Mapping The Web

October 11, 2006

Web 2.0 Winners: Part 1

Filed under: trends, markets — Aidan @ 1:08 pm

How do you define a winner in the world of web 2.0? By revenues? Traffic? The good it has provided to the world? To be honest and from a personal standpoint, I’m going to have to go with the third one on the list. My view of web 2.0 is an Internet where Craigslist logoprocesses are simplified, user-generated content and participation fuels the surge, and the web’s information is more accessible and useful. That is web 2.0 to me. So for part 1 of this blog post series, I’m am going to outline a company that has re-organized a vast amount of information, made it much easier to navigate, and ALL at no cost to the user. Who am I talking about? None other than Craigslist.

Why do I like Craigslist so much?

  • FREE service
  • No flashy ads or full-blown images
  • Clean interface lay-out
  • Fast page load speeds
  • Extremely simple navigation and hierarchy
  • Brilliant posting system

The list goes on and on - I know for a fact I haven’t covered all the robust features.

Craigslist has essentially taken the historical newspaper classified system to a whole new level on the Internet. Not only is it free, but it is so easy to use and find exactly what you are looking for. Why would anyone want to use the newspaper anymore? The breadth and reach of the web is worldwide, whereas the distribution of a newspaper is much less vast. Once again, another web service benefits from the network effect - the more people that use Craigslist, the more powerful, useful, and valuable it becomes. And the cycle continues as such.

This true success story is made even more powerful by its mission of service and non-corporate culture. Though Craigslist is a for-profit entity, the company does very little to drive revenues and focuses mainly on the user experience. This is the reason you see no ads - ever. The company supports its operations by charging business below-market rates for help wanted ads in San Francisco, New York City and Los Angeles, as well as for broker apartment listings in New York City. Amazing. Click here to see just how effective and inexpensive those ads are.

Craigslist is definitely a web 2.0 winner and has shown the world what a little philanthropic project can turn into with a little luck. Thanks for everything Craig Newmark. You’re a brilliant man and you’ve made the world a better (and more useful) place to live.

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