Today is a very different day as far as communication goes. We live in the age of NOW! Over are the days when one has to wait for a letter from a friend, go to the grocery store before it closes or run to the bank before it closes to pay a bill. These advances come with set backs, such as scams. I have had some emails sent to me about winning a lottery that I have never played. Such people pray on the destitute and ignorant. They lurk anywhere from emails to job postings. I must say, I respect Craigslist for having warnings and allowing a posting to be flagged if it seems at all suspicious. The craigslist team has put forth much effort to minimize such attempts. I have not seen this on many other sites.
Craigslist has a reputation of being the ‘go to’ spot for employment, gigs and events. If they were not careful about such things, they would probably lose a lot of business. This forces businesses to work hard to at least appear legitimate. It also puts a new twist on ‘let the buyer beware.’ With so many scams on the internet, it is quite difficult to call a spade a spade. The warnings from Craigslist enable the consumer to make an informed decision and probably be less likely to deal with companies unheard of by most.
It also empowers the average joe by perhaps prompting him to take that extra step to contact the Better Business Bureau or consumer affairs to verify the legitimacy of these companies. As an avid user of craigslist, I am leary of ambiguous terms used in ads. Such ads I shy away from. I have come across ads that have been flagged and it helps me to feel that other users are looking out for each other. Craigslist creates a sense of comraderie and the safety in the big brother is watching theory. It has a commune feel and if that is not what they were going for, it is definitely not a bad side effect.
I had never heard of craigslist until a friend of mine mentioned it to me. Once I went on it, I was hooked. I wasted less time on spam in disguise because the community was looking out for me. I learned of it by word of mouth, which is perhaps the way some other services would benefit. For example, a service for home replenishment would benefit from word of mouth. It is purely the nature of the medium that suggests this. Let us say that we know of a birth. The new mom may not be able to get around and may want her groceries delivered. I may tell her about it.
Perhaps a friend broke his leg on a ski trip and cannot get around so well, I may speak of it then. Maybe many students are studying for a final and are so enthralled in the studies that we cannot take a break. I may suggest it at that point. It is the type of entity that requires a situation to entertain the thought of utilizing the service. Another situation, such as a graduation (event) lends itself easily to viral marketing. Requiring those that I have emailed to respond RSVP will give the hosting site information a marketing list and some of them will partake in such an event. A service to allow incoming college students to create personal pages, organized by their institutions, may benefit from word of mouth marketing with limited viral marketing.
Since it is organized by the institution, it limits access to those that are not privy to the institutional privileges. A service using a device to look up barcodes can definitely benefit from bootstrapping. The items that are being looked up will probably link to the company or manufacturer of such products. They in turn will send similar product emails to the person looking up the products. This may result in traditional marketing, such as coupons and mailings with an instant direct marketing list.