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.