Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Craigslist controversies and illegal activities by users

Craigslist, a network of online communities featuring free classified advertisements, has experienced controversies and illegal activities by its users during its operations.


  • On February 3, 2006, Craigslist was sued by the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law for allegedly allowing users to post discriminatory housing ads in Chicago that violate the Fair Housing Act. The case, Chicago Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights Under Law v. Craigslist, was subsequently dismissed because of immunity granted by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
  • On September 8, 2006, several sites reported that Craigslist's "Casual Encounters" forums in several cities had been compromised by individuals posting fraudulent ads in order to obtain personal information about people. This information, including email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses, photos, etc., was publicly posted online.
  • On September 12, 2007, a woman from Minneapolis, Minnesota pleaded guilty in federal court to running an underage prostitution ring through Craigslist.
  • On October 26, 2007, Katherine Olson, a Minneapolis woman, was found murdered in the trunk of her car after she responded through Craigslist to what she thought was a job as a nanny; the ad had actually been placed by "Craigslist Killer" Michael John Anderson. Anderson was convicted of his "Craigslist Killing" in 2009.

  • On February 8, 2008, a Michigan woman was charged with using Craigslist to hire a contract killer to murder a romantic rival in Oroville, California.
  • On March 22, 2008, Bernard George Lamp, 51 of Troutman, North Carolina was arrested for the murder of Bonnie Lou Irvine, 52, of Cornelius, North Carolina; she had agreed to meet him after she responded to his ad on Craigslist.
  • In April 2008, a Minneapolis couple were indicted for using Craigslist to advertise for sexual services, and then picking the pockets of those who responded. Eric Christopher Thorsen, 25, and Amy Ruth Bergquist, 30, then used stolen identification, checks and credit cards to purchase merchandise from online retailers as well as prescription drugs. In addition the couple were responsible for tens of thousands of dollars of bank fraud throughout the Twin Cities area. Thorsen and Bergquist ultimately pleaded guilty to trafficking in stolen documents and aggravated identity theft; Thorsen was sentenced to five years in Federal Prison, Bergquist to three and a half.
  • In April 2008, a couple was charged with placing an ad on Craigslist inviting the public to take anything from a man's home in Oregon, leading to the loss of his possessions. The couple had placed this ad to cover up their own burglary of his house.
  • On May 27, 2008, in Vancouver, British Columbia, police reported that a Vancouver couple had attempted to sell their week-old baby on the site, but the couple claimed that it was merely a joke. The investigation is ongoing.
  • On November 7, 2008, after reaching an accord with over forty of the United States' top prosecutors, Craigslist announced that it would crack down on ads for prostitution by requiring people who post "erotic services" ads to provide a working phone number and pay a fee with a valid credit card.
  • On December 7, 2008, Matthew Hicks, 32, was fatally shot after robbing, assaulting and attempting to murder Willie Donaldson, 35, in Arlington, Virginia, whom he had met through his girlfriend, who had met Donaldson via Craigslist; in January, 2009, Donaldson was indicted for the murder, but was subsequently acquitted on Jan 23.
  • On March 5, 2009, Cook County, Illinois Sheriff Tom Dart's Department filed a lawsuit against Craigslist, accusing the site of "knowingly promoting and facilitating prostitution" in its "erotic services" advertisement section. The company argued that it could hardly be expected to sift successfully through the vast volume of listings it received every day; nor was it required to by federal law; in fact, federal law protected it from criminal proceedings for failure to do so.
  • On March 20, 2009, the ABC radio news reporter George Weber was allegedly murdered by John Katehis in Brooklyn. The two had met via Craigslist; Weber was found bound and stabbed fifty times.
  • On April 20, 2009, Richard (last name not mentioned) and his mother were attacked in Tacoma, WA with a hammer after seeing a bogus car ad on Craigslist. This was reported in the national news.
  • On April 20, 2009, Boston police arrested twenty-three-year-old Boston University medical student Philip Markoff of Quincy, Massachusetts, on suspicion of the armed robbery and murder of Julissa Brisman, whose massage services were advertised on Craigslist in Boston and Rhode Island, and whose corpse was found on April 14 in a Boston hotel. Markoff is accused of first bludgeoning and then shooting her with a gun. He then was accused of another armed robbery of an escort in another Boston hotel several days earlier and an attempted armed robbery at a Warwick, Rhode Island hotel two days later. He was arrested the following week while driving to a casino with his fiancĂ©e. He pleaded not guilty. On August 15, 2010, he committed suicide in his jail cell while awaiting trial.

