CHUGIAK — If you can’t beat the “Nazi Flagger Witches,” start your own online classified service.
That was the thinking behind Alaskaslist.com, the brainchild of Mike Baker. Nearing its one-year anniversary, Baker reflected on how far the site has come and to what he attributes his success.
Last year, Baker was helping a group of Chugiak High School students build doghouses. The group then tried to sell the completed projects on Craigslist, an Internet marketplace where users offer everything from cars to employment opportunities to personal ads.
The problems started when the doghouses were posted in the pet section, Baker said. The ads were repeatedly flagged for being in the wrong category because they were not offering actual pets. When Baker moved the ads to the section for items for sale, they were immediately buried by other ads selling a wide variety of unrelated things.
The more he used Craigslist, the more Baker noticed a trend of ads that get flagged for removal. The flaggers seem to have an agenda, especially in the pet section, Baker said, where ads for puppies and lost dogs were hard pressed to stay on the site for long.
“The (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) folks think owning pets is slavery,” Baker said.
Without any oversight from the website administrators, groups of users band together to push their views on the site, he said. What’s more, individuals can download software that allows them to register multiple flags.
“It was anarchy, the absence of any government at all,” Baker said. “Once you draw the ire of the Nazi Flagger Witches, you’re done.”
Baker used his background in information technology to set up traps for the most active flaggers. He then tracked the Internet protocol address to see where the flags were coming from.
“There was a large amount coming from Chevron, Providence Hospital and the (Department of Transportation),” Baker said. “These people were at work all day policing Craigslist.”
Baker sent his findings onto the supervisors of the employees and wrote a diatribe blasting the users and identifying them by their e-mail addresses.
“Anarchy is not freedom. If you can run outside naked, that’s not freedom. You are infringing on someone else’s rights,” Baker said. “Freedom is the rule of law … enforced across the board.”
Baker launched Alaskaslist on Jan. 1 as a civilized alternative to “den of snakes,” he said referring to Craigslist. Instead of being a free-for-all, Baker said he runs his site like a traditional newspaper classified service.
Comparing himself to the sheriff, Baker personally reads each one of the 500-plus ads submitted to his site daily. He determines which to post and which to deny, about a 50/50 split, he said. Ads for pets and pet breading services, as well as firearms, are more than welcome on his site, he said.
“I’m not the judge. The only judgment I make is if you are from Chicago trying to sell a parrot in Alaska, you’re out,” Baker said.
Besides, Baker said, he does not buy the idea that selling dogs on the Internet promotes the increase of their population while many sit unwanted at the pound, a traditional criticism of animal activists.
“It’s not the responsibility of the seller. It’s the responsibility of the buyer,” Baker said.
Baker said he still gets complaints from the “bunny-huggers,” as he calls them. This has forced him to block the IP addresses of Chevron and the State of Alaska.
“Someone from the state asked me to allow them back on my site. I said I would only unblock them if they found the person I identified harassing me and make sure it never happens again,” Baker said. “They said OK, but it still makes me wonder. My tax dollars are going to these people while they use my site.”
The ability to block IP addresses has also allowed him to avoid the scammers so prevalent on Craigslist, he said.
In fact, he said, he has blocked the entire country of Nigeria, claiming that this is where many originate.
“I find it doubtful anyone from Nigeria is seriously considering buying something in Alaska,” Baker said.
With the power to edit, allow or deny ads and to block certain users comes responsibility.
The owner of Craigslist, Baker said, set the site up to attract a seedy liberal crowd and then washed his hands of the site and its postings.
“I think (that) flies in the face of personal responsibility. You are and should be responsible for what you publish,” Baker said.
Baker, who runs the site from four computers at his home in Chugiak, said he gives everyone the same opportunities and benefits. While users cannot flag or delete postings, they can send an e-mail to Baker with any concerns.
“They can always contact me,” Baker said. “The sheriff will investigate.”
Contact Todd L. Disher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-2252.
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I posted my Subaru at Alaskas List and it sold in less than 24 hours. They even helped me load my pictures because I was having troubles. What a great site and what great customer service!
I like Alaskaslist. It's easier to read the ads there without all the "!!!*******>>>>>>>" crap you see in the titles at Craigslist. Who wants to wade through all that nonsense. Mike does a great job editing the A List. Obviously, Craigslist doesn't know what an Editor is. If Mike keeps up the hard work, there soon won't be any reason for Alaskans to swim in that San Francisco cesspool, otherwise known as "Craigslist."
Craigslist gets me nothing by people sending me business emails or people wanting to buy with a certified check. I get NOTHING but business opportunities no matter what advertise, and even tho I mark NOT TO CONTACT me withanything like that. I tried to do something about it, but Craigslist will not answer my e-mails.I switched to Alaskaslist. I really like that website. They answer my e-mails and the site is really busy all the time so a lot of people see my ad. I have already received many legitimate replies to my ad there.
