Crazedlist.org stopped - what's the story? Did Craig's List interfere?

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Mon, 05/14/2012 - 10:16.

Breaking up the globe into IP zones:   And then preventing search engines from simultaneously searching all zones.

If youv'e  used Crazed List .org to search for an item across multiple Craig's List. org geographic (city) sites - you know the convenience Crazed List provided.

Yesterday, when I used Crazed List, all the returns from Crazed List came back blank.    I sensed something was up.   This morning the message on Crazed List (top image above) was "Sorry crazedlist is down until further notice."

If, as I suspect, (I checked the internet just now and find no news re: Crazed List .org - so my hunch is at this time unsupported by fact ) Craig's List has inserted code on thier sites with the intent of blocking Crazed list from searching multiple Craig's List data bases simultaneously, IMHO Craig Newmark has exercised poor judgment. 

The map in the lower image  (from the Craig'slist blog) is a represention of the geographical areas which are served by each Craig's List city centric data base.     Crazed List has the necessary code to search all or any of these geographical data bases - so if you are looking for a very unusual item to purchase from the Craig's List "for sale" catagory, you can/could search many areas simultaneously with Crazed List. 

Anyone know what's up?

 

 

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Why doesn't Craig's List allow global search of their data base?

 Sure, as the advice on CL suggests,  dealing locally - person to person - is the best way to avoid fraud.   But with that said, why doesn't CL allow searchers to look at more than one geographic city centric location data base at a time? 

Is this policy because Craig Newmark wants us to only buy a used refrigerator from the town next door and not from the next state?   I don't think so.  

Although CL isn't commercialized (except for a few catagories)  - which I appreciate - Hat Tip to Case Western graduate Craig Newmark - 25 % of CL is owned by Ebay.  

Could it be that when Ebay purchased that 25 %, an agreement was made with Craig Newmark to restrict searches on Craig's List to only single local geographic sites?

Why?

Because Ebay and Craig's List are in direct competition.   CL is free, while Ebay charges.  

When you search Ebay, your search is global on the Ebay site. 

When you search CL, your search is localized. 

Crazedlist puts CL in direct competion with Ebay.  

If Craig's List is intentionally frustrating Crazedlists searches, because of a private CL agreement with Ebay, would that be a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act (link to Wikipedia)?

 The person who apparently wrote the search code for crazedlist.org also has a similar search tool named crazedlist.loco.    On the crazedlist.loco download page the coder seems to anticipate - in the paragraph copied below -  interferance from craigslist.   

http://www.crazedlist.org/loco/  "

i made crazedlist.loco with server side javacsript because i wanted this to be easy to install and i did not want to make it easily portable to any other server side tech. crazedlist.loco is intended for personal use. As much as i love open source goodness, if thousands of crazedlist clones show up on the web craigslist may hunt me down and i may have to turn off crazedlist.org. which would suck for the thousands of people who use it. so don't be a douchebag and port this to php and serve this up with a million google ads."

Craigs List is actively interfering - going after Padmapper

 A friend sent me this link to a report that confirms that Craigslist has gone legal against Padmapper - and appartment search web site which is very helpful in geographically locating addresses in Craig's List for apartment for rent ads.    Sorry I was so late in picking up this news which is now several months old. 

It strikes me that Craigs List's head, Mr. Newmark (a Case Western grad), in going after Padmapper and others, is violating fair use of Craig's List data.

An analogy would be if the producer of the generic Crescent wrench insisted that the wrench could only be used to turn Crescent bolts.   

Craigs List is a tool.   For Mr. Newark to insist that the tool can only be used in the manner he dictates is unreasonable, and I believe legally untenable. 

However, the best way forward is for someone to create a better Craigs List - with easy integration of 3rd party apps.

This is the way to pull the plug on Craigs List, and make Craigs List obsolete.   

