July 21, 2011


I’ve been so excited about this that I couldn’t figure out how to explain it. Craigslist.org is the Internet’s operating system equivalent. Craigslist is the missing link in the battle to becoming the first website to successfully implement a full fledged Web 3.0 experience. It’s easy to use, it’s simple, it’s genius. When Craigslist came out everyone rolled over and “couldn’t” compete; because Craigslist was free.
Straight from the Craigslist Wiki: “Craigslist is a centralized network of online communities, featuring online classified advertisements - with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, services, community, gigs, resumes, and discussion forums.”
I think Craig Newmark may have invented Web 3.0 when he brought free classifieds online, sixteen years ago, and nobody knew it. In fact, most websites are striving to include much of what Craigslist.org has had the entire time: everything.
Here is Wikipedia’s definition (by the way, isn’t Wikipedia getting pretty?) of a social network: “A social network is a social structure made up of individuals (or organizations) called "nodes,” which are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige.“
The social network that’s going to win everyone over will look a lot like Craigslist. Now, you may think I’m crazy by saying that. But think about it. You’re saying "no” because Craigslist doesn’t have the visual appeal/feel of a social network like Google+ or Facebook. As far as it’s technical design, it’s a better version of both of them. And it was established before them. Let’s say Google wanted to buy Craigslist right now, assuming it could be bought. Integrating what Craigslist offers, into what Google+ is, would put Google in the drivers seat of the social network battle. It fell off people’s radar because the founder of Craigslist, philanthropist Craig Newmark, does a straightforward job of honestly running the site.
Staying on Google, for this example, Google Coupons would be immediately wedged into every local community in the United States. And that’s one product from the book Google offers. I mention money only to prove the immediate ROI a Google owned Craigslist-Google+ combination would offer.
This could improve local governments, national governments, and the world as a whole if implemented properly. It may even reboot our economy. And yes, I may be entirely over thinking this, but am I? Real community discussions in one centralized arena.  Why is our nations education system failing? Because we are not politically involved in our communities. This is the chance to do just that. Craigslist integration into Google+ offers that. A real platform for communication. 
Getting local business tied into such an advanced network, could bring the “main street” inventor to the world. With Google Coupon’s integrated, local businesses would COMPETE for their daily deal to appear on search pages. Rather than Google having to ask them if they’d like to advertise a deal. Social media and advertising are scary to a lot of people. Simplify it, “craigslist it”.
Maybe the reason Google+ is having so much early success is because everyone sees its potential but can’t quite figure out what to do with it right now. Taking it a step further, rather than thinking of a Google+/Craigslist combination website as a social network, think of it as a world profile.  
When someone searches for you on Google you want to control what they see, with this all-in-one profile you can control what they see. You own your data, don’t let it own you. Instead of searching Google for “Brett Favre” and getting 13,500,000 results you would be brought to one page. If you’re looking for the former NFL quarterback, the profile you’re looking for should be obvious. You click Brett Favre’s profile and everything associated with that Brett Favre is brought up in an organized page, like Craigslist’s design. But, if Brett Favre himself was logged in, it would act as a dashboard to him. If you’re not looking for the former Packer great, the page will act like a filter.
I’ve read that the future Internet will be similar to how the Twitter app works on the iPad. If that is the case (it is a nice design) you can find the less popular Brett Favre (you’re presumably looking for) by filtering down what information you know about the Brett Favre you are searching for. The point is, you wouldn’t have to worry about not finding the right Brett Favre or missing out on any information about the person named Brett Favre you want to find. Everyone in the world would be tied into this network and all of the information related to that specific Brett Favre would be integrated in his world profile; control what information is displayed about yourself, on the web, in a simple manner. They don’t have to actively update the profile. They do not have to use it.
This is why subdivisions of your profile would still remain a necessity. By subdivisions I mean plugins, other integrated accounts. Choosing what information you interact with others on is why all of the other internet services, besides Google, will not die. Twitter would remain an integration of your account, if you so choose to use Twitter. You can update your Twitter and forgo an update to your “world profile”. Separate networks would act like circles.
You can stay local with your information or you can go global. You have control over all of it. That’s slightly off topic and just came to me, so I don’t know about the world profile part. Am I wrong? Am I saying anything new here?
Here’s a quick mock-up I made; maybe it’ll relay the message a little better. I’m not sure I did.  It uses Facebook as the login example, I know. Actually, it’s a poor/earlier example. If you can understand why this would be awesome, combine Craigslist with Google+, and your brain might explode. Literally. Probably not though. This is as simple as it can be narrowed down, visually speaking. I didn’t feel like doing a Google+ example, yet.

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