June 21, 2006

How to receive craigslist searches via email

craigslist is an online classified ad service, with everything from personals to real estate to bartering offered online. I've bought a table from Denver's craigslist and I know a number of folks who have found roommates via craigslist.

If you have a need that isn't available right now, you can subscribe to a search of section of craigslist. Suppose you're looking for a used cruiser bike in Denver, you can search for cruisers and check out the current selection. If you don't like what you see but don't want to keep coming back, you can use the RSS feed link for the search, which is at the lower right corner. Put this link into your favorite RSS reader (this is a simple application that manages RSS feeds, which are essentially lists of links. I'd recommend Bloglines but there are many others out there) and you can be automatically apprised of any new cruisers which are posted.

(You find tons of stuff via RSS--stock quotes, job listings, paparazzi photos... The list is endless.)

If you don't want to deal with yet another application, or you're not always in your RSS reader (like me), you can set up an RSS to email gateway. That way, if your cruiser bike search is so urgent you don't want to let a good deal get away, you receive notification of a new posting relatively quickly. If you want, you can even email it to your mobile phone.

The basic steps:

  1. Go to the Squeet signup page. Sign up for a free account. Don't forget to verify it--they'll send an email to the address you give them.
  2. Open up a new browser window and go to craigslist, choose the city/section you are interested in, and do a search. The example up above was 'cruiser', in the bike section of the Denver CL.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the search results and right click on the RSS link. Choose either 'Copy Shortcut' or 'Copy Link Location', depending on your browser.
  4. Switch back to the Squeet window, and click in the 'FEED URL' box. Paste in the link you just copied. Choose your notification time period--I'd recommend a frequency of 'live', since cruiser bikes in the Denver area tend to move pretty quick. Then click the subscribe button.

That's it. Just wait for the emails to roll in and soon enough you'll find the cruiser bike of your dreams. Just be aware that it's not real time--I've seen lags from 30 minutes to 2 hours from post to email. Still, it's a lot easier that clicking 'Refresh' on your browser all day and night.

Posted by moore at June 21, 2006 10:00 AM
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