Getting Local with Illinilist.NET

Written on 4:59:00 PM by S. Potter

Living in a small, sleepy college town I have realized how few online resources there really are that are (a) usable; (b) not regularly spammed; (c) not just for advertising purposes; and (d) not a poor translation of an offline concept, such as classifieds in particular. Yes, I know there is a Champaign-Urbana Craigslist, but let's be honest, the smaller Craigslist sub-sites are spammed without regard AND does anyone really think the website is all that nice to use? You would think after being in production for so many years and having so many users they would have come up with an "account" where you can manage all your listings well before last year! Not to mention the fact that Craigslist is a one-size-fits-all, cookie cutter approach to "going local". Each sub-site is exactly the same except the content. Is Craigslist really local? I think not! As for locally run websites: I have found a couple, but they look like they were all coded in the 1990s with no ability to do anything functional (i.e. it is a static site that needs to be manually updated) or the website is just an excuse to put up big advertisements with inconsequential substance. Now I am no web design fashionista, so my comments on the local websites written in the 1990's might be a little below the belt, but there is a lot that web developers should have realized since the 1990's in terms of usability on the web, not just how to make it look prettier. After being frustrated for far too long with the status quo, I finally decided to put a website together relatively quickly to begin to create an online venue for classifieds (but hopefully translated to the web in a meaningful way and for the target audience). Illinilist.NET was officially launched last week, but haven't had the time to really promote yet. So if you are a Champaign-Urbana resident looking for such an online local resource, check it out and let me know what you think about it. Illinilist.NET currently only supports browsing, searching (by tags) and posting Events, Jobs and Rentals for the local area. However, I am planning on beefing up the search capabilities, especially for Rental postings AND adding Real Estate, Resume and Personal listings within the next month. See the Illinilist.NET Blog to keep informed of the latest developments.