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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week Google introduced GData to “provide a simple standard protocol for reading and writing data on the web”. Based on ATOM 1.0 and RSS 2.0, this represents a significant step for Google towards adopting standard protocols that may one day open more of their applications to 3rd party development. At edgeio, we believe transparent access to data is a fundamental principle for all modern web applications to follow, especially when those applications republish content from 3rd parties.
We are especially interested in how GData will change the way people publish large datasets to Google Base. Since launching in February, edgeio has resisted numerous requests to support one of the many proprietary CSV file formats commonly used to transfer online commerce data. We firmly believe that the future is in standardized transport formats like RSS and GoogleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s move is a strong indication that others agree.
While we applaud GoogleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s move towards RSS, like Richard MacManus, we wonder why Google has not embraced semantic formats already developed by the Internet standard community. The GData specification, introduces us to the Google namespace and elements that handle contacts, location, events, etc. Yet these are already described by hCard, hCalendar, and various RDF elements like geo . In fact, Google may have taken a step backwards by defining things like
gd:postalAddress which have no structure compared to existing formats. The Google approach works when you have a comprehensive geo coder and the necessary maintenance, but where does that leave smaller development organizations?
At edgeio we hope to see open standards prevail for both data transport and semantics. Like most modern web services, we rely heavily on RSS and ATOM for data acquisition and distribution. In future releases of edgeio we will be introducing more extensive support for microformats and, of course, encouraging the development of new formats like hListing.
Bob Wyman has a post in repsonse to an earlier Techdirt comment at Rob Hof’s blog regarding the key differences between edgeio and Craigslist. I have to say Bob, great post, I strongly agree. Although I still want to make clear – CraigsList is not our enemy or our target. But we do want to be a catalyst for open data, published for free, and shared for free. Thanks for the post.
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. email@example.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.
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.
The first edgeio listing from China was posted today.
Here is a link to it:
Pretty soon there were several more:
This is really exciting for us. edgeio was built to provide for bottoms up publishing from every town and city on the earth. To have achieved 12,000 listings in 10 days, and to have listings from 1600 cities feels great. To see Chinese listings is awesome.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
I wanted to give a status report on our first week from a product development Ã¢â‚¬Â¨point of view. First, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been a busy first week at edgeio. Since launch, over Ã¢â‚¬Â¨5,000 items have been published from more than 1,400 cities. While this is greatÃ¢â‚¬Â¨ news, things did not go smoothly for many people who wanted their items Ã¢â‚¬Â¨listed. In the world of RSS, ping servers, tagging, and claiming blogs Ã¢â‚¬Â¨there are numerous quirks that we did not encounter during our betaÃ¢â‚¬Â¨ tests. So, we have learned a lot. We are now addressing known issues as Ã¢â‚¬Â¨quickly as possible. While mostly under-the-covers, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been launching updates Ã¢â‚¬Â¨to the edgeio service on almost a daily basis since and plan to continue that Ã¢â‚¬Â¨pace of improvement until publishing on edgeio is easy for everyone.Ã¢â‚¬Â¨Ã¢â‚¬Â¨ In addition to fixing bugs, we are also trying to answer the question,Ã¢â‚¬Â¨ Ã¢â‚¬Å“what if I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know how to tag and I am not sure if my website Ã¢â‚¬Â¨notifies a ping server?Ã¢â‚¬Â. Stay tuned for the answer which should beÃ¢â‚¬Â¨ coming within the week. If you have specific issues please send feedback to email@example.com. We Ã¢â‚¬Â¨read everything and learn from it.
edgeio has a number of product releases due to happen over the next 2 weeks or so. As we discussed in a couple of places, edgeio was launched with a set of features specifically designed for bloggers who are familiar with tagging, and with ping servers. Some have said (correctly) that this is too narrow an audience for a listings network. We think that the amount of discussion about edgeio has justified our early focus on this audience, but we are almost ready to roll out features for bloggers who are less familiar with the technology, and also for non-bloggers. CrunchNotes points to a podcast where Brian Oberkirck interviews Mike Arrington and they discuss some of these plans. They also discuss spam control. The podcast is here.