When Minionette Wilson took vacation time for a family reunion in August, she thought her prescription migraine eyeglasses were on her desk at work.
But when she got back that next week, the eyeglasses were nowhere to be found. After a day searching, Wilson turned to DukeList, the classifieds website exclusive to Duke employees and students. She posted a selfie with the eyeglasses in a lost and found ad.
“I started having extreme sensitivity to light six or seven years ago. The glasses made it so I can work,” she said. “They make my life better, so I hope I can find them."
DukeList, which launched in 2008, is a free classifieds service for current Duke students, staff and faculty. Classifieds are organized into six sections: “Jobs,” "For Sale,” “Off-Campus Housing,” “Services,” “Lost & Found,” and “Community.” Community members can browse sub sections of each category for specific items.
Anyone with a Duke Net ID can submit a classified or inquire about an ad. DukeList has close to 8,500 visitors a month and more than 1,000 posts. For enhanced security, people can choose not to include their names, phone number or emails when they post ads, and initial contact is made to the person who posted the ad through an inquiry on the website.
“This provides a service to the Duke community in a fairly safe way to find part-time jobs and to buy and sell things,” said Susan Kauffman, communications director of undergraduate education and manager of the site.
A quick glance at DukeList shows just how much is available with posts like “Free kitten looking for new home,” “Blue Ridge Mountain Get Away” and “Classic 2004 Red/Black Convertible Ford Thunderbird.”
Joel Luther, POLIS, Duke’s Center for Political Leadership, Innovation, and Service, used DukeList to recruit students last December to test the Sanford School of Public Policy’s website.
Luther’s ad received 42 responses and he selected five students to perform a series of tasks to navigate the website, like asking them to find details about financial aid for the master’s program. The feedback resulted in clear titles on the website’s menu bar and a new page on undergraduate career services.
“It was key to have user testers who were not already affiliated with Sanford,” Luther said. “We didn’t want people who were already familiar with the website to give us feedback. DukeList allowed us to post an ad that gave us access to a wider pool of candidates.”
Another draw of Duke List is the security of knowing you are communicating with someone Duke affiliated.
That’s what led Reb Kornahrens, a lab manager in the Biology Department, to use DukeList to buy a paper shredder for his house. He used the site a second to time to try and sell an unlimited ride wristband to the North Carolina State Fair after a family member could not attend with him and his wife.
“People on it have a Duke email, which makes buying and selling much more legit,” Kornahrens said. “It’s safe and much more convenient than Craigslist.”