craigslist, a virtual landscape of exchange

 

by Karen Kennedy

Location: 450+ sites in 50+ countries accessed anytime, anywhere

craigslist (www.craigslist.org) is a worldwide phenomenon that has dramatically altered the way people socialize, conduct business and fulfill their needs and desires. It began with a simple goal: “to provide a trustworthy, efficient, relatively non-commercial place for folks to find all the basics in their local area.” It is a fascinating virtual landscape of exchange linking complimentary natures across time and distance.

Since its creation, craigslist has expanded to over 450 location-specific pages in 50+ countries. Collectively, over fifteen million people use the sites every month, generating more than five billion page views. What works for people? The site’s simplicity, consistency, freshness and commercial-free, down-to-earth atmosphere of “trust and intimacy”. Most importantly, the site restores the human voice to the internet by transferring power to the ordinary person.

A social network, a marketplace, and an outlet for personal expression, craigslist can be considered “a multidimensional collage of the [urban] landscape”. It is an often ‘taken for granted’ everyday space that has been quietly yet intricately woven into the fabric of the community”. It is an infrastructure of empowerment and a true “narrative of cultural identity” that tells a remarkable story of virtual exchange in the urban experience.

 

 

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Micro Urbanism

The term “micro-urbanism” describes small-scale urban spaces and design interventions that enable a wide variety of activities, events, processes and functions to take place. It also involves ways to reinterpret the urban landscape. As a class project, the purpose for creating this Guide is to bring attention to aspects of our everyday environment that are important but often neglected parts of the urban experiences.

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