 

 

Padmappper get's the legal boot from Craigslist

 Craigs List continues to go after other internet operations which operations use Craigslist data to provide services like geo-locating house rental ads (padmapper did this - the service was very helpful when one was looking for and apartment to rent).

Read the Electronic Frontier Foundation's report of the recent Federal Court decision which allows Craigs List to block Padmapper's IP address.

 

SearchTempest also precluded from searching CraigsList

 Below is a portion of a discussion forum recorded over at SearchTempest.com focusing on recent changes on Craigs List which stopped the ability of Search Tempest to perform searches similar to the searches of CraigsList which used to be able to be performed by Crazed List .   I have copied a page of the discussion below to archive and preserve it.  

The important take a way is that it appears that Craigslist made code changes in order to frustrate search engines like Crazed List and Search Tempest.

); background-position: 0% 1px; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat; " /> http://forums.searchtempest.com/styles/prosilver/theme/images/bg_button....); background-color: rgb(250, 250, 250); border-top-color: rgb(102, 102, 102); border-right-color: rgb(102, 102, 102); border-bottom-color: rgb(102, 102, 102); border-left-color: rgb(102, 102, 102); background-position: 50% 0%; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat; " />
 
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Results Changes

Postby Tempest Nathan » Sat May 12, 2012 8:36 pm

Craigslist Changes



Craigslist recently made a change that prevents us from doing things the way we did before. We immediately started working on fixes and alternatives though, and we now have a couple of good ones for you.



May 16 Update: Two major improvements:


  • We have switched the default 'Separate Cities' view over to a new provider (called 3taps) from the Google custom searches. This should provide much better results. While they're ramping up capacity, results for this mode will be limited to the past 7 days. (That's only temporary though!) If you need older results you will want to use the brand new Direct Results tab:
  • We've created a brand new 'Direct Results' view, which you can get to with the Direct Results tab on the results page. Since we can no longer use frames, it will open the craigslist results in a new window with a little navigation window beside it. Only one city at a time, but you can flip through them quickly and the results come straight from craigslist so of course they are 100% complete.



Depending on the type of search you're doing you may find any one of the three results tabs (Separate Cities, All Cities Together, or Direct Results) works best for you. Why not try 'em all? :)



And of course, we're still working on improvements!



May 17 Update: Performance Issues

3taps (our new craigslist results provider) is having some difficulty handing all the traffic from SearchTempest. They are working on it and should be ramping up capacity over the coming days. In the meantime you may notice some timeouts, especially during peak hours from about 4-7pm pacific. The Separate Cities results may also fall back to Google if overloaded.



This should all be sorted out soon. In the meantime, you might want to try the other two results tabs (All Cities Together and Direct Results) instead, or try to do your searching outside those peak hours. Thanks for your patience!



Original Announcement (outdated):



As you may have noticed, the default results mode (with separate cities) looks different today. Craigslist recently made a change at their end that prevents us from doing things the way we did before. As you can see though, we already have an alternative in place, and are working hard to make it good.



We are aware that the current setup, which uses google custom searches, is not yet perfect. We wanted to get it up for you as quickly as possible, since if you're anything like me you don't want to go without SearchTempest for long! :)



A few known issues:


  • It's still fairly resource intensive, so slow on older or mobile browsers
  • Price filters do not currently work
  • There is a slight delay in showing brand new craigslist postings, and in removing deleted ones
  • Image previews are not currently available
  • The 'has picture' filter only works for craigslist images, not for embedded html images
  • When sorting results by date, some are a bit out of order



Probably other minor ones I'm not remembering at the moment. Some of these issues are due to limitations of google searches, while some we just haven't had a chance to deal with yet. We are working tirelessly, both to add all the features we can with the current setup, and to investigate alternatives. One that looks promising is an API from 3taps.com. They don't currently have the capacity to handle all of SearchTempest's traffic, but we are hoping that can be changed.



