This writer shares a personal experience that convinced him at least that Craigslist was a more efficient way than Yellow Pages to locate a tradesperson to install his ceiling fan. It’s worth reading and absorbing.
The premise is that posting a request for bids, however informally, drives a better result than a hit-or-miss perusal of the print YP. If the author’s experience is the norm, then maybe an equilibrium has been reached in which there is sufficient mass at both ends — those needing services and those offering them — to make this a viable alternative marketplace to Yellow Pages. The idea has certainly been around awhile, but the execution to date has not always lived up to the promise.