I’ve been wrestling with whether to bring back Craigslist listings in the search results. I’ve found a way to include them that I’m told is legally kosher since it doesn’t touch their servers at all, but it still seems somewhat dickish to go against their wishes in this, and I’ve always had a lot of respect for what they’ve done for the world. Also, court seems like it’d be no fun.
But then I did some back of the envelope estimates of how much of people’s time and effort it would waste if I didn’t, and it became clear how much less nice it is to waste the time of millions of apartment hunters out of stubbornness or some clearly inaccurate assumption about the will of the community. If it takes half of PadMapper’s millions of monthly users 3 hours longer now to find an apartment, that’s over 350 man-years wasted per month, or 5 lifetimes. That really pisses me off. Apartment hunting is an activity which, unless you enjoy it or it teaches you something, adds no value to the world, and should be over as quickly as humanly possible so that you can get back to doing other, more productive things.
Thanks to everyone who sent them letters, there were a surprisingly large number of you. I was a bit depressed that there didn’t seem to be much of a response from them, but it was pretty incredible to see the outpouring of support (still ongoing), and I really appreciate you all taking the time out to help out with this.
Happy hunting, everyone.
Update: Edited for language, it was immature of me to curse, sorry.
Update2: There seems to be a lot of confusion, so I should clarify that CL’s legal claim was about their TOU, not about copyright, since PadMapper isn’t reposting the listings, only summarizing bedrooms, bathrooms, price, etc. and linking to the original to read more. Using 3taps just makes it so it’s not a TOU issue.
Thank you, Eric. I’ve used PadMapper for my 3 most recent moves and consistently recommend it to friends. Be well!
keep fighting the good fight! thanks for your hard work, and taking a stand. best of luck.
Awesome to hear about you and your stance on public radio today!!!!
I saw this news article today – http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/08/mpaa-embedding-is-infringement-theory-rejected-by-court/
I’m not a lawyer, but I can’t for the life of me see how embedding CL listing would not be pretty much the same thing. Just thought I would pass it along Eric – if you do end up in court having precedent to cite is always helpful 🙂
Thank you for providing a much needed service and aa great website. Like everyone else has said: Long Live Padmapper!
Thanks Joan 🙂 That was a pretty interesting article.
i wrote an email to CL in july asking them to resolve its disputes with you for the good of the users. typing fingers represent.
Thanks! Sad to say, they’re actually not happy about it coming back.
I just wanted to be another person to say thanks. Padmapper was totally invaluable to me during my latest move. You’re making software that makes a difference in peoples’ lives.
Thanks Alex, I appreciate the support. And that’s really good to hear that it was helpful to you, that’s what makes working on it great 🙂
Build your own CL?
It’s a fucking mess man — and I hope the whole scraping issue gets handled in courts properly. CL has been holding that data hostage and throwing its weight around for years! Very un-hippie of them, from such a hippie CEO 🙂
They are taking the wrong approach to this, there is no way they will win long term no matter what the outcome of the lawsuit will be. And hopefully there will be some clear guidelines for scraping & syndication after this.
The way it is now .. you can’t create a complementary service to CL — no reason for that. If they don’t provide an API to access their data then scraping should be OK as long as you’re not clearly and deliberately stealing content (search engine food or otherwise).
Anyway, good luck to 3taps and yourself. Hopefully this will hit critical mass and you’ll start getting good attorneys and media coverage.
Thank you for this.. I also agree with your assessment of the waste of human time and resources. You’re doing the right thing.
We love padmapper- we’ve been looking in the Bay area for the last month and a half- and every time you’ve gone offline it has become incredibly evident just how much time you save! We catch listings that we missed in the long dreary trance of scanning the days postings- many of them repeats, putting them on a spreadsheet, mapping them, and we never even get to the walkscore.
Padmapper is by far the most useful thing that has happened to craigslist postings in 6 years. What a great app, the need is so great, and craigslist has been becoming so polluted with bogus listings as to be unusable- maybe there’s an opportunity to replace craigslist by getting enough folks in the Bay area to use a different posting board.
whoever’s running craigslists must be knuckleheads. it’s somewhat easy to search for things to buy, but definitely not when it comes to apartments. padmapper has helped me locate apartments twice in the past 4 years (i’ve only had to move twice). i tried craigslist before discovering padmapper, and it was too difficult to find anything. hope craigslist can come to its senses and you guys can work something out. i have to move again next year and i’m worried about how i’ll find housing now.
I’m in the process of moving to Seattle, and I just wanted to say that I’ve found your site invaluable in the past, and I would be extremely grateful for anything that can be done to keep craigslist postings up on your site.
There just isn’t a viable alternative out there when searching for apartments…
Please keep us updated on the latest (legal) developments. I think we have all noticed the CL postings coming and going on Padmapper during the past few weeks, so I’m guessing something is up.
Personally, I was lucky to find my dream apartment with the help of Padmapper just before the CL seize and desist incident, but I can only imagine what it is going to be like next time I need to move if Padmapper is no longer around.
I wish you the best, and once again, THANK YOU for helping me and so many others find our new homes in a simple, efficient and time-saving way!!!
Padmapper rules! 🙂
Padmapper/Padlister is a near perfect application for my business as a small landlord.
The big landlords with those big, nice, overpriced complexes don’t need it quite as much. They also seem to stay out of Craigslist for the most part since they have so many units to advertise.
So if all small landlords migrate to Padlister, then CL eventually goes obsolete.
