Remember; Not Everyones Smart
I wrote a script a while ago, to help me in the search for freelance work, to parse craigslist every few minutes and send an email if a match was found to a list of terms (similar to the script created in A journey into php-cli and scraping) to . I've since stopped looking and have settled back into my day job but I've left the script running just in case something cool comes up.
Any experienced freelancer will tell you how the quality of the listings on Craigslist can be really bad sometimes. I have personally seen ads from people looking for a developer to build a whole social networking site (think myspace clone) with a budget for the project at $250. Just ludicrous ideas coming from people who don't know any better; when you talk to them you find out how their brother in law told them $250 was plenty and how $250 was all the money they had. They just don't know any better; like talking to your grandmother about her website.
I've gotten into the habit of ignoring ads like those because, well, it's just not worth it; the client's expectations aren't realistic and educating them is just too painful to bother. Just leave it alone, that's what I do. Not so for other people though.
Over the weekend (1/17 & 18) there was a bunch of back and forth where a man had posted an ad stating:
NEED EXPERIENCED AND LOCAL IN LOS ANGELES WEB DESIGNER FOR MUSIC ARTIST WEBSITE.....MUST WORK ON SHOESTRING BUDGET...........PREFER STUDENT OR SOMEONE WHO NEEDS TO BUILD THEIR PORTFOLIO.....ABSOLUTELY NO OVERSEAS OR OUT OF STATE REPLIES........AGAIN LOW LOW PAY SO DON'T RESPOND I
He clearly has a small budget and is being up front about this. The sentence "MUST WORK ON SHOESTRING BUDGET" stands out and told me not to even bother. I deleted the email from my blackberry and went about my day (which was awesome BTW).
Apparently, others didn't feel the same as me though. I got numerous emails from people replying to the ad, hammering on the guy, acting like children, with name calling and insults for posting the ad. They tried to wrap the sentiment into a warning but you get the impression they got more glee out of pointing out the obvious than satisfaction from "warning" others about ad.
This guy Crosby Tyler will only pay 100 dollars for what I would call an extensive website. He shamelessly responded that he's looking for a "kid in school" to build it for him. It has a store, music samples, upcoming dates. And lots more.
Normally I don't agree with posting replies to ads just because you dont approve of the posters budget. But I want to encourage everyone here to email this individual and try and explain that this is unheard of and if cannot afford to pay more than 100 then having a website is not for him.
And most importantly, do not accept this kind of compensation or get taken advantage of.
Yeah, I spoke with him too... he's an idiot. He wants to pay designers less than what kids at In-N-Out make, and has the nerve to talk down to ppl... definite idiot... Designers beware.
This just seems like overkill to me. I mean, the guy said, in the post, that there was a shoestring budget and people are amazed and insulted when they contact him only to find that, yup, there's a shoestring budget.
In the end Crosby actually posted an apology:
Dear Paul S and any others who felt my ad was insulting to you as web developers, I deeply apologize and have decided to remove my post off Craigslist....Other than commenting on your work samples from my point of view and setting a budget which I could afford I'm sorry again if this has angered you..... Any other resolutions that can amend your feelings I'd be happy to oblige to..... Again, accept my apologies and much success in your ventures........
This was unfortunate and completely unnecessary.