Introducing GovLoop Advisory Board – #1 – Craig Newmark

It’s the heart of the GovLoop philosophy that there are smarter people than the GovLoop team who have great ideas on how to make GovLoop awesome. That’s why we ask questions like “what do you want to see on govloop” and have groups like the GovLoop Community Leaders.

As part of this push, I’ve been looking to create a GovLoop Advisory Board for some time now
(*note – for gov’t ethics reasons, we’ve kept this board free from current govies but we’ll also be launching a GovLoop users group for those currently working in government as we totally need more of this awesome insight**).
Well, the time has happened and we have a great group of 6 that are passionate and innovative about improving government and have great track records in accomplishing it everywhere from Craigslist to state government to award-winning books to the highest levels of federal government.
In true GovLoop fashion, I’ve asked them all to answer a few quick questions to introduce themselves. I’ll be introducing them over the next week. And be sure to friend them on GovLoop.
First up:
Craig Newmark, Founder, craigslist.org, GovLoop Profile

Photo credit: Stephanie Canciello, unali artists

1) What’s your background 2) How you became interested in gov’t? 3) Why you love GovLoop?

I’m a nerd, plastic pocket protector, thick black glasses taped together, for real. (Well, that was high school.) Also, in high school we studied American history, and what makes American governance work fairly well, theole democracy thing. Now, I see the Net changing everything, and figure I should stand up, despite a preference for couch-potatoing.

That is, we’re living through a major period in human history and in governance, and I should do what feels right. GovLoop is an underestimated part of that, where the public and private sectors meet to get stuff done.

Craig Newmark is the founder of craigslist.org, a site where people can help each other with everyday needs including housing and jobs. The site has a culture of trust, based on shared values like “treat people like you want to be treated.” He currently works as a customer service rep, in no managerial role. Previous experience includes thirty years working with computers for IBM, GM, Charles Schwab & Co, and Bank of America.

He’s also working with a wide range of groups using the Net to help each other out, like Donorschoose.org, the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America, Kiva.org (microfinance) and Consumer Reports. He’s working on the advisory board of Wikipedia, considering customer service and trust issues.

Craig is also actively engaged with government workers on multiple levels to use the Net for superior public service, and with Sunlight Foundation for government accountability and transparency.

He’s not as funny as he thinks he is, but sometimes can’t help himself. Craig no longer wears a plastic protector and thick black glasses that are taped together, but is still a nerd.

You can reach Craig at twitter.com/craignewmark, facebook.com/craignewmark, orcnewmark.com.

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Chris Bennett

Welcome Craig! This is great, Steve. He is very reachable and tuned-in to government and technology so it’s a perfect match. And… I owe my love of fishing and boating to the deal I found on Craigslist 🙂 — me in background:

Adam Arthur

So, did I understand correctly- you don’t manage your own site, you take care of the customers? That is freaking AWESOME.

What is your opinion of how “American Governance” is being handled now, (with the historical perspective in mind)?

Thanks, Craig

Amanda Blount

This is very exciting! And yes, he is in customer service. I once had an issue with someone who kept reporting my car for sale as a “bad” ad, and he took care of it personally. Plus, he is involved in veteran’s affairs, so I am super happy he is here. It is very nice to see such a super person succeed and bring it back to the community!

Andrea Schneider

I am really disappointed that Craig has dropped his plastic pocket protector. I am also very excited to see Craig as part of the GovLoop family and I’m sure we will all benefit by his advice in customer service. Great idea Steve and thanks Craig.

Alice M. Fisher

Good to see you here and I appreciate the background information posted. Any thoughts on helping our returning veterans, wounded veterans and their families to mobilize greater support and help?

e. tyna coles

Just when I thought we (govloop) had reached the top of the mountain, you managed to expand my expectations. Craig I hope we give you some insights that cannot be gained anywhere else. I am confident that you will be great for us. Thanks for taking the time to serve on the GovLoop Advisory Board. We look forward to expanding everyone’s gray matter. Steve u r awesome.

Kitty Wooley

Craig, I like that you’re applying your considerable experience with online community to customer service and trust issues, and that “superior public service” is one of your values.