Richmond Makes the List 

Craigslist (http://richmond.craigslist.org) is free. It is a combination souk, matchmaker and trading post — "a place to find a job, housing, goods & services, a social life, advice, and just about anything else."

Kellum writes that it's been an indispensable tool as he sets down new roots: "I am going to likely be able to furnish my apartment entirely for free from the nice things people give away everyday as they are moving — beds, couches, lamps, desks, q-tips, socks, neon plastic bracelets, you name it ...."

The hype is true, and as of last month, Richmonders have their own "communal consciousness" to mine for jobs, free couches, dates — and even opportunities for charitable donations.

Craig Newmark, a computer programmer in San Francisco, started Craigslist in 1995 with the modest goal of creating a local events' list that readers could add to. By 2000, a Forrester report called it the most effective job-recruiting site in the Bay Area. And since the site has grown to include dozens of categories in as many other cities across six continents.

At press time, Richmond's page had 274 housing postings and 371 job listings, and under the "barter" section of the "for sale" category, an elementary-school tutor is offering her services in exchange for "massages or fine quality business cards or marketing for my handbag business."

"Now hopefully Richmonders can trade each other's trash as efficiently as we do in San Francisco," Kellum says. — Amy Biegelsen

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