Dear Craigslist

Another interesting anon posting from craigslist

There are serious people looking for serious work here. For the most part, you can get very talented, highly skilled developers that can do just about anything, provided you are willing to pay for it or your compensation is reasonable. Furthermore, you will have a much higher success rate if you specify what the job entails as opposed to simply having no idea or worse, waiting until someone responds and then to lay the wammy on them.

These are gigs. A gig is a one time deal or something of short duration. It is not a job. People looking for “gigs” aren’t looking for a job, usually they have one and want to supplement their income or they like the freelance lifestyle afforded by completing “gigs”. Hopefully this will help you find the best person out there and someone who can also complete the gig within your timeframe.

Be specific as to what you need and then what you want. Many times the two are not the same. Experience with XYZ doesn’t tell anyone much. What do you want done with XYZ skills? Specifically.

Be reasonable about the compensation and your expectations for less than reasonable rates. Reasonable is usually a premium over what someone with a “job” gets. Since this is most often a short term or one time deal, expect to pay for someone to deal with that situation. If you want free help, say so right from the beginning and maybe you’ll find that person right away. If you are trying to barter or otherwise exchange service or goods for the work you need done, trying to trade your stuff at retail and get our stuff at wholesale isn’t going to work. We are IT, technology developers and experts, not stupid. For example, if you are hiring a database developer for something and it will take 20 hours, figure on $2500 worth of your goods or services, not inflated to take some advantage.

If you are a non-profit, please, everyone knows that a non-profit doesn’t mean no money. You are getting paid and so is most everyone else working there. You just can’t show profits carried over from year to year or pay dividends and so on. Don’t forget, the people you are asking to do the work need profit to eat and pay bills. We are not part of your non-profit business model, like you, we expect to get paid for our work.

In those situations where time is critical as in you need something done ASAP, qualify ASAP. It’s the “as possible” part of ASAP. That could be anything. It is tomorrow, next week, this month, next 6 weeks? That shouldn’t be difficult to state in the ad.

Help us help you. We want to solve your problems, complete your project and help your success. The more information you give us up front in the ad, the easier it is for the best candidate to contact you. You do want the best person and the best perfomance right? No one likes screening responses and talking to endless lines of people. By writing a great ad, you’ll cut down on the number of people you need to screen.

Here is the biggie: If you have all kinds of experience requirements, extensive workloads and short timeframes, you should expect to pay for it. Just because this is CL doesn’t mean bargain basement for out of work, hard up IT professionals.

Time is money and usually the people you can get on CL can do it right, fast and with class. We know what working on tight deadlines means and can usually accomodate you. Just please remember what you want when someone tells you to drop everything and do something right now. If you just take into consideration some of these things, you’ll get higher quality responses, better work/services performed and a better outcome that makes you shine.

Most of us are not looking to join your business or get a percentage of future revenue. It’s your idea and your baby. We can bring it along but we’re generally not into being your partner, free tech support or investor. There are people like that but that is in a different category.

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As before, we have made an attempt at contacting the author of this post. We were successful the last time, and are hoping for the same. If you are the author, please, please let us know.

5 responses to “Dear Craigslist”

  1. Just want to thank you for this site and everyone’s comments.
    As a free-lance artist, I have wasted way too many hours dealing with disrespectful people trying to get a deal.

  2. wait, so let me get this straight?
    either these ads you post on craigslist are a joke to make a point?
    or you are stupid enough to feel that musicians should work for free but not illustrators?
    guess what, you CAN actually get paid work with visual design work
    very few musicians ever get paid more than gas money and a couple free beers
    this includes many of your favorite artists

    everyone should get paid

  3. Rus, I fail to see where you’re coming from without links to places where the writer of this article or the members here posted an add(s) on CraigsList expecting musical work for free.

    I also believe that like me, everyone here takes the general stance that no one should work for free unless it’s working Pro Bono as their own choice and that no one should be forced/expected to do free work.

    I don’t see where the article even mentions not paying musicians.

    As I don’t have the time or energy to search CraigsList myself it’s going to be up to you to step up to the plate with evidence for your claims.


    As a side note, how does one become a member/get a password to the older content? I don’t see any “register here” place on the site, but maybe I’m just blind while searching for something once again.

  4. Sitepoints design contests are now named 99designs.
    Before the ‘contestholders’ could hold contest for free, they
    had to pay the winners ofcourse (if they did) but now the site charges 39 credits (1 credit is 1 dollar) and the contestholders are now less friendly, because they paid I guess, but not me, but the site, so what do I care?
    And after their initial 39 credits they also pay the winner ofcourse.(if they do, I don`t know). I did it for a while just to see how it works. Your idea’s get stolen and used in other designcontests, or even the same. The ‘contestholders’ sometimes even tell the designers that they like aome part of one design and ask other designers to follow that, yeah, like we are a designteam there where they can pick design parts.
    So I finally quit my experiment today, locally I make some money now, which is more then I made there, which was , nothing.(well i am not a great designer, but my idea’s got nicked anyway. Which pissed me off)

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