-- the nation's garage sale is bargain central

You may have noticed that the used furniture ads in your newspaper have all but disappeared, the jobs section is shrinking, and there are no 'roommate wanted' pleas either. Where have they gone?

Many have segued to An outgrowth of perhaps the first large online community, the Well in San Francisco, this umbrella bulletin board/garage sale/social network site has become the open market for 450+ of the nation's largest cities. It even has active sites in 50 foreign countries.

I check my local Craigslist daily in my search for the perfect chair. In Columbus, Ohio, where I live, around 100-200 posting appear daily of people looking to sell used furniture, often at killer prices. Of course, like any internet-based business, there are trolls,in this case hawking mattresses and such, so caveat emptor in spades.

Craig's List has become the clearinghouse for temp jobs and digital employment, too. If you're looking for a gig wearing a chicken outfit and waving at cars, or writing code for a startup, Craigslist should be on your daily browsing plan.

It also serves as a networking and local info outlet, primarily for the younger demographic. You can usually find info on where the best weed band is playing or who serves the best falafel in town.

A little-known fact that bothers me a bit is that Craigslist is a for-profit company, although it continues to use the .org domain tag. They claim 8 billion page views a month, so, although under the radar of many, it has tremendous potential, surely the reason eBay bought 25% ownership in 2004.

Like garage sales and flea markets, browsing can be addictive. You have been warned.

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