Our friends at TechCrunch France have built a job board using the edgeio marketplaces platform. The board went live a few moments ago and already has several listings. Listers will pay 150 Euros per 30 day listing.
Check it out here.
…the classified advertising platform
Our friends at TechCrunch France have built a job board using the edgeio marketplaces platform. The board went live a few moments ago and already has several listings. Listers will pay 150 Euros per 30 day listing.
Check it out here.
edgeio marketplaces went into beta on Friday. The first testers are beginning to report. I covered some of it on my personal blog.
John Dowd – the Product Manager for edgeio marketplaces – tells me that it is likely to become a public beta on Tuesday.
AddMonkey has the first review.
To fully appreciate the goal here it is worth re-reading the “de-portalization” post below.
The Real Time Matrix Corp. and edgeio Announce a Strategic Partnership To Bring eCommerce to RSS
New York, NY Ã‚ÂJanuary 30, 2007 Ã‚Â The Real Time Matrix Corp., an innovator in real-time matching and re-broadcasting technology, and edgeio,
a leader in online listings, announce a partnership to bring eCommerce to RSS.
At the SIIA conference in New York, The Real Time Matrix Corp. unveiled Ã¢â‚¬Å“Virtual Personal Commerce,Ã¢â‚¬Â a unique service that enables anyone to describe what they want and have matching item listings sent to them automatically as they appear on the Internet.
The service combines The Real Time MatrixÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s iJ.am web router with edgeioÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s edgedirect platform to match and deliver listings from over 1000 Web commerce sites, including Amazon, eBay, cafepress and more.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like having a personal buyer sitting on the Web,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Jeff Whitehead, CEO, The Real Time Matrix Corp. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Virtual Personal Commerce is radical since I simply describe what I want once, and relevant listings find me as they appear on the net. And they find me wherever I want; cell phone, browser, RSS reader, or instant messenger.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“By partnering with Real Time Matrix, edgeio can extend the reach of any listing to an always-on, consumer channel,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Keith Tiere, CEO, edgeio. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Together, we close the gap between seller and buyer by getting relevant listings to anyone the instant they hit the Web.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The service, scheduled for Q1 release, offers listings through the iJ.am website as well as web widgets placed on any web page. The iJ.am website enables anyone to create personally relevant channels of live web content from the millions of articles published daily to the Internet. It is available at http://iJ.am.
About The Real Time Matrix Corporation
The Real Time Matrix Corporation is a privately-held start-up, co-founded and funded by Edge Venture Capital and based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Real Time Matrix founders have 50 years combined software expertise focused on media distribution, analytics, and messaging. For more information please visit the companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s web site and http://www.realtimematrix.com.
About edgeio corporation:
edgeio is a leader in online listings. Its vision is to bring together, organize and distribute the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s marketplaces. Products include edgedirect, edgeio.com and mulu100.com. edgeio is based in Menlo Park, California and was founded in 2005 by Keith Teare, its Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, and Michael Arrington, a member of its board of directors. For more information see http://www.edgeio.com.
Real Time Matrix Release here
A few short weeks from now – in early February – edgeio will launch a comprehensive commerce platform for your blog or web site. We are calling it edgeio marketplaces. At the same time, we will be launching a beta of the first product built on that platform – Listings Boards.
marketplaces – What it is?
In a nutshell, edgeio marketplaces provides a number of services that can be used to create commerce applications. The key services are:
1. Content creation services.
2. Content management services.
3. Content distribution and sharing services.
4. Marketplace association and collaboration services.
5. Billing and revenue sharing services.
6. Reporting services.
This list may be a little abstract to conjure up the full implications of the platform but together they make it possible to implement certain forms of commerce in the webosphere/blogosphere, for free, and with ease, that were previously expensive and difficult.
Our first marketplaces product
Built on the marketplaces platform, Listings Boards is going to be its first product offering. We have seen a proliferation of jobs boards emerge on the web during the past six months. TechCrunch has one, GigaOm has one, ReadWriteWeb has one as do many others. Speaking with those who built these boards it was clear that it took great effort on the part of the publishers to pull the required resources together to launch those boards, sometimes their own effort and sometimes that of 3rd parties. It also costs significant amounts of money to build and maintain them. Listings Boards will be an easy and free way for any web site owner to create a listings board on their site, and if they wish, to make money by taking payment in return for accepting listings onto their board.
