Thursday, February 8, 2007

Mailing list as Web 2.0?

Craigslist started simply as a mailing list and later added a web interface. It's the perfect example of a site that utilizes user-generated content and takes advantage of network effects. Its interface is simple and completely text-based. It's the de facto online classifieds site.

It was founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark for the San Francisco Bay Area. After incorporation in 1999, Craigslist expanded into nine more cities in 2000 (all of them in the U.S.), four each in 2001 and 2002, and 14 in 2003. As of November 2006, Craigslist had established itself in approximately 450 cities all over the world.

As of 2007, Craigslist operates with a staff of 23 people. Its sole source of revenue is paid job ads in select cities ($75 per ad for the San Francisco Bay Area; $25 per ad for New York; Los Angeles; San Diego; Boston; Seattle; Washington D.C., and paid broker apartment listings in New York City ($10 per ad)).

It serves over 5 billion page views per month, putting it in 34th place overall among web sites world wide, 8th place overall among web sites in the United States, to 10 million unique visitors. With over 10 million new classified ads each month, Craigslist is the leading classifieds service in any medium. The site receives over 500,000 new job listings each month, making it one of the top job boards in the world. The classified advertisements range from traditional buy/sell ads and community announcements, to personal ads and even "erotic services".

Although the company does not disclose financial information, journalists have speculated that its annual revenue approached $10 million in 2004.

Rumors have floated in the past about Craigslist being an acquistion target for Google.

Below image is their headquarters, a classic internet company office.

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