  • Subsequent to the Brisman murder, a widely publicized crime, state attorneys general countrywide plied increased pressure on the site "to shutter what they call the nation's busiest virtual street corner, where prostitution runs rampant." Although Craigslist claims to have reduced inappropriate erotic listings by 95 per cent since its accord with prosecutors in November 2008, the attorneys hold that there are still hundreds of such listings emerging every day, and that the company really ought to do more. South Carolina Atty Gen. Henry McMaster threatened the company with criminal proceedings, but it swiftly employed the same defense that it used against Dart.
  • In June 2009, Korena Roberts of Oregon was arrested for allegedly killing 21-year-old Heather Snively—who was eight-months pregnant—and her unborn baby, by cutting open her abdomen. They were reported to have met through an advertisement by Roberts on Craigslist for the sale of baby clothes.
  • In June 2009, Joseph Brooks, a 71 year old Oscar Award winning film director and songwriter was arrested on 11 counts of rape, including 9 counts of raping women aged 18 to 30 whom he met through advertisements offering film roles on Craigslist. Brooks won his Academy Award for writing the Debbie Boone song You Light Up My Life in 1977 and also directed the film of the same name.
  • In August 2009, members of Pranknet, a virtual community established around harassing people via Skype, were outed on The Smoking Gun for activities that also included posting fraudulent ads on Craigslist and then shouting racist, sexually graphic and obscene tirades at people who called to inquire about their ads. Pranknet members also responded to ads placed by young women selling household goods, feigned interest in making a purchase, and when they learned the woman's address, proclaimed they were on their way over to rape them and murder their children.
  • In April 2010, a family of four was terrorized by four people who responded to a Craigslist ad for the sale of a diamond ring. The father, 43-year old Jimmy Sanders, was murdered defending his eldest son after letting a couple into their home to look at the ring who proceeded to take out a gun and let two more accomplices enter the Edgewood, Washington home. Four suspects were taken into police custody.

Source:  Wiki

 The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Money with Craigslistcraigslist 4 EveryoneA Date with Death: The Secret Life of the Accused "Craigslist Killer" (St. Martin's True Crime Library)Pimping Craigslist For Fun and Profit: A down and dirty overview on how to make money on craigslist, by buying and selling pre-owned items

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Clever Classified Copywriting

By Terry Telford

Have you looked at the classified section of your favorite newspaper, ezine, or website lately? Have you noticed all the brilliantly written classified ads? Me either.

To make sure that your classified ads stand out in a crowd, use some simple rules, some creative flair, and an award winning formula. If you follow these A-B-C's for writing effective classifieds, you will increase your response rate and your profits. And that's what it's all about.

Here is your quick and simple A-B-C guide for writing classifieds that sell.

A. Think like your reader. While you are writing your ad, always remember that your reader is thinking 'What's in it for me?'

B. Write your ad to one person. Pretend you are sitting beside your reader having a one-on-one conversation. Don't address your entire market at once. There is only one
person at a time reading your ad.

C. Write a benefits list for your products. Remember, benefits are not features. Here is an example.

FEATURE: Make a million dollars online

BENEFIT: Enjoy the luxurious lifestyle of the rich and famous, right in your own home.

See the difference? A feature is what your product or service does. The benefit is the feel good feeling you get from the feature. Now write a list of all the benefits you can think of for your product.

D. Edit your list of benefits and select the best one. Writing a successful classified is like writing a sentence, you focus on one thought at a time.

E. Write the headline for your classified, using the benefit that you have chosen. The headline is the most important element of your ad. If you don't grab the reader's attention
in a Milli-second as they are scanning all the classifieds, you've lost them.

F. Write the body of your classified using the features that support your benefit.

G. Begin writing your classified without thinking about the final size of the ad. Write as much as you can about your product, but stay focused on the benefit that you have chosen.
By the time you are done you may have a whole page of copy.

H. Edit your ad. Most ezines run classified ads that are approximately 5 lines long and 60 characters wide. Use this guideline to edit your full page of copy down to a normal
classified size. Pick out your best sentences, power words, and convincing arguments that will make your reader click on the link to your website or send you an email.

I. Make sure you include your web address and email. Use http:// before your website address, so that it looks like http://www.bpcpublishing.com and mailto: before your email
address, so that it looks like mailto:info@bpcpublishing.com Don't put a period after .com or you can ruin your link.

J. When you have finished the ad, go back and read it, polish it, and read it again. Leave it for a couple of days and come back and read and polish some more.

When you are writing your ad, make it believable. Using a lot of !!! may get attention, but it makes your ad look gimmicky and less believable. People genuinely want to believe what they are reading, but if you come off like a snake oil sales man, no one will respond to your ad. Your credibility is key.

There is much more to writing a classified ad than just verbally throwing up on your reader. You need to be refined and put some thought into what you are saying. These A-B-C's will help you write a successful and profitable classified ad.