Here’s how I workaround CL banning PM: In my CL ad, I always add this sentence:
For a showing, please click through this link to pad mapper and RSVP to the Open House:
It gets the prospect to the padmapper listing where he can also apply online. Once a Craigslist searcher starts seeing a few of these padmapper listings, he will start going to padmapper first, and other CL posters will notice and start doing it.
And this is how we get CL out of the apartment business. Of course, they are welcome to provide a padmapper-style interface themselves, and we’ll use it.
Kevin in Denver, watchout.
I did this sort of thing with other sites like Ridejoy and CL just resorts to flagging and blocking your posts! I even wrote them an email about it and they never responded.
So much for the CL we all enjoyed for years. I sure hope there is plenty of backlash on this issue.
–Paul in PDX
CL is becoming evil, be the runner up and remove to all of us the pain to ever go back on that ugly pos.
I love your service but regret Craigslist is being so selfish. If CL cared about their customers they would welcome your service which assists their customers. As a long term advertiser on CL I am grateful for the additional exposure your site offered and the new tenants you brought me. If you need someone to testify at your trial that your use of CL data was welcomed and beneficial please let me know.
James.p.Worrall (at) gmail
Thanks Jim! I really appreciate the offer. Hopefully it won’t be necessary, though… it could take two years to get to trial!
What happened to WalkScore? I can’t see it for any listing…
Thanks for taking the time to make such a great tool, and then for finding a way to leverage the data from CL! You are awesome dude!
So, did you lose craigslist again? I’ve used padmapper and haven’t come across any hits from CL but when I go to CL directly there are hundreds. What’s up with that?
It did for a few days. It should be coming back, though, and by next week, I think we should be back to solidly searching CL.
Cool. I was getting worried there for a sec. Padmapper’s still #1
I love the concept of this website. What happens if two people post the same apartment with the same exact address? What happens when you pull data from CL for the same apartment posted by different people?
Thanks Jordan. It depends, if it thinks it’s a duplicate, it will remove it, but unless it’s sure, it typically just puts them both on the map.
Padmapper is absolutely amazing. The most useful tool I have ever seen for housing hunting. Now it just needs the data. I’m sorry Craig’s List has been so horrible. I hope you are able to bring it back soon.
Thank you for this great website. It’s saved me a ton of time searching for rentals in my area. However, the Craigslist listing doesn’t seem to show on the map in Vancouver, BC where I am, but other listings show up OK. Is that something to do with Craigslist blocking or did you just forget about us Canadians?
How could I forget about you Canadians? I love Canadians.
It looks like you’re right, and I’m not entirely sure what’s going on on the backend, I don’t have direct control over the CL importing operations – I get that from a third party now. I can inquire about it with them, though. Thanks for letting me know!
Craigslist now has a Map View option in San Diego.. How original, sigh..
Can I suggest another site to get postings from? It’s a site from Québéc, I think, and there is a lot of good apartments there. It’s http://www.duproprio.com.
I think this could be a good addition to all Québec users 🙂
Please, don’t let this mess with CL put you down. Padmapper is fantastic!
Can I ask a question? I have asked Craigslist this several times and only get a generic
e-mail response that does not answer the question.
For four year plus I have been posting ads on Craigslist and want to remove them
from where they have saved everyone of them. (probably on their servers somewhere) Is there a way I can delete all the saved ads from Craigslist. Or ask them to delete them.
Hope someone knows the answer to this problem.
Hi Jennifer, I’m not sure about that – oftentimes it’s technically trickier to delete things than it is to create them, so sometimes sites don’t enable it. Are you sure there’s no “Delete” link on those saved listings?
hi, just saying thanks. getting craigslist back would be super crucial. You’ve seriously saved my life multiple times
What’t the update on this? How come CL is back in search? Are they backing down? Did u find a work around?
Congratz either way.
Hey Alex, Craigslist search results should be up on PadMapper, is this not the case for you? Maybe try resetting your filters?
Are the Craigslist listings being blocked again? They have not shown up on Padmapper for the past couple of weeks for me.
Hi Scott, nope, they’re on there. Perhaps hit “Reset Filters” on the filter box if it appears to make sure you’re not filtering them out somehow.
Okay, I figured it out. With Craigslist, the apartment/studio rentals are still showing up , but the the roommate listings are not showing up anymore. Which is why when I filter only to show rooms/shares nothing shows up.
As a landlord, I appreciate what padmapper does; someone just came to view a rental because they saw it on padmapper. Thanks padmapper! Now if some site would give craiglist some real competition for listings!
Thanks much for the software. I am very particular about where I am willing to live. Padmapper affords me the ability to refine that search area without having to spend hours upon hours doing it… I hate moving and cant stand looking for a new place! So, thank you for cutting tha time a minimum.
On behalf of your site I was glad to send an email to the boys at Craigslist. Good luck. And again, thanks.
I’m happy you guys went through with this. Turned out great…
Maybe Craigslist is not what I thought it was? Craigslist has always been a model of
what was great about the internet–unselfish?
I’m having trouble with CL listings – every time I click on one, it says “Has pics, but not shown here for now” which I get, but then when I try to follow the link, it goes to a dummy CL page with no info – “Page Not Found.” Is this my browser, or some CL witchery, or something else?
Hm, they seem to be working for me. What city, and could you send me some examples?
We have our garage-apt (studio) on Craiglist, but it doesn’t show in your results. I tried tweaking the filters but I sitll don’t see it. Can you help me make sure it’s “findable” as opposed to just PEBCAK? 😉 Thanks!
CL doesn’t have copyright rights on any ads cause it just not CL’s ad, but user. User holding any copyright right. IMHO.
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I posted my rental property listing on Craigslist, but it is not showing up on Padmapper. Any ideas why?
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