Listings Boards – Key Features
Here are the key features of our Listings Board product:
1. Create any type of listings board (homes for sale; jobs offered; cars for sale; general classifieds; events; indeed anything).
2. Decide whether to charge a fee to list on your board and how much.
3. Design the look and feel of your board.
4. Decide whether to allow affiliates to sell into your board, and if so how much (%) to share with them of the fees collected.
5. Decide whether to add other boards to your sales interface, allowing a network of similar boards to be formed. Listings Board owners can freely associate with each other to create networks, and can share revenues between themselves. edgeio keeps track of who owes whom what, and makes the relevant payments.
6. All boards will be able to create widgets to place on their home page or elsewhere. They will also be able to distribute those widgets amongst friends.
7. All listings will automatically be placed on the boards requested and will also be submitted to the edgeio.com search engine for free.
Why start with listings boards?
Two reasons, one tactical one strategic.
The tactical reason is that these boards are appearing spontaneously and are doing quite well as they address the needs of the lister to target a specific audience that reads a vertical, sometimes even niche publication. Not unlike the magazine world, where there are now many titles focused on ever more specific content, the web has produced its own targeted content as writers emerge focusing on areas of intense interest to themselves and their readers. By making it easy for these writer/publishers to create listings boards, we help give them the tools that previously only the big players could afford. There is clearly a ready audience for the service.
The strategic reason is all about what I described in an earlier post as the Ã¢â‚¬Å“emergence of the foothillsÃ¢â‚¬Å“. There are now thousands of publishers around the world who have built significant audiences for their writing, podcasting or vlogging. An increasing proportion of internet traffic is visiting these foothill publishers. Yet these publishers – who are highly competent and fiercely independent – are often forced to rely on generic advertising platforms for revenue. The more farsighted have gone beyond that and have taken control of their advertising space, and with great impact on their revenues. We want to help generalize that, and make it possible for all publishers to do the same. The marketplaces platform is where edgeio will develop products and services to do just that. To reinforce the control over revenues that leading publishers are now seeking. By giving them the tools to allow their imaginations and business instincts to be realized.
February is not very far away. And edgeio has traditionally not pre-announced products. However in this case we need beta partners for our listings boards product and we want to introduce the marketplaces platform to an external audience. So we are pre-announcing the platform, and the product today in order to get the first publishers to help us test and stabilize the system, seed the networks, and provide feedback prior to launch. We will maintain the beta status of the product as long as we need to after launch also. You can go to http://marketplaces.edgeio.com and sign up for the beta today. John Dowd, product manager of marketplaces, will be in touch asap.
What is our model for this business?
We are providing the marketplaces platform and the listings board products for free. We do not intend to charge startup or hosting fees. So our model will be to take 20% of all money that flows through each product as our fee. In the case of listings boards, if the board is a free board, and makes no revenue, it will be free. If it is a paid listings board, we will take 20%.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m pretty excited to be able to follow up the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Mountains and FoothillsÃ¢â‚¬Â post from last year with something practical we are doing to help the new and growing publishers develop unique models for making revenue from their projects. Listings Boards is just the beginning of several social commerce products we have planned this year. Let us know what you think.
This post is a little more philosophical than most that you will see here. It provides a little bit of background as to why edgeio is in the business of bringing together, organizing and distributing listings to the edge of the network. In short it is because we believe that the Internet is moving away from big centralized portals, which have gathered the lions share of Internet traffic, towards a pattern where traffic is generally much flatter. The mountains, if you will, continue to exist. But the foothills advance and take up more of the overall pie. Fred Wilson had a post earlier this week about the de-portalization of the Internet which is essentially making the same point when seen from the point of view of Yahoo.
Update: 11am Pacific, Sunday 10 December
Several commentators are seeing the word “de-portalization” (first coined by Fred Wilson) and reading “end of portals”. To be clear, and apologies if I wasn’t already, de-portalization represents a change in the relative weight of portals in a traffic sense, and the emergence of what I call the “foothills” as a major source of traffic. This will affect money flows. Portals will remain both large and will continue to grow. But relativeley less than the traffic in the foothills. The foothills will monetize under greater control of its publishers and the dollar value of its traffic is already large and will get much larger.
