Rob Hof had a look at edgeio earlier this week at a SDForum Search SIG event in Silicon Valley, and wrote a bit about it on his Business Week blog:
Clearly, Edgeio has more to tell, but what Teare did tell during the startup’s first-ever public demo no doubt will get the attention of current powerhouses in Web commerce and classified ads, such as eBay and Craigslist.
Bear with me, since the demo was pretty quick and I’m not sure I caught everything exactly right. But essentially, Edgeio is doing just what its tagline says: gathering “listings from the edge”–classified-ad listings in blogs, and even online product content in newspapers and Web stores, and creating a new metasite that organizes those items for potential buyers.
The way Edgeio works is that bloggers would post items they want to sell right on their blogs, tagging them with the word “listing” (and eventually other descriptive tags). Then, Edgeio will pluck them as it constantly crawls millions of blogs looking for the “listing” tag and index them on Edgeio.com.
Other bloggers picked up on the thread and wrote as well. Lots of the comments were positive, but some pointed out some of the challenges we are going to face (more on that in future posts). Here are a few (please leave a comment if we missed you and I will add a link):
Edgeio is all about edge publishing. It is our belief that services that try to restrict how users create and consume information cannot ultimately be successful. Users own their data, and services exist not to silo that data, but rather to add value to it. That is what Edgeio is setting out to do.
We will be focusing on classified listings of any type to start.
Blogs and other websites syndicating their content through RSS are an ideal place to post classified listings. Not only is the publisher in complete control of the content (what to include, when to change or update it, when to delete it and how to synidcate it for other services), but the website itself gives valuable context to readers of the listing. Unlike anonymous listing services, listings on blogs controlled by the publisher give readers an idea of who they are dealing with. That additional information is an important factor for readers in deciding if and how to interact with the publisher.
Very few blogs publish classified listings today. Most blogs have a relatively small group of readers, including friends and family, and are not able to effectively reach the larger audience needed to effectively market their listings.
That’s where edgeio comes in. We will find edge published listings if they include the category or tag “listing” within the post or content. The listings will be indexed through the blog’s RSS feed and aggregated with other “listings from the edge”. Users of the edgeio service will be able to search through listings and communicate directly with the publisher. Edgeio will also make aggregated listings available though a web service to other Internet sites and services that would like to include edge listings.
We will never attempt to silo or control publisher data, or restrict the ways that listings can be used by others.
The founders and early employees of edgeio include Keith Teare, Michael Arrington, Vidar Hokstadt, Matt Kaufman and Fred Oliveira.
Edgeio will be launching in the next few weeks. If you would like to be notified of the preview launch, please submit your email address on the main edgeio website.