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Apartment search startup blocked by Craigslist

Padmapper has been served with a cease and desist letter from Craigslist’s lawyer, highlighting the continued mess with syndication rights across the board.

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craigslist vs. padmapper

craigslist vs. padmapper

Craigslist vs. Padmapper

Padmapper is a location-based apartment rental search engine with live filtering, syndicating listings from Oodle, ForRent.com, Apartments.com, Craigslist and other to fill their full-screen map with results that change as the map is moved. It is a popular site that was founded and is run primarily by one young entrepreneur, Eric DeMenthon.

DeMenthon wrote a blog post entitled, “Bye Bye Craigslist,” in which he said, “It’s with a heavy heart that I must announce that PadMapper is no longer including Craigslist rental listings – they’re currently being wiped from the search index. I recently received a Cease and Desist letter from Craigslist, and wasn’t able to get a meeting or convince Craigslist’s lawyer that PadMapper was beneficial to Craigslist and apartment hunters in general. They allow mobile apps to display their listings if you buy a license from them, but not websites.”

The Padmapper founder urged people to reach out to the Craigslist CEO as well as Founder, but implored his supporters to “please, please keep it civil. Perhaps if they see how many people PadMapper has helped, they’ll be willing to consider changing their minds.”

The blog post has garnered over 100 comments as of publication of this story, and responses are rolling in across the web, with many calling for Craigslist to reinstate their feed to Padmapper, even Posterous Co-Founder and YCombinator partner, Garry Tan writing an open letter to Craig Newmark, Craigslist’s founder, stating that “In a fair society, punishments like this are handed down for bad action. Padmapper has not engaged in this whatsoever. Please consider allowing Padmapper to continue to live. It is one of the top essential tools for anyone who is looking for a place to live. As a fan and user of both sites, I urge you to reconsider your decision.”

Tan, like DeMenthon asks people to reach out to Craigslist directly to urge their reconsideration. As of publication, Craigslist has not responded to our request for comment, but this story will be updated as they do.

This highlights the continued mess in real estate

Real estate is a tangled mess of data right now with rules, laws, and uses changing by the minute, but it still looks like the back of an old computer with hundreds of components plugged in, no one really agreeing on the order, or where each plug goes.

Listing syndication is tricky, and at every phase, individuals, legacy brands, and startups are interpreting the data as theirs. When a listing is entered into the MLS, an agent typically believes it is theirs, while a broker will tell you that they have the rights to the content, yet both often sign over copyright to their MLS, and then real estate syndication sites often say content syndicated to them becomes their copyright, and then you have homeowners raising their hand saying, “but it’s MY home! What about my rights?”

This Craigslist letter is likely one of many that the company sends out every month, but it is just like hundreds that are being passed around the circle described above. Craigslist is unique in that it is completely user generated content, so it is not like most listings took major investment of time or money like a MLS listing may, but even so, they are just like everyone in the circle trying to get their piece of the pie.

Craigslist wants people that use the content from their site to pay, especially when the users make money from the content, which is not a new concept, but people don’t understand yet that they are upset about this situation. The real reason it is upsetting most is because this attitude contrasts what most understand their ethos to be – just look at the Craigslist logo.

How will this end? Just like the rest of the real estate data mess – someone’s blood, sweat, and tears will be squashed, and it remains to be seen if David or Goliath will win this battle royale.

UPDATE July 9, 2012: according to the Padmapper Blog, Craigslist’s feed has been restored, but through a third party, not by Craigslist directly.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. abarrera

    June 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    @oscarfeito xDD No son tan hippies 😛

  2. landnet

    June 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    The site HousingMaps.com (https://www.housingmaps.com/) was the first to show Craigslist property listings in a map format. It continues to operate. I have attempted to get a reply from Craigslist without success on why they are permitted to operate, while other sites are not permitted to carry the listings.

  3. 7daysageek

    June 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Craigslist is methodically going through and trying to bock many apps that are providing mash-ups with their data. I think what Criagslist is doing is terrible for the Internet.

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Loss of internet access is used as punishment for those who abuse it

(TECH NEWS) Internet access is becoming more of a human right especially in light of recent events –so why is revoking it being used as a punishment?

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Internet access

When one hears the word “punishment”, several things likely come to mind—firing, fees, jail time, and even death for the dramatic among us—but most people probably don’t envision having their access to utilities restricted as a legal repercussion.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s happening across the country—if you consider Internet access a utility.

In the past, you’ve probably heard stories about people awaiting trial or experiencing probation limitations being told that they are not to use the Internet or certain types of communication. While this may seem unjust, the circumstances usually provide some context for the extreme nature of such a punishment; for example, it seems reasonable to ask that a person accused of downloading child pornography keep off the internet.

More recently–and perhaps more controversially—a young man accused of using social media to incite violent behavior during country-wide protests was ordered to stay offline while awaiting trial. This order came after the individual purportedly encouraged people to “[tip] police cars”, vandalize property, and generally exhibit other “riot”-oriented behaviors.

Whether or not one reads this post as a specific call to create violence—something that is, in fact, illegal—the fact remains that the “punishment” for this crime in lieu of a current conviction involves cutting off the person involved from all internet access until a verdict is achieved.

