Craigslist Beamed to Extraterrestrials

Craigslist announced today that it would expand theodds of finding true love, a vintage couch or a long lost pal by beaming itsads into outer space.

“Humans in general seem to like the chance of a long shot, hence thepopularity of the missed connections board,” craigslist CEO Jim Buckmastersaid. “We’re at least raising the odds.”

The “missed connections” section of the classified ad and online communitypurveyor is pretty much what it sounds like. People can post ads looking forsomeone they saw, for instance, across a busy street, but didn’t approach,in the hopes that the person will recognize the ad poster and respond.

One Click to Outer Space

On Sunday, Buckmaster won the rights to send the first private communicationto be transmitted into deep space in –where else? — an eBay auction. The seller was Deep Space Communications Network, a production company based in Florida that will use its satellite broadcasting gear to transmit the postings at least one light year into space.

After winning the auction, craigslist promptly extended the offer toits users. All users have to do is check a box in their postings in order to beincluded in the beaming.

Craigslist started in San Francisco exactly 10 years ago and has spread to99 cities in 19 countries, but this is its first foray into space.

“Beaming ads into deep space really caught my imagination,” Buckmaster, who paid US$1,225 for the rights, told TechNewsWorld. He was bidding onthe rights to send one 75-word message and perhaps a video clip trillions ofmiles beyond the Solar System. He said the companies would negotiate ahigher price for all the additional content they plan to send.

You Never Know

“We figure it’s worth it,” said Buckmaster, who thinks theads may be read by someone or something someday. Deep Space Communications says there’s”more than a zero [percent] chance” that that’s true.

The postings will begin their journey May 15, right after the launch of thespace shuttle Discovery. Along with the postings, craigslist will send avideo message from founder Craig Newmark and a clip from thedocumentary “24 Hours on craigslist.” According to a press release, the message is “for the benefit andedification of potential future craigslist community members in the greatbeyond.”

“After some spot checks, it looks as though we’ve gotten on the order of10,000 classified ads designated for interstellar transmission in the first24 hours after the check box was added. Pretty exciting!” Buckmaster said.

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