Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Online Classifieds Reach the Masses, Jumping 47 Percent

In the last few months, I've managed to unburden our household of a bunny cage left behind by the previous owners of our house (it only took me 13 years) and a ceiling fan that was collecting dust in our garage.

I shudder to think what said garage would look like without the "Free Stuff" category on Craigslist. Our old sofa would still be out there, instead of gracing a student apartment.

comScore Media Matrix reports hat traffic to the online classifieds category has grown 47% in the past year to 37.4 million Internet users. Wow. That's about 22% of the Internet population. Craigslist.org tops the category, with 13.8 million visitors in July 2006, up 99% during the past year.

These stats just drive home the point that traditional media and the means of buying/selling/bartering goods have been totally transformed forever. Craigslist creates a sense of community that you never felt with the paper-based classifieds.

I've recently been turned on to Freecycle, which works differently than Craigslist. Community members can post only free stuff, with the goal of reducing what's heading to the landfill. I'm in the middle of my first experience with Freecycle, but it seems like a thriving group of communities.

It's a great feeling when someone sees value in something you'd rather not see.

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