The following 3 graphics illustrate what we believe has happened already and is likely to continue.
The first picture is a rough depiction of Internet traffic before the flattening
The second picture is a rough depiction of today – with the mountains still evident, but much less so
The third picture is where these trends are leading. To a flatter world of more evenly disributed traffic.
Some of the consequences of this trend are profound. Here are our top 10 things to watch as de-portalization continues..
1. The revenue growth that has characterized the Internet since 1994 will continue. But more and more of the revenue will be made in the foothills, not the mountains.
2. If the major destination sites want to participate in it they will need to find a way to be involved in the traffic that inhabits the foothills.
3. Widgets are a symptom of this need to embed yourself in the distributed traffic of the foothills.
4. Portals that try to widgetize the foothills will do less well than those who truly embrace distributed content, but better than those who ignore the trends.
5. Every pair of eyeballs in the foothills will have many competing advertisers looking to connect with them. Publishers will benefit from this.
6. Because of this competition the dollar value of the traffic that is in the foothills will be (already is) vastly more than a generic ad platform like Google Adsense or Yahoo’s Panama can realize. Techcrunch ($180,000 last month according to the SF Chronicle) is an example of how much more money a publisher who sells advertising and listings to target advertisers can make than when in the hands of an advertiser focused middleman like Google.
7. Publisher driven revenue models will increasingly replace middlemen. There will be no successful advertiser driven models in the foothills, only publisher centric models. Successful platform vendors will put the publisher at the center of the world in a sellers market for eyeballs. There will be more publishers able to make $180,000 a month.
8. Portals will need to evolve into platform companies in order to participate in a huge growth of Internet revenues. Service to publishers will be a huge part of this. Otherwise they will end up like Infospace, or maybe Infoseek. Relics of the past.
9. Search however will become more important as content becomes more distributed. Yet it will command less and less a proportion of the growing Internet traffic.
10. Smart companies will (a) help content find traffic by enabling its distribution. (b) help users find content that is widely dispersed by providing great search. (c) help the publishers in the rising foothills maximize the value of their publications.
edgeio is hoping to play a role in these trends. We will talk about some new products later in the month that follow from this approach.
Keith Teare’s Weblog
Dan Farber at ZDNet
Ivan Pope at Snipperoo
Surfing the Chaos
Dave Winer (great pics)
Hot on the heels of our acquisition of Adaptive Real Estate Services we can today announce the initial roll out of edgeio’s relevance based search engine. This is the first step in our efforts to make edgeio.com the best place to find “stuff” anywhere in the world.
By way of background, edgeio launched in March with zero listings. We took in about 100 new listings per day at that time. Today we take in about 700,000 new listings per day. The search engine we began with (free text matching and then results in reverse chronological order) simply was not good enough to function with this number of listings.
We now have a dedicated search team and this is their first push. It is not yet perfect but it is a vast improvement on what was there before.
In this upgrade we are acknowledging the way partners and users are using edgeio and trying to improve their experience. Many listings based sites are uploading their listings to us and we are providing search traffic back to them. We are being used as a listings search service by companies with listings and by users looking for listings. A “search engine for stuff” if you will.
Here are a few searches to try:
These are all global searches (edgeio has data from about 15000 cities worldwide). You can use the geography widget (top right of the results screen) to choose a city. Once you have done that then the slider control can be used to fine tune the results (zip, city, state, country, continent, world). Of course, you can also sort by price or by date listed.
Arun Jagota; Josh Myer and Dale Johnson are the team – mostly quite new at edgeio – who are working on search, and have moved us from a reverse chronological display of results into a relevance ranked display. Of course they have had a lot of help from others, most notably our technical advisors. And they have a lot of work still to do to make the results the best there is.
Going forward, as edgeio strives to bring together, organize and distribute the world’s marketplaces, edgeio.com will be the place that our organizing efforts are most obvious. It will be the place to find “stuff”.
