What does Craigslist’s “free” section say about a city?

Posted by Jeremy Shulkin

I’ve been playing with this idea that you can learn a lot about a city/town by what gets posted on the “free” section of its craigslist page. I scanned through the last week of postings and here are some highlights:

-Worn tire (owner says it has 30% of its tread)
-Hospital bed in “excellent condition”
Kitchen table and 1 double brass bed. Notable because the ads are written like ee cumming’s poems.
-RCA Colortrak
-Floppy drive that doesn’t work
(Not Worcester, but close enough.)
-Someone looking for someone to “hold [him] accountable” for working out, which includes checking in via email and creating a “penalty” where he’d “do something unpleasant or something” if he wasn’t keeping up. It’s since been taken down and re-posted on Hartford’s Craigslist page.

I have no idea what this all says about Worcester. Any theories are welcome.



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4 responses to “What does Craigslist’s “free” section say about a city?

  1. Will W. W.

    Absolutely nuttin bout Wusta dude-o!

    That CL search you’re referring to encompasses nearly 710k hicks in central MA J-man.

    Have you looked at other CL localities to relevate the data?

  2. worcestermagazine

    Will W.W.,
    I’ll agree it probably means nothing, I just thought it was a cool experiment. However, I did only pick the ones that were listed as in Worcester, not any surrounding towns in Central MA. (Except the flamingos. That one was too good to pass up.)

  3. mike a

    i can just see the city manager and comm moylan selling the idea of flamingos outside city hall as a reason people will go downtown, just like the skating rink was going to.

  4. I tend to go crazy over the people who think they’re really clever by offering free snow (see YSAC for more on that).

    I think the “wanted” posts on freecycle tend to say more about a community. (Like: “Wanted: free car that runs, preferably model year 2003 or younger”; or “Wanted: some brand new electronic toy that just came on the market, because there’s got to be someone out there who has two and is itching to give one away.”)

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