Where do we go from here?

About a year ago, Keith and Mike introduced me to the idea building a classified listings system around content generated by edge publishers. I had worked with Mike and Keith at RealNames and was intrigued by the idea of giving individuals and businesses the opportunity to list content using their own websites rather than ceding control to a centralized service. So, we began working on edgeio and my job became taking the initial ideas and turning them into concrete plans for a service. Since those initial conversations, we have put a lot of work into building the first release and crafting plans for the future.

In-between chasing down the inevitable bugs following a 1.0 release, I’ve read a lot of great posts about edgeio and it seems that most of them have to do with two key questions.

• How will edgeio handle spam?
• Is edgeio only for bloggers?

Spam is a very real issue that we have been thinking about since day one and our approach to spam is twofold. First, we want to leverage the edgeio community as much as possible to identify posts and publishers that are likely to be spam or otherwise inappropriate. We have seen this work well in other environments and hope we can create the same sense of community in edgeio. To facilitate this, expect to see more in the area of reputation including authentication of publisher’s identity, commenting on publishers and posts, and automated removal of suspect items from anonymous users.

Communities alone, however, cannot stop spam so our second approach to spam is more heavy handed. We intend to leverage filters similar to the Akismet approach, implicit white lists comprised of authenticated edgeio members, and blacklists to handle publishers who continuously abuse the system. We do not claim to have a bullet proof system and there will certainly be issues with spam in our future. We can only promise that we are continuously monitoring the data and doing our best to adapt to the influx of data.

The initial release of edgeio is obviously tailored to publishers who are familiar with the ins and outs of tagging and ping servers. After writing the FAQ, I realize that publishing content is not necessarily for the novice; however, we wanted to give publishers full control over their listings. So, going forward we are committed to extending the concept of using tags and other inline markup to control every facet of how an item is rendered and distributed through the edgeio network. With the exception of claiming your weblog, visiting edgeio will be an option for edge publishers, not a requirement.

At edgeio we do realize, however, that not everyone is familiar with tagging and ping servers. For this reason, in the coming weeks we will introduce tools that allow publishers to add their content to edgeio without anything more than an RSS / ATOM feed from their website. You will have to come to edgeio to make this happen, but we promise the process will be simple and pitfall free.

Sometime later, edgeio will introduce tools for publishers who do not have their own RSS / ATOM enabled website. This way, we will offer a range of solutions meeting the needs of everyone from experienced publishers to people without their own website. It will take some time to get there, but watch for updates on a regular basis. The edgeio team believes in rapid iterations that take into account customer feedback.

If you have comments about the design, missing features, etc. feel free to comment here or contact us at feedback@edgeio.com. As the volume of comments increases, you may find that we direct you back to this blog for more lengthy answers to common questions.

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