Anyway, you should expect to see continual improvements over the coming days. Also, we figure we might as well look at this as an opportunity. Since we are no longer using frames, we will finally be able to add several often-requested features, including


  • Removal of the 'double-scrolling' of the results page
  • Ability to filter results by date
  • Ability to search multiple categories at once
  • A dedicated mobile site for smartphones, with iPhone and Android apps



Obviously we'll focus on the most critical stuff first, but we hope to get many of those done before long.



If you are having any problems with the site not mentioned above, please let us know by email, or by posting here!





Older updates:



May 14 Update: Exciting developments today. I spoke with the folks at 3taps and I think we're going to be able to get a much improved stacked results mode up very soon. Hopefully within a few days. Also, we are working on a new 'advanced view', which will allow direct viewing of craigs results, but much more quickly than the current 'direct craigslist view' mentioned above. Basically it will spawn a craigslist results window with a little navigation window beside it to quickly flip through cities. We're hard at work on that now and hope to have an early form of it ready within a day or two!

May 13 Update: Oh, and if you're really keen on getting results straight from craigslist, for now you could click on the Display Options tab in the results page, and switch to 'Direct craigslist view'. You can only view one city at a time that way, but at least you don't have to type the search in over and over. Again, we're working on improvements.

Tempest Nathan
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Re: Results Changes

Postby 'Rion » Sat May 12, 2012 10:02 pm

Thanks for trying so hard to fix things so fast. 

Having a tool like this available again so quick is a godsend. :)
'Rion
 
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Re: Results Changes

Postby Tempest Nathan » Sat May 12, 2012 10:14 pm

You're welcome! :) And thank you; after putting in almost 30 hours of work since yesterday morning, I appreciate the appreciation!
Tempest Nathan
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Re: Results Changes

Postby freeportd » Sun May 13, 2012 4:11 am

nathan, kudos to you. Great website. One piece of feedback, if you could not open a new tab when clicking an item (or at least provide an option to stay within the current tab), that would be great. Good luck with the changes. Chuck
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Re: Results Changes

Postby jay » Sun May 13, 2012 4:43 am

I don't understand why Craigslist would go out of there way to keep great sites like this from working.

I used to use a now-defunct site called crazedList.org which was similar to this one, but not as good. It required some bazaar firefox setting to work. This setting helped them get around an early attempted by Craigslist to prevent showing their results in frames.



Thank you for your efforts on this site, and I hope you're able to restore the separate cities functionality again.



Thank you,

Jay
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Re: Results Changes

Postby e7grunt » Sun May 13, 2012 6:14 am

Hey guys, Im just glad your up and going again, Its been a few days without being able to really check out craigslist. Thank you Hope you get it the rest of the way soon. Yeah I dont understand why cragslist went out of their way either. Oh well thanks again guys.
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Re: Results Changes

Postby Barner107 » Sun May 13, 2012 7:39 am

New site keeps crashing my iPad? Why is that - when loading cities up?
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Re: Results Changes

Postby cameopickup » Sun May 13, 2012 9:30 am

most results in my query come up as "outdated" or Closed by author.....they shouldn't come up at all.

I liked the simple way it "USED TO BE"....please go back to the way it was or give us an option.

This is very frustrating....it is easier to just go to "Craigslist and look at each city individually now" 

You broke it.....now put it back the way it was.....PLEASE

cameopickup
cameopickup
 
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Re: Results Changes

Postby will » Sun May 13, 2012 9:33 am

Why fix what ain't broken?

I'm assuming in a couple days it may be better, but in this development stage, get rid of it and get back to the working "older" regular pages, and relegate this "experimental upgrade" to an offline server.

Again, it wasn't broken. Maybe you just want it to look flashier? I don't know.

Good luck.
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Re: Results Changes

Postby Red » Sun May 13, 2012 9:39 am

First craiglook got shut down a year or two ago - it was the best (IMHO). 



