Just like other network effect services, a new Craigslist sites takes time to develop as people in the far-off reaches (say... Centre County, Pennsylvania) don't just wake up and start using Craigslist.

But after a while, even the most languid of Craigslist locations will start to pick up, either filled with miss-postings (Why anyone in Israel would want to go to buy a 1975 Mercedes Benz 450 SL located in Los Angeles is beyond us) or with Spam. However, the newest batch of Craigslist enabled cities included one choice which has proven to be both sad and ill timed -- Beirut.

We wish this Craigslist page provided some amazing inside track to understanding how the people in Lebanon are doing, or even provided a snap shot of the day-to-day existence of this newly ravaged country, but the 200 posts on this page, almost all of which are written by Americans in the "Rants and Raves" section do almost nothing to help us picture the conflict there. Instead of acting as a local community page, this Craigslist appears more like an anachronism, a Fed-Ex truck among a backdrop of bombs, missiles and hatred. Nowhere is this more apparent then on the Community page where miss-placed adds for Seattle Canine grooming and a ride from the Ferry building to Daly City sit side by side with venomous pleas for the bombs to stop.

We recommend going over to Craigslist Beirut just to see what a bare Craigslist looks like, maybe even read some of the posts. It is an experience to see Craigslist emptied -- not because this country is particularly poor or its citizens are without technology or even because it is a new Craigslist site, but because right now there are rockets flying over their heads and they fear for their lives.

Image from http://www.canada.com