…believe the florist when he tells you that the roses are free.

I’ve been accumulating bags of fiberglass insulation that has been gently used and removed from building projects, along with anything else I find or know will be of use (like the 25 feet of wiring pictured here too).  Although I dont want to flood Vermont’s craigslist with more hawks than it already has  competing with me for free stuff, I figured I’d share how I’ve been gathering this stuff: Front Porch Forum, Google Reader, and Freecycle.org.

FPF is an email listserv network type of deal for neighborhoods in Vermont.  I have met some great people and bartered or picked up free really great stuff.  Everything from pretty new skis in exchange for some computer help, to the windows we’ll be using in the house.  I also found a really nice apartment on it, that I lived in and now some friends live in, which was cooler than hunting and slaving over the classifieds.

Freecycle.org is pretty self-explanatory.  It’s like the craigslist “free” section, but you have to sign up for it, and you can get an email digest of it ever day or two, which is convenient.

Google Reader is by far the coolest tool I’ve used to scan craigslist.  The interface is below (click for a larger image).

Basically how it works is this: it scans whatever subscriptions you enter to aggregate all the changes that occur on the page.  For example, if you add this URL to the Add a Subscription button, it would tell you every time I update or post a new post.  As far as craigslist goes, you can take one of two routes (or both):

Go to a section of craigslist, if you were AJ you’d go to tickets and try to score a miracle.  Copy the URL, go over to your Google Reader, and paste it into the Add a Subscription feature.  In about 3 seconds it will pop up on the left of the Google Reader screen, and you can then change the name of it if youd like, or put it in a folder, or move it, or whatever.

The other option is to search for something in particular, like a trailer, or a shower, or something like that.  You enter your query into the search line and click search.  You then copy the URL and do the same thing as above, except instead of scanning just a section of craigslist, it’ll keep your search query and run it over and over, compiling the hits into your reader.  It’s dope.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “…believe the florist when he tells you that the roses are free.

  1. Grant Wagner

    Google reader is a type of application called an feed agrigator, and there are many more versions of it out there. Most of which actually run on your desktop instead of in a browser window.

    I use a program called Liferea (linux only, for the gnome desktop enviroment) to do the same thing. It’s especially nice as it keeps me up to date on all my 100+ blogs and news groups, including creigslist free and my gmail while using very little bandwidth. Perfect for those slow connections.

    It even helps me pounce on the ocasional update here.

  2. Dave

    Google Reader is nice because it is anywhere you are with Internet access. But remember you dont need to copy the url and manually paste it: you can simply hit the “feed” icon (orange or yellow square) in the url field on Firefox. Simply set Reader as you default application when prompted and every time you hit the feed icon that page will be automatically added to Reader.

    p.s. really like your blog, id be interested in some of your zoning research for VT. I love it here and if i can find a way to stay and go tiny I will be beside myself.

    • Thanks for the comment, Dave. I dont know if all craigslist searches have that feed button which is where the copy and paste comes from, but you’re right–the RSS feed button is a streamlined way to go.

      As far as zoning goes, my research has found that a building under 250 sq feet doesnt need to be permitted to be built. Composting toilets are OK too. I’m figuring out what the deal is with greywater. My friend is getting me an article from the Lamoille County paper that had a piece on Tiny Houses. If I can find a copy online, I’ll post it here.

      • Dave

        Very cool, I look forward to reading more about your journey and how things work here in VT as it relates to Tiny Houses

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