So not knowing what the problem was I chose the separate cities results which isn't loading for me. didn't sign in to complain, but I'm perplexed about how to get to direct results, I can't find a button or toggle on the search tempest home page. IIRC when i first enterd a search, I was taken to an interim page asking me whether I wanted separate cities or direct. But I can't see how to get back there.
Since you also seem open to recommendations and are trying to be constructive about improving the site even while trying to keep it operable, the one thought I had on your approach, which appears to be keep two windows open next to each other. In the narrower macro results window there seems to be a list of city names. I can't tell if they are organized by distance from your zip code, alpha, otherwise or whether that is addressable.
The other hope I would have is the you might be able to tag a number of results, or number of results for last 7 days or some such. Don't know if you are able to collect that information from the searches ahead of time or, if no search of those cities is actually performed until you click on the them.
This would be of critical importance to the utility I find, because the previous aggregators I have used, first craiglook and then crazedlist did not filter out cities that had no results. That was the most superior comparative function of Search Tempest from my perspective.
As with most other posters appreciate the effort you put in. You can't be doing it for the thanks (because you would have quit after some of the blockheaded notes here). I'm glad there are people who climb mountains because they are there.
PS - for the those tracking the politics and economics of all this, the only way I can think of off the top of my head to really punish craigslist and/or ebay is to find/develop another local listing site that is friendly to multi-location searchers and steal traffic. Ironically the Searchtempest/crazed look formats drive traffic on their sites and they resist. I understand they could occasionally have resource issues, fine slow down multiple searches or have some power user fee. They may also be trying to drive national searching to ebay. But all they have to do is be as user friendly as Search Tempest, and maybe like search tempest include ebay listings within a certain locus with craigslist results to remind users of the utility of ebay for stuff.
Could we just displace craigslist. I would do it in a heartbeat after the hostility they have displayed to folks volunteering to make their service better. Facebook did it to Myspace, so it ain't impossible, but you have to move other users, i.e. those who place the ads and those who search locally only. I doubt most craigslist users have put a lot of thought into the benefits of placing what they think will be sold locally before a larger audience. I've bought one truck using crazedlist and one using search tempest over the past 2 years, both 2000 miles from where i live.
Some sellers post in both places, but I have generally been less impressed with trucks I've found on Ebay. Not sure why that is, and I still look there, but craigslist or a similar local classified has always proven to be where I find what I'm looking for. Can only say that craigslist is making me hate craigslist over this behavoir and if I had any remotely comparable opportunity I would never use craigslist again. I have been able to vote with my feet at paypal which I hate for various reasons, not just because they are big company skimming money off purchases. NO problem with that at all. But they don't have a user friendly choice of funding source and try to force you to take money from your bank account, so, whenever I see an offer to pay with paypal and there are other alternatives, I always choose the other alternative.
And if Ebay has a part in chilling this use of craigslist, as has been reported on this thread, I'll curtail use of that as much as possible. I can't swear off, but sometimes things I buy there are available directly on the internet cheaper, including amazon or elswhere in the big bad internet. I already avoid ebay unless absolutely necessary becuse of paypal anyway.
don't know that we, the WACS (wide area craigslist searchers) are really enough of a market to be of notice to these bozos but perhaps we can make coalition with folks disaffected with craigslist, ebat or paypal for other reasons.