Oct 26, 2004

Use net to buld a RL society

One of the reasons I think net will revolutionize our life is because it is already happening. And it will touch almost everything in our lives.

Consider the place you live in. Your neighbours. Your street. Your city. All stuff of RL (Real Life). But the net helps us vastly improve this. It doesn't matter how 'social person' you are, you can use net to take part in the life of your RL geographic community. It should be possible for you to talk with your building manager, decide together with other people living on your street what should be done to improve it, discuss the fate of that nearby park, look or find a job based on your local economy needs, find people sharing your interests online - and meet them in RL, since you live close by...

Most of that is happening now. I was not suprised when I read in the Economist article (Honouring nerd values) about the Craiglist.org company that strives to create just such a community. It started in San Francisco and has now penetrated to many corners of not only US, but the entire world. With net penetration over 50% in US and many other developed countries, and all others catching up soon, expect your local community to be soon reborn in the virtual/real life mixture - if it hasn't yet.

Of course, Wiki has an article on the Craigslist: '
Having observed people (on the Net, The WELL, and Usenet) helping one another in a friendly, social and trusting community way, Newmark decided to create something similar for local San Francisco events. Soon word-of-mouth and popular demand led to the addition of new categories, and "the list" soon became large enough to demand the use of a list server (majordomo), which required a name. Friends started calling it "Craig's list", and the name stuck. Craigslist has since grown to be one of the most heavily-used sites in the world, with new sub-sections for 57 large "metros" in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, and Australia including New York, London, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Portland, Washington, DC, and Vancouver. Newmark says that craigslist works because it gives people a voice, and a sense of community trust and even intimacy. Other factors he cites are consistency of down-to-earth values, customer service and simplicity. In lieu of real banner advertising, Craigslist staff for a short time posted mock-banner ads, as a humourous substitute'

Good community is a good thing. I like truisms :) Just wish we had sth like this where I live. Oh well, sooner or later, it will happen. Hopefully, sooner :)

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