Open Source Craigslist?!

Susan Mernit points to a piece by Rohit Khare over at The Commercenet Blog, wherein Rohit casually asks, “Now, what would it take to build an open-source clone of Craigslist one could run locally?”

I haven’t met Rohit, but I’ll give anyone with his educational background a fair bit of leeway before I say they’re wrong or misguided. With that in mind, Rohit, some thoughts for you:

- Craigslist isn’t about the software; that’s easily replicated. It’s about:

a) Community; and

b) “Capital” that allows them to (comparitvely) reach marketplace inflection points (the point at which a market becomes self sustaining) in different verticals in different geographies more efficiently than their competitors (to date).

The other thought… Is running a locally hosted instance of Craigslist really a “decentralized” marketplace? If all it takes is moving the GUI rendering to the user’s machine (while still invoking processing from a centralized service), we could decentralize any abstracted marketplace fairly easily…

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8 comments on “Open Source Craigslist?!
  1. Seun Osewa says:

    Countries in which the Craigslist is not available can take the code and develop their own changes.

  2. Seun Osewa says:

    I meant their own communities, sorry.

  3. Anonymous says:

    if source code is “not a problem” then can you whip me a craigslist clone for a case of beer?

    there _is_ a commercial angle to the craigslist source code and that is precisely why its NOT available to the public.

    I would think that Craig Newmark with his loud proclamations of love for OSS and EFF and all that other community building mumbo-jumbo would make his community system’s source code public. But he hasn’t done so.

  4. Anonymous says:

    you censor!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Craigslist is “community” if you live in the right community. Click on S. Africa’s craigslist and you find nothing. I suspect that it is the same for many of the other non-westernized countries links for craigslist.

    Don’t get me wrong – craigslist was awesome in SF and probably the rest of the US and quite possibly in other westernized countries. But in order for it to work as a “Community” the content must be adapted to the community it is working within.

    I am very much interested in finding this code so that I can create a useful site for my community here in Rwanda – do you know where I may find it?

  6. Harman Gill says:

    Anybody who can write or reverse engineer ANY open source project can pretty much engineer craigslit from scratch.

    I develop customer open source software here in Vancouver, Canada and worked with several Open Source projects such as PhpBB, WordPress, osCommerce.

    Any good developer can code it, only problem is the element of time. If there is a community of developers, then they can develop the code, otherwise they need to get paid for it.

    I am developing a craigslist like Web Application for one of my clients (no the code will not be released).

    PLEASE STOP Flaming craigslist for not releasing their code, they definitely spent a lot of time and money developing and marketing it.

    I will be done with my craigslist clone in a month, if someone is interested, I can give you the code for a price.

    Contact me:
    hgill@gillsterinc.com

  7. Harman Gill says:

    Anybody who can write or reverse engineer ANY open source project can pretty much engineer craigslit from scratch.

    I develop customer open source software here in Vancouver, Canada and worked with several Open Source projects such as PhpBB, WordPress, osCommerce.

    Any good developer can code it, only problem is the element of time. If there is a community of developers, then they can develop the code, otherwise they need to get paid for it.

    I am developing a craigslist like Web Application for one of my clients (no the code will not be released).

    PLEASE STOP Flaming craigslist for not releasing their code, they definitely spent a lot of time and money developing and marketing it.

    I will be done with my craigslist clone in a month, if someone is interested, I can give you the code for a price.

    Contact me:
    hgill@gillsterinc.com

  8. Graig says:

    Maybe ya’ll should take a look at this as a starting point:

    MyCraigsList Open source
    http://mycraigslist.sourceforge.net/