Category > announcement

Announcing “Marketplaces” and “Listings Boards”.

» 22 January 2007 » In announcement, edgeio, listings, marketplaces » 6 Comments

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 “emergence of the foothills“. 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.

Why pre-announce?

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%.

I’m pretty excited to be able to follow up the “Mountains and Foothills” 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.

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edgeio">We’re relevant! Search engine launched at edgeio

» 04 December 2006 » In announcement, edgeio, listing, techmeme ad, update » 2 Comments

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:

Used iPod
Sony Vaio
Baby Crib

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:

Arun Jagota

Arun Jagota 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”.

Josh Myer

Josh MyerHi, 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).

Dale Johnson

Dale Johnson

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, Dale's Whiteboarddoing 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

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edgeio acquires assets of Adaptive Real Estate Services

» 29 November 2006 » In announcement, edgeio, techmeme ad » 8 Comments

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].

Discussion

Techmeme
Dave Winer
VentureBeat
John Furrier
Seattle Post and Intellegencer
Transparent Real Estate
Future of Real Estate Marketing
Realty Thoughts

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Series A financing, China web site and Patent filing

» 23 October 2006 » In announcement, edgeio, News, Press Release » 7 Comments

This is the text of a press release we are issuing today (Tuesday 24th October 2006)

Menlo Park, California: October 24th 2006

edgeio corporation announces Series A financing, Chinese web site and Patent filing.

edgeio corporation, a leader in online listings announced today that it has raised $5 million in the first close of a Series A round of financing. The round was led by Intel Capital and also included an investment from Transcosmos Investments and Business Development Inc, a Japanese public company with a Silicon Valley investment arm focused on Internet-based U.S. technology companies expanding into the Japanese marketplace. Investors in the company’s angel funding had their investment converted into A round stock. These include Ron Conway, Jeff Clavier, Claudio Chiuchiarelli, Frank Caufield Jr., RSS Investors, Millenium Technology Ventures, Michael Tanne, Auren Hoffman, Sam Perry, Bill McCabe and Louis Monier.

Since its launch in March 2006 edgeio has successfully become a significant player in the rapidly growing infrastructure for online listings. It has become an essential service to many vendors, across many verticals in many countries, who use it as a part of their strategy for distributing listings and catalogs to attract more customers.

edgeio has over 3000 publishers who upload their listings via its edgedirect service. These include key players in the jobs, autos, real estate, leisure and other sectors. Many bloggers are publishing listings to their blog and having them automatically entered into edgeio through the use of the “listing tag�?. edgeio is also a featured distribution channel for many sites offering to help distribute listings, such as VFlyer, Postlets, the Point2 network and others. Beyond distributing uploaded listings, edgeio brings together content in real time from partners such as eBay, Amazon and CafePress, creating the world’s largest search engine for listings at edgeio.com.

“Our goal is to bring together all of the world’s marketplaces, to organize them vertically and geographically, and then to make this enormous inventory of catalogs available, through a single interface, to those who would like to take these listings and create new online marketplaces,”

said Keith Teare, Chief Executive Officer and founder at edgeio.

Since launching six months ago edgeio now has more than 100 million listings in many verticals, (about 700,000 new each day). These come from over 14,000 cities in 130 countries. By being an aggregator of such a large number of listings edgeio.com can become a serious search engine for jobs, homes, cars and many other items, and can send significant amounts of traffic back to the original publisher.

The company also announced today that it has launched a Chinese language version of its web site named mulu100.com (which in Chinese means catalog of catalogs). The Chinese service has initially formed a partnership with edeng.cn, a China based listings site, similar in many ways to craigslist.com.

“Chinese listings began to appear on edgeio within a few days of us launching. And we saw Chinese searches on our data grow significantly during the summer,”

said Keith Teare.

“We decided that the Chinese market would be our first localized site and we now have a significant number of listings from all over the country. That is why we have launched mulu100.com as a fully Chinese front end to the edgeio data. edeng has significantly expanded our ability to include China based listings and proven to be a great initial partner.”

edgeio corporation also announced that it has filed for patents covering its distributed marketplaces architecture and many of the features of edgeio.com. The patent claims were provisionally filed in October 2005 and have now been completed as full filings.

About edgeio corporation:

edgeio is a a leader in online listings. Its vision is to bring together, organize and distribute the world’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.

About Intel Capital:

Intel Capital, Intel’s venture capital organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software and services targeting enterprise, home, mobility, health, consumer Internet and semiconductor manufacturing. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than US$6 billion in nearly 1,000 companies in more than 40 countries. In that time, about 180 portfolio companies have been acquired by other companies and another 155 have gone public on various exchanges around the world. In 2005, Intel Capital invested about US$265 million in about 140 deals with approximately 60 percent of funds invested outside the United States. For more information on Intel Capital and its differentiated advantages, visit www.intelcapital.com.

About Transcosmos Investments & Business Development, Inc.

Transcosmos Investments & Business Development, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transcosmos, Inc. With offices in Bellevue, Wash., and Mountain View, Calif., Transcosmos Investments & Business Development is a strategic corporate investor and an active local business partner for Internet-based U.S. technology companies expanding into the Japanese marketplace. It is the international partner-of-choice, offering capitalization of joint ventures, infrastructure development, strategic relationships, staffing and localization to companies in the U.S. technology sector – effectively creating a pipeline of technological information to Japan. Transcosmos Investments’ portfolios, which focus on companies specializing in digital marketing, e-commerce and digital media, include such marquee brand names as AskJeeves, Inc./Bloglines, DoubleClick Inc., RealNetworks Inc., NetRatings Inc., Atom Shockwave, Inc., Become Inc. and CinemaNow, Inc. For more information, please visit: http://www.transcosmos.com.

