Looking for a “greatly used sofa,” a cottage in Sharon, V.t., or a retractable baby gate? Mosey on over to Dartlist.com to learn more about getting your hands on these sweet offers. Billed as “Craigslist for Dartmouth,” Dartlist.com is an Office of Sustainability-run project that launched earlier this week. The website offers Craigslist-style postings for items to be bought, sold, traded or given away for free in a virtual marketplace. A calendar and forums provide a centralized cyberspace to inform the community of upcoming events and hold discussions.
Site membership is currently limited to Dartmouth students, faculty or staff, but Sustainability Director Rosie Kerr said that she is interested in using Dartlist to engage with the local community. Kerr oversaw the project and constructed it with the help of Fedor Petrenko, a recent Thayer graduate and Sustainability Office intern. Similar projects have been started over the years but none have yet gained lasting traction on campus, Kerr said.
You might think that the Hacker Club or a rogue CompSci major would be behind this venture, but consider it for a moment longer and it makes good sense that the Sustainability Office is backing Dartlist — the project reduces waste and keeps useful goods in circulation when they may otherwise be discarded. To this end, users are free to post whatever they desire with the exception of commercial listings by businesses. As for oversight of what those posts may say, there is currently no automated or systematized oversight in place to check posts. Kerr says that the traffic is manageable enough that the site creators are still able to manually verify each listing and flag if necessary.
Unlike Craigslist, posts do not cycle through but remain online until they’re actively deleted, which may cause issues as Dartlist expands and people receive inquiring calls months after their post. Dartlist is in its early days, but Kerr hopes that student, faculty and staff participation and feedback will lead to site improvements.
They may soon have more feedback on their hands than they’ll know how to handle. On Wednesday morning, the Sustainability Office announced the hard launch of Dartlist in a D2U blitz, which follows the beta testing over the summer and Monday’s soft launch. Within just 30 minutes of the D2U blitz, Kerr counted 35 new unique users. As more people learn of the site and add content, the potential benefits and uses of the site increase drastically. Given enough time and traction, Dartmouth could finally have a homegrown Craigslist to call our very own. Here’s hoping.