Found SearchTempest and now craigslist is screwing around w/it, sigh, :roll:

CraigslistNotify also anticipates being cut off by CraigsList

A few months ago I set up an account with Craigslist Notify.com.   I never did get any notification about the used equipment item I was intersted in purchasing...but I just got the email paragraph below today:

"Free service is back online and provides limited search ability; this site is not available for business or commercial use and search functions will not be modified in any way to accommodate such users. Searches are valid for 7 days and may be extended indefinitely by logging into your account and renewing the search.

The site will remain completely free in hopes that Craigslist will continue to allow it to run, however, there is no guarantee, and this app may go down at any time."

Clearly, there are many code savvy persons who are interested and trying and willing to add value to CraisList by creating specific search and notification services.   None of these added value services influence CraigsList negatively, in fact they drive more traffic to Craigslist.   So why is it that Craigslist is set on derailing all of these added value services?   

Craig Newmark is a Case Western University grad, and I respect him emensely for operating his basically non-comercial classified ads site.   Mr. Newmark deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for the fact that his site has lowered demand for raw materials and energy - by recycling all sorts of stuff - and with the recycling cultures haven 't had to fight and kill over resources.   

Seriously.  

But I am not on board with Craigslist shucking off added value coders - coders who are interested in gleaning specific data from the CL global servers.  

There is an opportunity here for a better product than Craigslist.  

And I have been inspired by my aggravation.  

 I am on board with Craig

 I am on board with Craig doing whatever he wants with his goddamn site. Do you own equity in his business? No? Then what the fuck does he owe you? Nothing. He is not a dick for blocking your nuisance requests. You are for acting like it is your right to use his facilities as you like. Grow up. 

Craig's List - Mr. Newmark's private gig or violating monopoly?

 Hello Loser, 

Welcome to realneo!

You bring up a very big issue:  Do internet web sites owe the public anything?  Are internet sites businesses which are subject to the Sherman Anti Trust Act?  Or is Craig's List just Mark's inside game?  Just like a thing in his garage....

 
Is Craig's List a business?  Do any regulations apply?  Is the internet in the public domain?   Is the internet like air and water and earth to stand on?
 
(Is Google a business?, is Microsoft a Business?) (is realneo a business?  does Realneo owe anyone?)
 
would ebay make a deal with Newmark to restrain trade?  (billion$)
 
Does Craig's List act as a competitor to Ebay?  (billion$)
 
Do Brick and Mortar stores need to be concerned about internet marketing? (trillion$)
 
Are state sales taxes being eroded because of Craig's List re-selling goods without any sales tax? (trillion$)
 
Would I absolutely nominate Craig Newmark for a Nobel Peace Prize (million$)  because Mr. Newmark has  saved - immensely - the despoilation of the earth, and kept cultures from fighting over resources, by effectively re-selling and re-using all types of manufactured goods?
 
I am not a developer, but I think that there is an opportunity to make serious money by re-placing Craig's List and Ebay with a more user friendly classified site.   The new site would allow global gis search - any inquiry would bring up responses in all geographic areas.  
 
And the web site would operate financially as a co-op - content contributors would be compensated in a manner consistent with their activity and financial turn over - specifics TBD
 
As a developer, what do you think of such a business concept? 
 
(I may be hiring)
 

hi, (about craigslist)

I agree, with above comments, flexibility for users is what other are trying to do, and i appreciate their efforts , however here is another resource craigslist nation search or Craigslist search engine

You can still use opml files

You can still use opml files with the crazedlist searchformats.

I upload them to google reader and i get live results.

