Published April 16, 2007
by Margaret Chang
The Public Market of Seattle is not located on 3rd Avenue and Pike Place but on the streets of Seattle. The main purpose of streets is to carry automotive traffic throughout the city; however, people have found an alternative use for the streets. Everyday, people use public streets as an informal market place for goods and services. Used cars and “apartment for rent” signs with hand lettering can be found parked on major city streets. The generic appearance of the “for rent/sale” signs and the hand lettering indicates that the people using the streets to market goods are not professional retailers. Despite this fact, these people have capitalized on the opportunity to use major public city streets as “storefronts”. The street is rent free, has high visibility, and can be utilized that any time of day. However, buyers may find the use of the street as a “storefront” difficult to navigate. Since the street is not a defined market place, goods and signage are not limited to one location nor are sellers obligated to place their goods in a single place for a designated period of time. Used cars for sale can wander up and down the street; for rent signs can appear and disappear overnight.
Published April 16, 2007
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.