Craigslist's New Look

By: Daniel Koepke - Posted: 2009-10-22

I don't know how many here use Craigslist, but I have found it to be a treasure trove.  Unlike eBay, there aren't going to be many new items (some gently used, but normally not brand new) and unlike Freecycle you will need money (although sometimes you can find freebies).  The major complaint with Craigslist is its interface.  I'm hear to tell you, that has changed!

Enter, Craiglook.  Craiglook (http://craiglook.com) is a site that brings you all the same classifieds, but with a vastly improved user experience (yes, user experience, or UX, is one of those internet buzzwords starting to replace our venerable UI term).  Since Craigslist can be read through its RSS feeds, using services like Yahoo Pipes and Google Maps, Craiglook reoganizes the classifieds and adds some really useful features.

So, what does that mean to you?  Instead of picking your local area and a category (or perhaps if you are savvy, perform a keyword search), Craiglook presents you with an appealing startup page and asks you to enter two things: What and Where.  For an example, I entered "guitar" and my zip code, then clicked Search.  The page refreshes and I see that there are 79 results (74 For Sale, 1 Part Time Job & 4 Services) in Fort Wayne, IN.  I also see there are several results in nearby cities and there is a nifty little slider that allows me to increase the range to include any classifieds up to 250 miles.

The results are formatted much like a listing on eBay, including picture thumbnails, if available.  In fact, you are able to check a box to only show listings with pictures.  Its really amazing how much more useful Craiglook has made Craigslist.  One final feature is that you can enter a minimum and maximum price and display only those in your price range.  Very handy!

Craiglook is advertised as an RSS Browser for Craigslist.  There's no cost to use it and I think its a more intuitive than looking over classifieds in Craigslist.  Even if you are used to doing keyword searches, the fact that Craiglook displays thumbnails alongside the title and description is worthwhile and a time saver.  If you have ever used Craigslist or thought about checking it out, your best bet is to instead, visit Craiglook.  You will not be disappointed!

If you enjoyed Craiglook and are thinking what else is out there that you don't know about, check out the feature from Maximum PC (http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/50_awesome_websites).  I discovered Craiglook in their list of 50 Websites that are under most people's radar.  There are a lot of websites listed that you need to know about!

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