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edgeio Anounces Support for osCommerce

» 02 June 2006 » In announcement, edgeio, event, listing, Uncategorized » No Comments

Earlier this week, Andrew Yasinsky implemented a plug-in for osCommerce that allows online stores to easily publish their listings to edgeio, Google Base, and Froogle. osCommerce is an Open Source based commerce system used by over 9,000 stores around the world and we have already seen a few of those stores submit listings to edgeio. We hope that this will be the first of many plug-ins and integration tools that make it easy for anyone, from an individual to a large business, to submit data to edgeio.

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Job Openings at edgeio

» 25 May 2006 » In announcement, edgeio, jobs, listing, Uncategorized » No Comments

edgeio is always on the lookout for talented individuals to join our team; however, there are two openings which have risen to the top of our priority list. If these sound like a good match for you, please email us at jobs@edgeio.com.

Ruby Engineer

We are looking for an experienced Ruby engineer to join our small, but growing team. You should have some professional experience in Ruby along with a strong background in one or more of the following: C++, Java, and PHP. Experience building large web based applications with MySQL, PHP, XSL and CSS is a plus.

Operations Engineer

We are looking for an experienced operations engineer to join our small, but growing team. You should have experience managing large web services running on a LAMP platform and a strong background in MySQL tuning. Responsibilities will include managing MySQL instances, developing monitoring and test applications and provisioning new equipment.

If you think your skill set is a match for either position and are interested in join a small fast paced team where everyone contributes on multiple levels, please let us know. We’re at jobs@edgeio.com.

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edgeio announces support for YouTube, Google Video, Skype and PayPal!

» 04 April 2006 » In announcement, event, listing, News, video » No Comments

We are announcing support for YouTube, Google Video, Skype and PayPal on edgeio. I have been having great fun playing with my new Sanyo Xacti HD-1 camera. The screen shot below shows an edgeio posting that contains a YouTube video (Google Video works also).

YouTube and edgeio with Skype and PayPal

The real listing is here.

As of today you can come and do this yourself on edgeio. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Make a movie of the item you are selling, or want.
2. Upload it to YouTube or Google Video.
3. Click on “Create Listing” on www.edgeio.com.
4. Past in the code for your YouTube or Google Video.
5. Add code snippets for PayPal or Skype or both.
6. Publish your edgeio listing.

Cool stuff if I say so myself :-).

We will build in more explicit support to pick videos from your YouTube uploads and to pick Skype or PayPal buttons in future versions of edgeio.

Have fun, can’t wait to see the results.

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New edgeio features to be launched tonight

» 23 March 2006 » In announcement, edgeio, event, listing, News, update » No Comments

Later tonight we will be releasing a new version of the edgeio web site. It has a number of new features that we are really excited about. The new site should go live sometime after midnight Pacific time.

1. The ability to post an item for sale directly onto the edgeio web site. No blog needed. When you do this for the first time you will be asked to choose a login and password. On subsequent visits you will be able to post instantly. This is in effect giving you a listings blog hosted by edgeio. In the future we want to consistently add features to this blog platform. Some we already know about (the ability to skin your blog for example). Others we want to hear from you about. feedback@edgeio.com is the place to send product feature requests.

2. The ability to add posts from your blog to edgeio without tagging your posts in advance. To accomplish this simply put your URL in edgeio’s home page and click “get listings”. We will retrieve all recent posts from your blog and you can select which ones to add to edgeio.

3. Tagclouds for cities and for items. Click on the number of cities on the edgeio home page to see the most popular cities on edgeio. After 2 weeks we have around 1200 cities with listings. This grows by about 300 cities a week. We expect to be at 10,000 cities this year. To see category clouds just click on the “more” at the end of each category list on the home page.

4. Advice for power users about how to automate edgeio listings via their RSS feed. We decribe the “edgeio control language” or ECL. This is a means of using tags to tell edgeio a lot about your listing and helps ensure it is listed in the correct cities, and for the correct categories. Over time ECL will evolve into a rich control language for power listers. This is a link from the top of the new edgeio home page.
Rob Hof has written a piece on the new features. We will add more links here as they are published.

Other links:

Read/Write Web

SomeWhat Frank

Mashable

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edgeio formally launches at PC Forum

» 13 March 2006 » In announcement, edgeio, listing, News, video » 1 Comment

We formally launched edgeio at PC Forum today. PC Forum is attended by many technologists, ceo’s, journalists and venture capitalists. Here is a 2 minute informercial Mike gave to the crowd, ahead of a full 50 minute presentation/demo at 2.15pm.

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No tags, no ping server, no problem…

» 10 March 2006 » In announcement, edgeio, Features » No Comments

One thing we heard a lot of after launching was that publishing on edgeio is just too hard. You told us that requirements around tagging, ping servers, and claiming websites made it difficult for all but the savviest publishers to get their data into edgeio. We heard you and are happy to announce the launch of a new feature we call Instant Add.

Using Instant Add you can provide us with the URL of any RSS enabled website, well grab the most recent listings, and then you tell us if you want them published on edgeio. You can even add new tags to an item through this process. Give it a try. Just enter the URL of your website here. Of course, you can still publish on edgeio by tagging posts with the “listing” tag and notifying a ping server, but if you want to bypass all that then “Instant Add” was designed for you.

As always, if you have any comments or find any bugs (its been known to happen), send us a note at feedback@edgeio.com

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