What Problem Do Blog Classifieds Solve?

from the enlighten-me dept

There's been a lot of buzz in the blogworld about the launch of Edgeio, which appears to be a way of aggregating classified-type listings that people post on blogs. Part of the reason for all the buzz seems to be the association of Michael Arrington with Edgeio. Arrington runs the popular TechCrunch blog that covers all the various Web 2.0-style companies. In some ways, the popularity of this blog acts as a protectionary measure for Edgeio, since many people who work with various companies might not want to upset Arrington and not get covered on his site (which, honestly, is a pretty sweet marketing position to be in for Edgeio).

However, it's interesting to see that just days after Edgeio opened its doors, another, nearly identical, offering is opening up as well, called BlogBuy. It makes you wonder, what's special about Edgeio? Looking over the initial release, it certainly looked like you could hack together an Edgeio clone on top of something like Technorati without too much difficulty. In both cases, the companies try to let people post whatever classified-type information they want via feeds (which doesn't just mean blogs, of course, but most people focus on the blog aspect). It's an interesting way to try to get out from having all of that content "owned" in a central place by the likes of Craigslist -- but what hasn't been made clear is what problem these sites are actually solving. We hadn't heard of people complaining that Craigslist and eBay were too centralized. Also, the business model here seems to be to pay for better listings -- but that relies on unhappiness with Craigslist and eBay again -- something that isn't at all clear. In fact, given the usage patterns on both sites, it seems like people are pretty happy with both. Both have also gone out of their way to accommodate sellers. eBay, especially, has built up a tremendous infrastructure to support their sellers. So, while there's a lot of buzz about these offerings and how they somehow change the game, it's still not clear to us how that game is changed without fulfilling a need. In many ways, actually, it seems similar to the launch of Google base. The concept is interesting, and it could have some potential over time if a big enough community can be built up and additional services/features are added. However, initially... what problem is it solving?

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  1. identicon
    Keith Teare, 1 Mar 2006 @ 3:50pm

    Re: edgeio, hype and reality

    Hi Mike
    Thanks for the response. Given the content I think we must both step back and see what happens. We probably just disagree and only experience is going to change our views.
    In overview. I certainly feel that the accelerating trend to self-publishing is going to embrace the whole world and that this will include self-publishing of listings, not only of opinions, experience and other prose. And - given that - I believe that this phenomenon will need special tools and services that have, as their starting point, a very different set of goals than centralized publishing services like eBay and CraigsList. And also different business models. edgeio is an attempt to provide the glue between publishers and those interested in their listings, without requiring a central point of publishing.
    My guess - obviously :-) - is that this is filling a big need.
    If we agree to disagree we can look at it in 12 months or so.
    After 2 days we have almost 5000 listings from more than 1200 cities. I'd say I'm quite happy right now. In 12 months we will all know more.

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