From here on relevance will be our default sorting method. Of course we will enable users to modify the sort order (by time, by price, and in the future by other criteria). Our outbound APIs will eventually reflect these options also.
There is a whole lot more to come from us, and this is a baby step in many ways, but a significant directional move. Let us know what you think.In future posts we will talk about the bring together and distribute parts of our vision – these are realized through our edgedirect product.
But for now lets meet the team working on search:
I am a search engineer at edgeio. I am working on the design and evaluation of algorithms for improving relevance in particular and search in general at edgeio.
One of the key challenges is the relevance problem itself. A tough nut to crack. The challenge is to find methods that are both simple and efficient, yet effective in returning relevant results. Another challenge (specific to edgeio) is to fetch relevant results from a variety of sources in real-time, recompute their relevance internally in real-time, and merge them into a single set of results that the user sees. A third issue, also specific to edgeio, is that our documents (unlike general web pages) are listings in verticals with varying degrees of structure. So there are special issues involving relevance and search for finding “stuff” rather than web pages.
What keeps me motivated is that “relevance and search” supply me with a constant source of challenging (but not impossible) problems to solve, and algorithms from computer science, statistics, and information retrieval present me with solution methods to consider and evaluate. Another thing that keeps me going is constant incremental progress and quick feedback. You have an idea, try it out, sometimes it improves relevance, and you notice it quickly.
Before working at edgeio, I worked at another start-up (Xoom corporation) as a data analyst and machine learner. There I designed improved algorithms for predictive modeling in an e-commerce setting and also some for improved fuzzy matching of names and addresses of people. Prior to that I taught graduate courses as an adjunct faculty member in computer engineering at Santa Clara University, including one on “Information Retrieval And Search Algorithms”.
Hi, I’m Josh. I’m the Young Guy at the office, but I make up for it with an intense background. Before going to college, I spent a few years working as a reverse engineer and general puzzle-solver, in fields ranging from accounting to instant messaging. I just wrapped up two degrees from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), one in Linguistics and one in Mathematics. I focused on the typically-impractical formal aspects of both, but it’s actually come in handy when working on search problems.
I spend a lot of time in the plumbing of edgeio, but have been working more on search lately. The user-visible bits that I’ve done so far are the real-time search results from external providers. I’m currently working on several things to make search better, faster, and more user-friendly.
Working here has been great: there’s always a new problem to solve and the freedom to solve it the way you want to. All told, I get to use my entire background at work, ranging from unix arcana to the acquisition of language in children. It’s all the fun parts of college (laid-back, lots of new knowledge) with the fun parts of a job (making useful things, getting paid).
I am variously “search engineer”, “sphinx developer”, “data platform engineer”, “senior database engineer”, roughly in that order.
I have done 15 years of database work, on relational database, data warehousing and search. I have done work on PostgreSQL internals, and have studied MySQL internals. Most recently I worked at Tellme where I designed and developed a 1.5TB data repository to drive data warehouse reporting functions for the call details of each of over 1 billion Tellme-answered phone calls. This involved a redundant and reliable cluster of over 50 mysql servers using inexpensive off-the-shelf hardware. This used a combination of mysql and record-oriented raw data files.
I am currently coding extensions in C++ to our search engine, doing things like parsing out Chinese sentences into searchable blocks to support http://mulu100.com. Also I recently have implemented some statistical approaches to our full text search, gathering a corpus profile and applying that in real time to search terms to improve the selectivity of results.
The key challenge I think is be able to flexible enough to implement a solution as we discover the most natural way for a user to navigate through millions of items. To provide a back-end that is able to support a dynamic state-of-the art interactive user experience that people now expect; and to be able to provide these results in real time. Many requests need to distinguish between tens of thousands of documents which have one or more of the search terms present, and determine the top 10 / 100 / 1000 of those items in under a quarter of a second. Under these operational constraints, the traditional relation database approach completely falls down; quite the fun engineering challenge.
What keeps me motivated is the knowledge that the web is still 95% noise and 5% signal. Search is the thing that has the potential to cut through the noise, so we’re really fighting the good fight, of taking listings from potentially obscure but highly useful sites, and making them available to the people it will really matter to, and doing it in a fair and egalitarian way.
