After a small website-fix gig in downtown SF, I donned my free black T-shirt and showed up to the Craiglist Foundation Nonprofit Bootcamp for a volunteer shift. The place was hoppin’. So much energized networking in one place — I could have stuffed a mattress with all the business cards floating around!My assignment was to oversee a couple of sessions in one of the conference rooms. Basically, I stood at the doors, handed out surveys, did a head count, and the collected surveys at the end. Aside from being on my feet for seven hours in Birkenstocks, it was a lot of fun. It’s inspiring to see hundreds of nonprofit leaders in a room, sharing ideas and feeding off each others’ positive energy. The last session I oversaw featured none other than Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist.org. The visionary who started the stone rolling. The celebrity behind the site. Needless to say, the session was packed. The topic was interesting, too — how to build community online (and offline). It started the wheels turning in my head again about The Writ.Some Interesting Craig Lore…

  • For an April Fool’s joke one year, the Craigslist team announced that Craig doesn’t exist. Many believed it.
  • Craig’s official title is “Customer Service Representative.” He prefers to not be taken seriously.
  • Despite the fact that he’s helped millions of people find jobs, housing, new office furniture, and sex partners, Craig is the shy, understated, computer-geek type. He doesn’t command the stage with the charisma you’d expect from a world-dominating force. But that’s probably for the best.
  • While Craig was in the press room at the conference, one of his many doting assistants asked what they could do for him before he went on stage in 7 minutes. He said, “I’d like a lobster.” She got all flustered and started to go get one before he let on that he was joking.
  • Craig is short. He’s been known to find shorter people to stand next to when being filmed or photographed.

All the more reason to love the man. Thanks for saving the human race from itself, Craig!

I just volunteered with One Brick at the San Francisco Food Bank. It was the most fun I’ve ever had in a cold warehouse. Twenty-eight volunteers were there, all throwing aside their separate backgrounds to don hairnets and measure deli meat. Big chunks of peppered salami and olive loaf spread across saran-wrapped tables, and we scooped the meat in unison. When it came time to sort nectarines and pears, we were a single human machine, powered by our common goal of emptying the bins. Filling boxes turned into a race. Dodging the rotten fruit that whizzed toward the dumpster turned into a game. I turned into a quality control expert. All in two and a half hours. We sorted and packed over 15,000 lbs of food in that time. How’s that for teamwork?