For a new search I just manipulate the <body> of the opml file in TextPad saved as a UNIX utf-8 file:

This is a search for "Tacoma Automatic" with Min Price: 1000 Max Price: 4000 from sfbay.craigslist.org that conatins a Picture

        <outline text="CA sf bay area - Tacoma Automatic" description="Search for Tacoma Automatic in CA sf bay area" title="CA sf bay area - Tacoma Automatic" type="rss" version="RSS" htmlUrl="http://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/cta?query=Tacoma%20Automatic&minAsk=1000&maxAsk=4000&hasPic=1" xmlUrl="http://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/cta?query=Tacoma%20Automatic&minAsk=1000&maxAsk=4000&hasPic=1&format=rss"/>

 

Then do the following:

  1. Go to http://www.google.com/reader/
  2. Go to "settings" (the little gear icon to the right"
  3. Select "Reader Settings"
  4. Select Import/Export
  5. Browse and Upload your .opml  file

 

Here is the full text of my toyota_tacoma.opml file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<!-- OPML generated by crazedlist.org -->
<opml version="1.1">
    <head>
        <title> Tacoma Automatic </title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <outline text="CA sf bay area - Tacoma Automatic" description="Search for Tacoma Automatic in CA sf bay area" title="CA sf bay area - Tacoma Automatic" type="rss" version="RSS" htmlUrl="http://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/cta?query=Tacoma%20Automatic&minAsk=1000&maxAsk=4000&hasPic=1" xmlUrl="http://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/cta?query=Tacoma%20Automatic&minAsk=1000&maxAsk=4000&hasPic=1&format=rss"/>
        <outline text="CA monterey bay - Tacoma Automatic" description="Search for Tacoma Automatic in CA monterey bay" title="CA monterey bay - Tacoma Automatic" type="rss" version="RSS" htmlUrl="http://monterey.craigslist.org/search/cta?query=Tacoma%20Automatic&minAsk=1000&maxAsk=4000&hasPic=1" xmlUrl="http://monterey.craigslist.org/search/cta?query=Tacoma%20Automatic&minAsk=1000&maxAsk=4000&hasPic=1&format=rss"/>
        <outline text="CA sacramento - Tacoma Automatic" description="Search for Tacoma Automatic in CA sacramento" title="CA sacramento - Tacoma Automatic" type="rss" version="RSS" htmlUrl="http://sacramento.craigslist.org/search/cta?query=Tacoma%20Automatic&minAsk=1000&maxAsk=4000&hasPic=1" xmlUrl="http://sacramento.craigslist.org/search/cta?query=Tacoma%20Automatic&minAsk=1000&maxAsk=4000&hasPic=1&format=rss"/>
        <outline text="CA mendocino - Tacoma Automatic" description="Search for Tacoma Automatic in CA mendocino" title="CA mendocino - Tacoma Automatic" type="rss" version="RSS" htmlUrl="http://mendocino.craigslist.org/search/cta?query=Tacoma%20Automatic&minAsk=1000&maxAsk=4000&hasPic=1" xmlUrl="http://mendocino.craigslist.org/search/cta?query=Tacoma%20Automatic&minAsk=1000&maxAsk=4000&hasPic=1&format=rss"/>
    </body>
</opml>
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note the "cta"

Note that the url used is

"http://sfbay.craigslist.org/cta/"

"cta" is the catagory it is searching in: "cars trucks all"

For example:

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/bia/

Bikes All

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/pet/

Pets

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/apa/

apts/housing for rent

 

 

The entitlement makes me ill.

 Hey smarty pants. Did you ever stop to wonder if maybe you were not in fact a special snowflake, and that CL simply sees your requests as a nuisance? I don't seem to recall Newmark ever declaring all his businesses data free to all. Why do you believe you are entitled to it?

I don't think this is evidence of a vast conspiracy. I think this is evidence of you being a douchebag. 

 

Much love,

a real developer, in sf, blocks away from CL. 

 

It's the Global Search

After looking at the landscape of these types of services.. and developing a Craigslist alerts app just recently I have gleaned that CL doesn't like Global search.. it wants to keep things local.   We are actually building a radius search feature but will be limited to 200 miles to comply with the intent of keeping things local. 

 

Hope this helps :)

 

Tom