NB. Our email addresses are first name at edgeio dotcom
I am pleased to announce that edgeio has made its first acquisition. About a week ago we acquired the assets of Adaptive Real Estate Services, a company built over the past several years by father and son team Robert and Peter Meyer.
ARES, as it is known, has patiently built up relationships with Brokers and Agents in 70 of the top MLS organizations (multiple listings services) in the US. It has about 1.5m homes listed for sale in the areas it covers.
As we integrate ARES into the edgeio platform it will be possible for users of edgeio.com, and partners of edgedirect to show these 1.5 million homes in search results.
The key advance ARES made is that it automates the inclusion of listings via the IDX protocol used by MLS organizations. This is painstaking work as few MLS organizations share common data structures with others. ARES also provides automated web sites for brokers and agents wanting them.
Peter and Robert will introduce themselves on this site over the coming weeks. For now we are pleased to have them on the team and we look forward to helping them serve home sellers and buyers by turning the real estate listings service in edgeio into a major asset for each.
Our goal is “to bring together, organize and distribute the world’s marketplaces”. As part of this we want edgeio.com to become a universal search engine for “stuff”. As that evolves the edgeio platform can become a major marketing vehicle for Realtors. We will be talking more about our goals at the GMAC event in Florida in February 2007.
In the meantime, if you are a broker, an MLS, an agent or indeed a home buyer or seller, please feel free to email Robert Meyer for more information about how he can help you. He is [Robert at edgeio dot com].
edgeio is advertising on Techmeme for a month from November 27th. So, if you are a Techmeme reader and new to edgeio thanks for coming to check us out. Click here to read this initial post in full, or here to subscribe to our RSS feed.
edgeio is a new kind of search engine. Instead of indexing web pages we index actual items or listings from web sites that are in one of the many listings based businesses. These may be job sites, real estate sites, sites for buying and selling cars, classified listings sites, sites like eBay and Amazon which sell general merchandise, and even blogs where the owner lists items using the tag “listing”. Sites with listings submit their listings to edgeio (we don’t scrape or crawl listings unless the publisher requests that we take them). Since our site launched in March of this year we have reached some great milestones.
– We have gone from zero to over 100 million live listings
– We have gone from listings in 1 city to listings in over 15,000 cities
– We have launched a Chinese language web site at http://www.mulu100.com
– We have integrated real time search from Amazon, eBay and CafePress into our edgeio.com search engine.
– We have changed from a founder funded company into one with over $5m of angel and venture funding.
– We have grown our team from 1 engineer, 1 product manager and 2 founders to over 20 staff (mainly engineers, some in Beijing, China).
Our vision is to bring together, organize and distribute the worlds marketplaces . This will take a few more months, and probably even years, of execution but we are very clear about the goal. To that end we want to turn edgeio.com into the best place to find “stuff” from our listing partners (jobs, cars, homes, books, bicycles, babysitters, friends) anywhere in the world. We want edgedirect to become an easy to use platform for partners of all types to get their “stuff” into the edgeio engine and so benefit from the traffic we and our distributors can send back to them. We want to provide many means for third parties to become edgeio distribution partners, taking listings and earning revenue through re-publishing them.
During the next 2 months we will be rolling our several new services. Pretty shortly edgeio.com will move from having a time based search ranking system (last in show first) to a pure relevance based system. Secondly, we will launch edgeio marketplaces in beta (more details to come at the appropriate time). We will develop more ways for listings sites to use edgedirect to upload their stuff into edgeio. We will also enable a greater range of methods for third parties to take listings from edgeio and re-publish them.
During our month on Techmeme we will use this blog to introduce you to some of these new services, and to introduce the people behind the scenes who are now part of the edgeio team.
The next post (later this week) will be news of our first acquisition.
edgeio is a launch partner for share. You will notice that there are some new elements in two places.
Firstly on the search results page at edgeio.com.
And secondly on the item detail page
In both cases we have also added del.icio.us; digg and wink buttons.
This should be a great tool if you are looking for something and find multiple options. You can save the ones you are interested in and then use the saved items as your shortlist of things you are interested in.
Let us know if you like it.