As we’ve reported previously, CL has been more active than ever in recent months squashing startups that attempt to build innovative products on top of its data. The shutdown of one such startup drew extra ire from users. PadMapper, among the most widely used of the many apartment listing and maps mashups, received a cease and desist letter from CL’s legal goons in mid-July.
In other words, “Na na boo boo, you can’t get me.”
As DeMenthon sees it, PadMapper is a public service and must live on. “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,” he says.
I couldn’t agree more. As I said in my earlier post, it’s not Craigslist’s job to innovate. We as users would like to think they should add new more modern features and offer reasonable data access via platform APIs.
If they decline the opportunity to meet our needs, it is our job as users to vote with our time and with our dollars. If the hundreds of thousands or millions of unhappy Craigslist users want change, we’ll have to demand it by shifting our usage elsewhere. We need startups like PadMapper, HipSwap, Zaarly, Yardsale, Ketup, and others.
With this in mind, I can sure as hell tell you where I’ll be looking for my next apartment.