What should craigslist do regarding Hurricaine Gustav?

What should craigslist do regarding Hurricaine Gustav?

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For Katrina, we generally got out of the way and let people repurpose our New Orleans site. Survivors told friends and family where they were headed, and vice versa. People offered housing and jobs to survivors.

The tech guys did add Baton Rouge, noting that survivors were headed there.

Is something happening now I'm missing?

Is there something we should proactively do?

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6 Comments

Delia

re: "Is something happening now I'm missing?"
yep! looks like you are "missing" the obvious, again; what were your profits this year? you should be able to help financially…
Delia
P.S. looks like this is going to be worse than Katrina so money is going to be one sure thing that will be needed D.

Taisha

Evacuations are beginning this morning so encouraging people to offer help in 1)giving people a place to stay; or 2)helping to transport people to a safe place (many don't have cars) would probably help.

Sam Greenfield

Delia,
I agree with you that corporations should support charitable efforts. However, there is no question that the monetary power of the federal government drastically exceeds the spending power of any single company. For example, we have spent around $800 billion dollars on the war in Iraq. 1% of that would still be more than any single company could afford to donate to the Gulf Coast.
Craig,
Even given my response to Denise, there are many ways in which CL could be more proactive in providing support.
CL could add a donate links to the top of every city page on Craigslist. This would be similar to the PSAs on many Craigslist pages and email messages. Other Internet companies have acted similarly in the past–a direct link would be analogous to Google's prominent placement of donation links on their front page. (In fact, brick and mortar companies have also solicited donations in a similar manner–see this Eater post about Tabla in New York City.)
You might also consider adding a categories that are dedicated to government notices, donated goods, and offers for help. Perhaps there should be a top level "Charity" section. Alternatively, you might want to take a hard look at the "Community" section–there are no "donate" or "charity" categories and the only "government" category is under jobs.
In a time of crisis, Government and charitable agencies may not have the resources to post items to a message board like CL. It could be helpful to have an intern post regular updates about relocation efforts on CL. At the very least, CL could be proactive in make sure that government and charitable organizations are aware of the power of CL.
Craigslist could help lead companies in providing basic Internet access to displaced residents. It's well and good that there are online resources, but online resources are not useful without infrastructure such as electricity and communications. This could be tied to adding donate links to Craigslist pages.
You could even consider allowing companies to place brand advertisements linked to donation pages on Craigslist in exchange for significant donations to rebuilding.
Some of these suggestions require very little effort on the part of CL. Other suggestions are fundamental changes in how CL works. I have no idea if these are suggestions you would like to accept, or even if they are good suggestions for CL in the long term. However, there are many ways that CL could continue to help.
Good luck,
Sam

Delia

Sam,
Given their profits *and* lofty talk (craigslist is not just a run of the mill corporation, it is one that pretends to be something else), craigslist and Craig should be financially helping.
Delia
P.S. Do I think they would do it? not given their track record… (NEVER done it in the past as far as I'm aware, although they appear to have been racking in humongous profits… year after year after year…) D.

Kyoki

I like the idea of maybe a section dedicated to offers of help and charity to hurricane (natural disaster?) victims. A way for people to contact help directly instead of going through channels.

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