The person involved in this story may be less than sympathetic depending on your stance, but they aren’t alone. The response of cutting off the Internet in this case complements other stories we’ve seen, such as one regarding Cox and a client in Florida. Allegedly, the client in question paid for unlimited data—a potential issue in and of itself—and then exceeded eight terabytes of monthly use on multiple occasions.

Did Cox correct their plan, allocate more data, throttle this user, or reach out to explain their concerns, you may ask?

No. Cox alerted the user in question that they would terminate his account if his use continued to be abnormally high, and in the meantime, they throttled the user’s ENTIRE neighborhood. This kind of behavior would be unacceptable when applied to any other utility (imagine having your air conditioning access “throttled” during the summer), so why is it okay for Cox?

The overarching issue in most cases stems from Internet provider availability; in many areas, clients have one realistic option for an Internet provider, thus allowing that provider to set prices, throttle data, and impose restrictions on users free of reproach.

Anyone who has used Comcast, Cox, or Cable One knows how finicky these services can be regardless of time of use, and running a simple Google speed test is usually enough to confirm that the speeds you pay for and the speeds you receive are rarely even close.

In the COVID era in which we find ourselves, it is imperative that Internet access be considered more than just a commodity: It is a right, one that cannot be revoked simply due to a case of overuse here, or a flaw in a data plan there.

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How to personalize your site for every visitor without learning code

(TECH NEWS) This awesome tool from Proof lets you personalize your website for visitors without coding. Experiences utilizes your users to create the perfect view for them.

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experiences welcome page

What if you could personalize every step of the sales funnel? The team over at Proof believes this is the next best step for businesses looking to drive leads online. Their tool, Experiences, is a marketer-friendly software that lets you personalize your website for every visitor without coding.

Using Experiences your team can create a targeted experience for the different types of visitors coming to your website. The personalization is thought to drive leads more efficiently because it offers visitors exactly the information they want. Experiences can also be used to A/B test different strategies for your website. This could be a game changer for companies that target multiple specific audiences.

Experiences is a drag-and-drop style tool, which means nearly anyone on your team can learn to use it. The UX is meant to be intuitive and simple, so you don’t need a web developer to guide you through the process. In order to build out audiences for your website, Experiences pulls data from your CRM, such as SalesForce and Hubspot, or you can utilize a Clearbit integration which pull third-party information.

Before you go rushing to purchase a new tool for your team, there are a few things to keep in mind. According to Proof, personalization is best suited for companies with at least 15,000 plus visitors per month. This volume of visitors is necessary for Experiences to gather the data it needs to make predictions. The tool is also recommended for B2B businesses since company data is public.

The Proof team is a success story of the Y Combinator demo day. They pitched their idea for a personalized web experience and quickly found themselves funded. Now, they’ve built out their software and have seen success with their initial clients. Over the past 18 months, their early-access clients, which included brands like Profitwell and Shipbob, have seen an increase in leads, proposals, and downloads.

Perhaps the best part of Proof is that they don’t just sell you a product and walk away. Their website offers helpful resources for customers called Playbooks where you can learn how to best use the tool to achieve your company’s goals be it converting leads or engaging with your audience. If this sounds like exactly the tool your team needs, you can request a demo on their website.

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3 cool ways bug-sized robots are changing the world

(TECH NEWS) Robots are at the forefront of tech advancements. But why should we care? Here are some noticeable ways robots are changing the world.

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Bits of robots and microchips changing the world.

When we envision the robots that will (and already are) transforming our world, we’re most likely thinking of something human- or dog-sized. So why are scientists hyper-focusing on developing bug-sized (or even smaller!) robots?

Medical advances

Tiny robots could assist in better drug delivery, as well as conduct minor internal surgeries that wouldn’t otherwise require incisions.

Rescue operations

We’ve all heard about the robot dogs that can rescue people who’ve been buried beneath rubble or sheets of snow. However, in some circumstances these machines are too bulky to do the job safely. Bug-sized robots are a less invasive savior in high-intensity environments, such as mine fields, that larger robots would not be able to navigate without causing disruption.

Exploration

Much like the insects after which these robots were designed, they can be programmed to work together (think: ants building a bridge using their own bodies). This could be key in exploring surfaces like Mars, which are not safe for humans to explore freely. Additionally, tiny robots that can be set to construct and then deconstruct themselves could help astronauts in landings and other endeavors in space.

Why insects?

Well, perhaps the most important reason is that insects have “nature’s optimized design”. They can jump vast distances (fleas), hold items ten times the weight of their own bodies (ants) and perform tasks with the highest efficiency (bees) – all qualities that, if utilized correctly, would be extremely beneficial to humans. Furthermore, a bug-sized bot is economical. If one short-circuits or gets lost, it won’t totally break the bank.

What’s next?

Something scientists have yet to replicate in robotics is the material elements that make insects so unique and powerful, such as tiny claws or sticky pads. What if a robot could produce excrement that could build something, the way bees do in their hives, or spiders do with their webs? While replicating these materials is often difficult and costly, it is undoubtedly the next frontier in bug-inspired robotics – and it will likely open doors for humans that we never imaged possible.

This is all to say that in the pursuit of creating strong, powerful robots, they need not always be big in stature – sometimes, the tiniest robots are just the best for the task.

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