CRAIGSLIST – An Honest Approach To Social Media

Craigslist Adult Services Section Has Closed. Where Can You Find Me Now?

Welcome Home.
An interesting fact about being an author is that I am often found taking things literally without effort, and today is no different as it is Labor Day Monday 2010 and I find my self in the same place as usual, which is at my work station.

Today, I decided to use a different approach, which is to get to the point that I am making first, and then expanding upon the stance, saving you as the viewer the time and energy it takes to read all the way through before you come to the final conclusion, so my stance is a simple age old adage that I believe will be shown as one of the most relevant points in regards to success in life and business in the digital age.

Honesty is the best policy.

I expect that you like me, when reading this statement would find it to be an interesting point to ponder, and whether or not this noble sounding claim is actually feasible, especially in these current times.

First and foremost, I will begin with some simple business strategies with this phrase in place, because honestly speaking, business and matters of economics appear to be the number one topic of interest and concern in America and globally.

Truth be told, at the end of the day as well as in the beginning, at the root of all transactions and human relations is communication as words and pictures are exchanged before any transactions take place, and if you are reading this entry, you have confirmed that the Internet is simply a means of communication passing information from one point to another.

In the case of Craigslist, its founder saw fit to keep things simple by dividing individuals into two primary categories , which are buyers and sellers. Buyers compose the side of the transaction known as the demand (consumer) and the side known as the supply ( producer) is held by the seller.

The online business known as Craigslist communicates to each according to their particular need with the utmost simplicity according to basic rules of communication.

Despite its popularity, Craigslist is, by design, a small operation with limited financial resources. Founder Craig Newmark always refused to sell the site to a larger corporation, and made a point of making Craigslist as available as possible to users. In an interview with PC World in 2004 Newmark said Craigslist is “about being primarily a community service and not–let’s say–a profit center.”

PC World Article Link

To the seller, it asks what you are selling. If you are selling a couch, simply log in with your username and password, and enter the information regarding your product in the section labeled FURNITURE, as a couch is classified as such, and your advertisement is then listed in the classified section making it a classified advertisement available for those who are in search of exactly what you are offering.

To the buyer, the site communicates in regards to what you may be in search of, as you are aware before hand that what you are in search of can be found at this online destination, so if you are in search of a couch, simply click the labeled FURNITURE and you will be referred to the classified advertisements posted with a supply of that which you are in search of.

Sample Craigslist CLASSIFIED AD


Before we elaborate, we must ask if whether or not there is any
mis communication involved with this honest approach which begins with placing all parties in the communication on the same page in regards to their objectives which can only be to buy or to sell?

Now we can get to the heat of the discussion which I am sure many of you came to read about, which could only be accurately understood by first reading about what the overall business plan of the craigslist website entails.

There is a current debate that reaches all the way up to the upper echelons of online business and communications in regards to a particular section that has been recently closed and replaced with a censored label in the place where the link to that particular section was found, and that section as you may have guessed is the adult services section.

At first glance, I would estimate there to be no less than 200 classified sections on the front page of the site for each geographical location that it covers. What is taking shape that is of the utmost importance is how this one particular link amongst the rest over time, has become a topic of debate amongst moral and legal advocacy groups regarding its appearance of aiding and abetting prostitution, which is illegal in all U.S. states and territories other than a few select places in the State of Nevada.

None the less, with all of the safeguards, social responsibility endeavors, and legal disclaimers, the demand for this one particular area of honest advertisement and communication has said to have become a source of  nearly one third of the websites yearly revenues.

Craigslist’s earnings numbers are based on estimates from groups such as the classified advertising consultancy Advanced Interactive Media Group. AIMG says adult services will be about 30 percent of Craigslist’s estimated $122 million in revenue for 2010.
PC World Article Link

This latest move to remove the link to the section and its availability all together is being debated, as analysts are questioning whether or not the move was spawned by tremendous scrutiny from law enforcement officials and agencies, human rights advocacy groups, or simply a method of bringing awareness to the popular debate regarding Internet censorship and U.S. Constitutional First Amendment Rights regarding Free Speech to the minds and hearts of the users of the service.

From my perspective, the speech does not appear to be free which perhaps is the actual cause of scrutiny from law enforcement and advocacy groups, as the end total of 30% of $122 million is $36,600,000 rounded up to
$37 Million dollars per year.

Sticking to the business which is what the focus of this post, this one area of interest on the classified section of the website leads to a eight figure revenue source, while many of our favorite social media websites, with a rumored total of more than one hundred billion active users, struggle to generate a minimal amount of advertising dollars, while simultaneously facing extremely enormous overhead costs which are required to serve the needs of the massive amount of active free service users.

I will save my morality stances for another time, as there is plenty to read that is already available here are, and simply close by asking if whether or not you believe that the current U.S. President and his Administration, as well as the Democratic Party, and members of Congress, as well as the new Supreme Court Justices, with the current economic crisis, and depressing unemployment numbers would see this form of communication and transaction with proper regulation and oversight as bennificial or detremental to the U.S. and Global economies.

Even better, would you as a citizen be interested in seeing greater resolutions, which have been proven to result from transparently clear and honest communication?

A different perspective to consider.