not have the internet and Hitler didn’t have rap music or Grand Theft Auto.  The internet also makes it so easy to post, that you end up with a shitload more posts than any reasonable business can keep up with vetting.  This lack of vetting means a lot more crazies get through.

Ease of use means large volume.  Large volume means greater probability of crazies being users.  Extreme ease of use means extreme volume means extreme probability of crazies.  I’d think it is much less of a cause and effect but more of just a numbers game.  Still, even if the percentage of crazies using the personals section of The Washington Post and craigslist.org are both only 1%, The Post only publishes so many a day.  If a paper publishes 50 ads on a week day and 100 ads on Sunday (and I’m just pulling those numbers out of my ass), then we’re talking over 1200 ads a month.  In my “1% are crazies” scenario, this means about 12 crazies a month get their ad published.  Craigslist deals in millions.  An estimated 50 million personals every month.  Even at just 1%, that means 500,000 crazies are publishing their personals ad every month.  It’s an unfair comparison, as the paper is local and Craigslist is worldwide.  Also, the whole vetting thing and the anonymity of the internet means the crazies are all invited.  It also makes it much more difficult to find, prevent, or stop those crazies.

The thing is, now you have your own vetting process.  We would hope that if someone was crazy enough to lure someone with a personals ad to do harm to them, any idiot could spot it.  However, if a crazy really wanted to harm you, they simply have to draft a normal enough sounding ad to make it in the paper.  Craigslist makes it so easy to post, that I just don’t see crazies trying that hard.  So just pay the fuck attention and always be careful – more so on the Wild West that is the internet.  OH!  And always be fluffing.

tl;dr – The internet may be a wretched hive of scum and villainy, but it’s populated with real people.  In other words, it ain’t the internet’s fault, it’s ours.

Fuck, this week ended really dark.  I should draw some pictures or post rainbows for next week…