Edgeio Launches, Finally

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So much has been written about Edgeio, that it is hard to add anything new to the conversation. The big news is that, it has finally gone live. Go try it out for yourself.

Edgeio is a company co-founded byMike Arrington, who writes the influential Web 2.0 blog, TechCrunch, and Keith Teare who is also CEO of the company. Edgeio has received a whopping $1.5 million in angel funding from the likes of Ron Conway, RSS Investors, Transcosmos, Louis Monier (AltaVista founder, formerly of eBay and now at Google), and Jeff Clavier.

I recently got a demo of their service, which in simple terms aggregates classifieds published by sellers on their own blogs. Edgeio leverages tags quite a bit, and as a blog publisher you need to simply add a category called listing and you post shows up on Edgeio. So from a publisher standpoint, it is pretty simple and easy to use. You can go into the Edgeio system, and add more details to your listing.

From a buyer’s perspective, find the listings and email the person concerned through the Edgeio system. You can search by geographic locations (very cool slider!!!) and by using tags. One of the best features, which I like about the service is that it can give you a small piece of code that you can then re-embed in your site’s sidebar to give people and easy view of what you are selling. I wish this could be turned into a plugin for more popular blog systems. So what about the business model?

For one, Edgeio plans to charge Powersellers 25 cents a day to buy top positions on the page for their local listings. Later, Edgeio plans to run contextual ads, possibly Google’s AdSense, to let local sellers run ads on the right column. And third, as prospective buyers subscribe to Edgeio RSS feeds for products they’re interested in, those lists of prospects could be sold as qualified leads to sellers. [Business Week ]

However, the big problem facing Edgeio is the presence of nefarious characters who are overwhelming the blogosphere with spam. Craig Newmark of Craigslist, thinks it is a cool idea but he is also concerned about spammers. “Considering that spam blogs are already a huge problem, and how easy it’ll be to falsely tag viagra ads, the volume of bad ads will be tremendous,” he wrote in response to a post by Jeff Jarvis. My suggestion to the boys was that they should try and team-up with Matt and use Akismet to suss out the nefarious blogs.

24 Comments

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Om Malik

chuka

sometimes there are no big explainers just simple logic. there were only two posts today. one was edgeio and one cable voip. the other (in the morning was an old post, which was top story for the weekend) and hence stayed at top. so nothing sinister here, like owning a piece of the company etc.

Chuka Eze

Om,

I’ve been watching your blog all day using netvibes and I noticed you added more entry but kept the Edgeio post up there as the second post. Are you trying to get Michael more publicity or you got a piece of the company somewhere? (Maybe i saw it wrong, but just a slight observation).

Gopi has a great point. How many active bloggers are there? Edgeio is a good idea with some really big holes they would have to fill before they become a prominent commerce system.

Is Edgeio the a Web 2.0 answer to Craigslist? – Until my mother or sister sets up their blog, they will probably never step foot on the service, so No!. The service has great features, Om likes the slider tool, but people shouldn’t say it’s the next Craigslist!

To me, Edgeio is currently the blogger version of Oodle. I noticed user’s have the ability to spam, miscategorized or select no longer available, but I don’t want to be responsible for that when I’m searching for a cheap iPod accessory. To test it, I just flagged an item “as spam”, the FAQ says that if another person flags this item, it is temporarily removed until a staff member takes appropriate action. Sounds like the staff will be up late reviewing spam, or legitimate items that got flagged so the other person could have their iPod appear at the top of the lists (just keeping it real, it happens, probably ask Craig).

My quick recommendations:

  • Charge a quarter or so to filter out junk
  • Maybe allow direct submissions into your website to maybe attract non-bloggers
  • Implement a rating system for buyers (many won’t have time to visit the buyer blog to see how legit it looks)
Jay

I spent some time at Edgeio and thought that their proof-of-concept was cool. However, I remain concerned with splogs too and have to agree with the CEO that Akismet may not cut it for this purpose. I remember looking at a splog-aggregator before (http://splogspot.com) — that may point toward the right direction.
@Gopi: I’m sure there are others who may second my opinion on this — I think that the blogging public presents viable business models in the p2p marketplace. To wonder “how the heck edgeio is going to achieve the critical mass …” is rather extreme, although your concern is probably taken into consideration.

Gopi

After filtering all the hype it looks edgeio is basically a classified ad system for the bloggers…

Seriously how many active bloggers are out there?, Lets assume a very generous percentage, say 5% of the internet population.

So with a service which targets just 5% of the browsing public how the heck edgeio is going to achieve the critical mass required for a classified ad system/p2p marketplace?.

Keith Teare

Thanks Om

We definitely agree that spam is an issue when publishing is open. A bit like democracy leads to frredom, even for those you object to.

We think we have ways of dealing with it, but we are sure to learn a lot as we go.

Akismet is interesting, although their focus is comment spam and splogs are a little different. We may have to adopt their general approach and apply it to a new problem.

Thanks for the advice.

Keith Teare
founder/CEO/edgeio

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