Without a doubt, Craigslist is one of the top websites in the world. It receives over 9 billion page hits per month, with over 30 million unique visitors. There are 30 million new classified ads each month as well. All of this adds up to Craigslist being the 39th most popular website in the world, and the 11th most popular site in the United States, according to the most recent statistics at Alexa.com, a web tracking site.
In spite of this, Craigslist is, by design, an incredibly simple website to navigate. Simply click on the city you live in (or whose classified ads you want to browse), then the category of ads you’re interested in. Finally, if you want, you can search those ads.
Of course, every time you visit Craigslist, you’ll need to perform the same set of procedures again. This can be a chore, especially if you’re looking for a particular item in a larger category.
Thankfully, however (if you’re using Mac OS X), there is a solution. A simple little Dashboard Widget, simply called Craigslist Widget. Craigslist Widget allows you to view the 15 most recent posts in the category of your choice, then keeps that list up-to-the-minute listings, so you’ll always see the newest listings.
As well, you can start a Craigslist search via the widget. Simply hit the small italic “i” in the lower corner of the Craigslist Widget, and the widget will flip over, revealing the back. Here, in addition to actually selecting your city and preferred category, you can type in a word (or phrase) that you’re searching for within that category.
Craigslist Widget won’t display those filtered lists (if only!), but it will immediately take you to the appropriate Craigslist page in your default browser, with your results shown in all their glory.
One feature that I really like is the ability to open multiple instances of the Craigslist Widget. This isn’t actually a feature of the widget, per se, but of the Dashboard Widget engine. Still, being able to open multiple copies of the Craigslist Widget means you can track multiple categories simultaneously, which speeds up your browsing even more.
All in all, aside from the widget’s inability to display my search results, I have nothing to complain about in regards to the Craigslist Widget. It’s simple, not too big, and fast at what it does. Since it resides in my Dashboard, I don’t always have to see it, yet it’s instantly there when I want it. It’s convenient and saves me time in browsing Craigslist, so because of all this, I give it a huge thumb’s up!