I am the the PRSA International Conference in Detroit. Saturday’s opening general session was inspirational.
The warm up was music by the Sacred Heart Choral Ensemble. Their music was energizing and uplifting.
They were followed by keynoter Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist. Craig was unlike any keynoter I have listened to before. A self-proclaimed nerd, he was totally unassuming and brilliant in the simplicity of his message: find something to do that you think serves people and do it. To make it grow, listen to what the people you are serving have to say. Listen often and act on what they say.
Craig was asked when he was going to spruce up the site design. Answer: Not any time soon. What they have works. The community find it effective.
Craig was asked how he listens. Answer: He reads his e-mails and responds to them. He monitors the community discussion boards.
Craig was asked how he keeps the site under control. Answer: Self-policing by the community. Users flag inappropriate material and it is removed. Folks who have ads removed can e-mail him and get help on how to post an appropriate ad.
So simple. So effective.