Good luck and God Bless

Yours successfully,
Terry Telford

Recommendation ::

Writing an effective classified ad is an art and takes practice. For a complete guide and step by step instructions for writing your own classifieds that pull like a magnet, check out this resource. It's the best in the industry.

The Everything Guide To Writing Copy: From Ads and Press Release to On-Air and Online Promos--All You Need to Create Copy That Sells (Everything: Language and Literature)Write Great Ads: A Step-by-Step ApproachCopywriting: Successful Writing for Design, Advertising, and MarketingGreat Promo Pieces: Create Your Own Brochures, Broadsides, Ads, Flyers and Newsletters That Get Results


Friday, November 12, 2010

How Can I Organise My Classified Ads?

By Eva Browne-Paterson

How often do you submit classified ads on the internet? Daily, weekly, monthly? However often you do, I bet you do it more often than you'd like to. That's not necessarily a bad thing. You need to advertise so other people know you're out there.

How organized are you though?  Do you compose a new ad every time you place an ad or do you copy and paste the ad copy, forward an email, change the data etc. etc.?  It can certainly become a monotonous, timely chore and being well organized can have great benefits. Creating a document that holds your precious ads can save you time!

Just think:

1. If you ever lose your inbox emails, you have a copy of your ads and the related links saved in a different place on your computer, so it also acts as a backup.

2. You don't have to go searching through your inbox folders for your affiliate link or go to the site to find the recommended ads etc.

3. Placing an ad via email or directly to a site can now take half the time because you have the ad preformatted with the correct number of characters per line.

So organizing your ads starts as soon as you join a new program. Here's what to do and I've used MS Word as the example program to use:

1. You receive a welcome email from a new program you've joined and it contains your affiliate link. Copy the link.

2. Open your word document, I call mine Ads.doc (original huh?). At the top of the document in the index, type in the name of the program in alphabetical order, eg. EvieB's
New-Z - Paste your promotion link here, eg.

You will end up with a list of program names and links here at the top of the document.

3. Scroll down to where the program will appear in your document alphabetically and type the name of the program again.

4. Select the name and insert a bookmark, (insert, bookmark, type in abbreviated name of program). Bold the name of the program so it stands out.

5. The line above the name is a good place to insert a horizontal line format, borders and shading, horizontal line, ok).  I also place a 'back to the top' hyperlink above the line - then I copy and past the line and the link above each program name so if I want to get back to
the top quickly, I can.

6. Paste the link in again after the name of the program.

7. Now go back to the top of the document, select the name of the program and insert a hyperlink to your bookmark (click the hyperlink button on your toolbar, click on bookmarks, and select the bookmark you just created).

8. Now when you open the document and you want to copy an ad for a particular program, you just click on the name and it will take you to the right place.

9. Visit the site of the new program and copy ads, email letters etc. or copy them from your welcome email and paste them into the correct place under the name of the program.  Create your own ads, format your ads for emails etc. or to the ezine's guidelines that you will be sending.

10. If you use ad tracking facilities, you will want to add your tracking link under the name of the program in the body of the document as well.

Once you have your document started, it's easy to add new programs and ads to it.  I've had my document going for about 1.5 years and it's now 75 pages long!  I also send it to work so if I'm placing any ads from there, I know all the links! Verrry handy!  Remember to always test your links to make sure they work, then you can trust your Ads.doc implicitly!

Have a go at setting your own up and see how much easier and quicker it is to select ads that you have used previously and know work!  If you have any trouble setting your document up at all, feel free to email me and I will set it up for you and email it to you.

You can also use the document for keeping track of URL submissions to search engines and FFA Submitters etc. as well, depending on the services and the software you utilise.

This document also comes in handy for copying your program links if you're using a traffic generation program and adding and deleting sites. Just open the document and copy the appropriate link from the index and paste it into the site where you're working.

Have a go at your own and let me know what you think. Good luck and happy advertisement placing!

Eva Browne-Paterson is the Editor / Publisher of EvieB's New-Z - Your One Stop Advertising Resource. mailto:evieb@evieb.com Eva has spent ten years working the internet and writes Original Articles that will Help You to Promote Your Business! Subscribers can place Two Free Ads a Week!Subscribe Today & Receive Great Bonuses!

Recommendation ::
Free Ad Posting Sites
the best free classified ads
 How to Profit from Craigslist; Make Money Selling Products or Services Online at Craigslist.com10 Ways to Write More Effective AdsCraigslist Profits Unleashed (Penny Books)Making Money With Classified AdsSell It Fast: How to sell almost anything with effective low-cost classified adsClassified Secrets: Writing Real Estate Ads That Work


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