I can see gijeff is missing a few brain cells. As the article states... Baker runs Alaskaslist like a newspaper classifieds. When is the last time you picked-up a newspapers classifieds and seen a date with any of the ads? Most people (except for gijeff, of course.) don't shop for dates. They shop for stuff. I've bought and sold on Alaskaslist successfully many times now, and I like the fact that the site is free of p.orn like you see on Craigslist, and the fact that Alaskaslist runs a tight ship. gijeff might be a CraigZombie.
RE: gijeffThey don't date the ads there because the run all ads 'till they sell. It makes perfect sense to me. Why should they make they force their advertisers to repost their ads every day (like CL does) because readers at CL have been conditioned to ignore anything that hasn't been posted in the past 24 hrs.If you saw an ad at AL but it no longer appears at CL, GO FIGURE!!!! It's just another poster who got tired of Craigslist BS--like me!!! Go Alaska's List!!!
Please put some kind of way to tell the date the ads are posted!! I won't use it because I cannot tell when an ad was posted.It's a waste of my time to search through them not knowing when they were posted..I see stuff on AL that I know has been sold because I saw it on CL too and it has been deleted.
Great story and kuddos to Mr. Baker, now when is he running for office we need a clean up and some new ideas NOT related to communism It goes again my grain when we have carpet baggers and foreigners continue to infringe on my rights granted to us by the United States Constitution.
I posted on Alaskalist and the return so far is pretty good for website hits. Too early to tell for any revenue though.
my boss uses craigslist. she spends all day there posting, deleting, and then reposting our business ad over and over again. it's really sad, in my opinion, because she wastes so much time for so little return. we rarely get anything but spam in our email and nobody ever calls because she's too paranoid to advertise our number. it's like she's obsessed with craigslist. i think she may need professional help.... maybe an exorcist. i see her flagging ads there all the time too. i think she gets some kind of sick pleasure out of it.
I used it, and it worked great. Sure beats craigslist. I sold all three of my itemsin less than a week! And the few times I wrote Mike with questions I had, I got immediate response from all of my emails. Very impressive! Thankyou for ALASKAS LIST!!!!!!!!!
Maybe you should check the dictionary yourself before opening your yapper. First of all, doghouse is one word (look it up). Second, breaded dog is delicious. mmm mmm.
The Frontiersman could sure use a spell checker. I noticed at least two misspellings in this article; "dog breading" (good grief) and "doghouses," which is two words (e.g, "dog houses") not one.Dog breading is what they do in places like Vietnam not in Alaska (hopefully).
Strange how Craigslist allows all kinds of sick stuff to be posted there but it doesn't allow pet sales, gun sales, animal trap sales, bow and arrow sales, knife sales, fur sales, or the sale of any animal products. The list goes on and on.RIDICULOUS!I live in Kansas but I used to live in Palmer. All I have to say is that I wish we had a website like Alaskaslist. The bleeding heart liberals that rule over everyone at Craigslist here would absolutely freak out. LoL! ALASKA ROCKS!
Do people really offer pet breading services on his site? I would just roll my dog in bread crumbs and egg yolk if I was going to eat it.
I'm glad Mike decided to take CL on. We placed our RV on there this summer and it sold in no time flat. In fact, I got more genuine responses at AK List than I did from CL, ADN and all the other places I posted it combined.In fact, I had to repost my ad at CL almost everyday, either because of the flaggers or because people there have been conditioned by their stupid BBS format to ignore anything that wasn't posted that day.Way to go, Mike! I've found my new list!
WHY HE SELL DOG HOUSES IN PET SECTION? DOG HOUSES GO IN OTHER SECTION. IT IS GOOD THAT HE WAS FLAG.
SO WHAT! Craigslist supports PETA and PETA supports Craigslist. What is wrong with that?Unless you are a brain dead troglodyte, you probably know that Craig Newmark is a quiet revolutionary who supports Obama. So go figure that Craigslist represents the same progressive values our President does. This Baker geek is obviously just another Alaska RepubliCANT who clings to his guns and his OH SO YESTERDAY values.Listen-up, you inbred hillbillies. Nothing will ever stop The New World Order and NOTHING in will EVER stop Craigslist. Tyrone JohnsonDenver, CO
Is this the same guy whose posts at CL, which were aimed at helping teenagers sell dog houses, and whose ads were being flagged there every 10 minutes--the same guy who exposed the evil N.a.z.i Flagger Witches, showing everybody where the they were doing it from and how they were doing it--the same guy who started Alaskaslist, so people didn't have to endure the endless flagging and public harassment they have to suffer at Craigslist from the hippie, tree-huggin', tofu-eatin', narcissistic, Satan-worshipin', power trippin' N.a.z.i.s who live there 24/7, feeding on advertisers? What an evil guy! FLAG HIM!!!!
Mike, I would like to see a date on all the ads. For some strange reason many people don't delete old ads as they should. I end up wasting my time responding to very old ads which advertise items that are long gone! Thanks
I would be curious what the supervisors from Chevron, Providence Hospital and DOT said about the findings.
Yep, this is what America is all about. He didn't sit and wait for the government to rescue him from bullies. He found a way to help himself and others. Good for you, Mr. Baker.
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