Craig Newmark is the soft-spoken man behind the nationwide network of online community sites known as craigslist, which feature back-to-basics, bulletin-style classifieds, as well as community discussion boards.

The sites have made a mark on real estate, with more brokers and agents using them as another place on the Web to expose their listings, and more consumers turning to the Internet for real estate information.

Newmark founded the first craigslist site in San Francisco in 1995, and now serves as chief customer service representative for the online community.

He will speak during Real Estate Connect in San Francisco, Aug. 1-3, 2007.

Here are his answers to a set of questions posed by Inman News:

What was your first job?

Advanced tech development at IBM in Boca Raton, ’76.

If I was smarter I would’ve pushed much harder for Unix on the Series/1, the minicomputer produced there.

What sparked the idea to start craigslist?

In ’94, seeing lots of people helping each other out.

What’s been your biggest challenge in running the business?

Getting out of the way.

If you had one thing to do over again, what would it be?

Listening more to advice regarding my lack of hiring skills.

What style of home do you live in and when did you buy it?

Nice shack, purchased two years ago, renovated over six months.

What worries keep you awake at night?

That the current U.S. constitutional crisis gets really bad.

Describe your dream home:

Current one with an effective hummingbird feeder.

What lesson did you learn in the last year?

How foolish I can be, in general.

What’s the strangest thing you ever packed in a suitcase?

Miscellaneous Homer Simpson crap.

What would your second career choice be?

Combined specialty in quantum physics and complexity theory.

What kind of music do you listen to?

Mostly people with something to say, like Fiona Apple, Warren Zevon, Sophie B. Hawkins, Tori Amos, and most of all, Leonard Cohen.

Who is your hero?

See last name above.

Hear Newmark speak at Real Estate Connect in San Francisco, Aug. 1-3. The conference program and registration are available online via the Connect Web site.

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