First of all, Craigslist is defined as an online community with many entities.  It is composed of internship, housing, erotic services, personals, services, community, gags, pets, for sale/barter/wanted, resumes, jobs and various other forum categories.  Originally, however, Craigslist served the San Francisco Bay area with the sole purpose of posting notices of social interests for software and Internet developers.  Eventually, as the word of mouth spread, Craigslist became what it is today- a multi-million dollar enterprise. 

In the early months of 1995, Craig Newmark founded Craigslist.  Between 1999 and 2007, the company experienced the majority of its growth and success.  Instead of listing in only one city in 1995, Craigslist took on nine more U.S. cities in 1999 and 2000.  Four more cities were added between 2001 and 2002, and fourteen additional cities in 2003.  By the time September 2007 rolled around, Craigslist had dramatically changed; it had then reached out to 450 cities in 50 countries.  Just like a logarithm in a math equation, Craigslist was exponentially growing.  Despite the continual expansion of the website, Craigslist still operates on a staff of 24 people at its headquarters in San Francisco’s Sunset District.   

Many people wonder how a classified ad website such as Craigslist generates money.  Craigslist’s CEO, Jim Buckmaster, told the UBS in December of 2006 that they have little interest in increasing their profit; their main focus and goal is to help subscribers and guests find jobs, housing, vehicles and dates.  In addition to this, the website claims that the majority of their revenue will go to charities.  To answer the question on how Craigslist makes money, it is mainly dependent on paid job ads in selective cities within the United States.  They charge $25 an ad for job listings in Portland, Oregon, Chicago, Washington D.C., Seattle, Boston, San Diego, New York, and Los Angeles.  For job listings in San Francisco, Craigslist charges $75.  Additionally, in November 2008, they issued a $5 fee for erotic services.  Adult personals

So, just how popular is Craigslist?  For starters, the Craigslist website experiences over nine billion page views per month.  Because of this, it has been put as the 47th most popular site in the world and 9th most popular site in the United States.   Not only is it ranked as one of the most well-liked sites on the Internet in general, it is the number one leading classified service on the web.  There are over thirty million new classified ads and two million new job listings each month!  The financial and ownership information on Craigslist is widely unknown because the site’s executives keep it disclosed.  It is estimated, however, that in 2004, Craigslist’s revenue reached $10 million, $25 million in 2006 and possibly $150 million in 2007.  It has also been said that Craig Newmark owns the largest share of Craigslist but Jim Buckmaster owns the next biggest slice with eBay following last at around 25%.