Last night, a friend and I discovered that craigslist has finally added a Beirut site this month. It's still basically empty, but the important thing is that it's THERE!
For those of you unfamiliar with craigslist, the following was taken from its Wikipedia entry:
Craigslist is a centralized network of online urban communities, featuring free classified advertisements (with jobs, housing, personals, for sale/barter/wanted, services, community, gigs and resumes categories) and forums sorted by various topics.
However, you may get a better feel for what craigslist can potentially offer by poking around an established site, like the original San Francisco Bay Area craigslist.
It may look a little low-tech and random at first glance, but craigslist has become an institution, especially in the States. Everyone uses it: my sister and best friend both found their current apartments on craigslist, my brother sold his old laptop on the site; even first daughter Barbara Bush apparently uses it for job-hunting.
I can't begin to count the number of times I've wished there were a craigslist for Beirut. It goes without saying that the city needs a site like this-- there is no satisfactory aggregator, on- or offline, for local job and apartment listings (not to mention all the other very useful features a well-established craigslist site can offer). I'm particularly excited by the idea that, in time, there may be a much easier way to find (and sell) non-repulsive used furniture in Beirut.
The catch is that craigslist only works if people know about it and use it. We could all potentially benefit from the site, so let's spread the word and get it going!