Monday, February 16, 2009

EBay & Craigslist: Unintended Tools for Dismal Economic Times

There is an article in USA TODAY about how people are using online applications to try to survive these difficult financial times. Here are some quotes from the postings on eBay & Craigslist:

"Please give me a chance. I'm looking for a job but to no avail"

"I was recently laid off from my job, and I am job hunting, but I am finding I have very few 'interview-worthy' outfits"

"We HATE asking for help but we don't have anywhere to go if we lose our house"

When everyone was talking about Web 2.0 applications, these weren't the users they thought of. Websites like eBay and Craigslist were not designed for this, yet they have become them.

If you try to use them from the other end of the spectrum, it's almost impossible to help people. There isn't a category on eBay for people posting "help me" ads, and performing searches on this topic produces lots of things you weren't looking for. They may want to consider making these type of unintended goals part of their design.

Here is a link to the USA TODAY article: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/webguide/internetlife/2009-02-10-onlinepleas_N.htm

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