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DEVELOPMENT REPORT – Public Service Web Site - 2004-11-07

Broadcast: November 8, 2004

This is Gwen Outen with the VOA Special English Development Report.

The Internet is a system of electronic computer communication. It helps people share information, communicate with family and friends, and start businesses. One popular Web site that whole communities can use is It helps people find the goods or services they need. For example, if I want to sell my car, I can put a message on Craigslist. Or if I want a new job, I can search the employment area on the Web site. People use Craigslist to start community groups or to provide services. They can find new friends or search for a place to live. There are many uses for this kind of Web site.

Craig Newmark started Craigslist in nineteen ninety-five. He had just moved to San Francisco, California. He was sending his friends information about parties and other events. He says interest in the Web site increased. Almost ten years later, Craigslist exists in forty-eight cities in the United States, and nine cities in four other countries. Putting information on the site is free. However, companies listing job openings and housing announcements in some cities have to pay a small cost.

Mister Newmark says it is easy to create a Craigslist for any city in the world. However, two questions must be answered first. Is an English language Web site temporarily acceptable? And, does the community truly want it? Mister Newmark says people have to ask to set up a Craigslist in their community. His company keeps a record of the number of requests. If enough community interest develops, his company will create the site. In time, Mister Newmark says he hopes to offer Craigslist in many languages.

Mister Newmark describes his Web site as a public service. He says it is owned and shared by everyone. Mister Newmark says the Web site is operated on traditional American values. He believes people around the world share these same values. He says Craigslist is about trying to help other people. And, he says his company urges users to honor the shared interests of the community. It urges users to follow moral traditions, be honest, do not steal and do the right thing.

To learn more about Craigslist, visit the company Web site at Craigslist is one word: craigslist.

This VOA Special English Development Report was written by Jill Moss. This is Gwen Outen.