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March 24, 2006
Edgeio's New Blog Platform
When Edgeio soft-launched a few weeks ago, it got a lot of deserved attention for its novel idea of vacuuming up classified-ad listings logically tagged "listing" on millions of blogs and presenting them on its own site. But I mentioned that it faced at least two big challenges: spam and the fact that a blog isn't the first place most people will think of listing an item, if they even have a blog.
Cofounder Mike Arrington admits Edgeio, which now has about 20,000 listings from 1,124 cities, hasn't been tested on the spam issue yet. But today, it has a couple of new answers to the second issue. For one, Edgeio has added a box that lets you add items from your blog directly on Edgeio, so you don't have to go the trouble of tagging it as a listing on your own blog.
But even more interesting, you can also create a listing on Edgeio, so you don't actually have to have a blog. More interesting yet, creating that listing automatically creates a listing blog for you. That way, you've got a dedicated blog for listings, eliminating the need to put a classified listing on a blog that has nothing to do with selling stuff.
Essentially, Edgeio is creating a storefront for you--a sort of eBay Store for individuals and small sellers. Larger sellers will want their own Web site, of course, but this seems like a very easy way to sell stuff with minimal fuss. Later, Edgeio plans to add specific forms for classifieds, jobs, housing, and other categories.
TechCrunch, Web 2.0, blogs, craigslist, e-commerce
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I still don't quite get this. Lots of smart people seem enthusiastic about it, so I must be missing something.
If the whole value proposition they were talking about was about how you could post this info from the "edge" then doesn't them hosting the listings for you simply go back to having a centralized listings service? What's the benefit over Craigslist or eBay?
Posted by: Mike Masnick at March 24, 2006 05:29 AM
Thanks for writing about our new features. I want to respond to Mike Masnick. On the face of it he asks a fair question - if you can list on edgeio then how is that different from CraigsList?
It's a multi-part answer:
1. We are giving you a hosted listings blog. It is yours to post to. edgeio is still aggregating the content from your blog, just as if your blog were elsewhere. The goal here is to expand the universe of people who can utilize edgeio from bloggers, to well ... everybody. So this is still self publishing, and although it is hosted by edgeio, still decentralized. The idea of a blog as a storefront is definitely not a CraigsList idea.
2. Having said that, lets assume there is no difference, or that the difference is mainly semantic (which I don't think it is). Then there is still a huge difference. CraigsList has been in existence for many years now. After all that time it is in around 100 cities, mainly in the USA. After 2 weeks edgeio has attracted listings from more than 1000 cities and that is growing by around 300 a week. By the end of the year edgeio will have around 10,000 cities with listings. This is possible due to our "bottoms up" approach. Self publishers can "light up" their city simply by listing an item. Of course one downside of this in the short term is that a city can have a small number of listings. But the upside is that it is a highly scalable model. Over time it will be organic and probably very big. For Craig to launch a new city is a fairly cumbersome thing.
3. Final point. We don't have "be different from CraigsList" as a goal. Our goal is to build a massively scaled global listing marketplace, with millions of local cities and their citizens participating. Like CraigsList we are all about "community". In fact we share a philosophy with Craig - let the community police the marketplace. And our tools are all about removing cost and friction from person to person commerce, whilst expanding the universe of participants. We do not scrape or crawl for content. We only take content expressley for edgeio. And we chose bloggers as the first audience to enable because they represent a community of communities. So, if we are becoming "like CraigsList" but in thousands of more towns and cities globally, and with tools and services appropriate to a service built in 2005-06. great. I have no problem with that. There is a new word beginning to make the rounds - Glocalization. As well as pioneering strucutred blogging, microformats and self-publishing, edgeio is a big believer in creating a Glocal (not a mis-spelling) marketplace.
Posted by: Keith Teare at March 24, 2006 11:14 AM
Posted by: dg at March 24, 2006 06:01 PM
On point 2:
How are you counting cities? The SF Craigslist site includes over 80 cities itself.
Posted by: Nancy Tubbs at April 10, 2006 03:59 AM
Come on. While the concept was a nice one-off, it is really a moderate to poor idea with a terrible business model. Ok, sure, maybe everyone - in ten years will have a blog and like to sell used goods, but not yet. The sadest part about it, is it was marketed ideally and a variation of this idea can actually be very good. What a waste.
Posted by: Hank at April 19, 2006 03:35 AM
Edegio's toolset is too focused on the seller. What about the buyer? There is no shortage of tools that help users sell products, and aggregation tool to let users search for these products.
The focus should be on tools for users. There will be a time when users grow tired of marketing channels like Edegio that define the rules of engagement.
Posted by: Ben Carcio at April 19, 2006 10:03 AM