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
    Eric Yoon, 28 Feb 2006 @ 2:15pm

    in the jobs space, there are a lot of unhappy cust

    This comment is focused on the jobs part of Edgeio as BlogBuy doesn't seem to have any jobs component to it yet... At the moment, there are a good number of people that are unhappy with job boards. Craigslist still provides great results, but the big boards do tend to leave customers unhappy with the results that they get. Probably one of the few bad things about Craigslist is that, just like the big boards, it really has to focus on metro areas, towns, etc. and it's not everywhere -- so there are wide swaths of places with no great way to reach candidates for jobs.

    I guess that I'm not quite convinced that putting job postings on blogs is the answer most businesses are looking for though. It seems impractical for large enterprises and small businesses alike. Edgeio though is not restricting content to come from blogs only, which is a good thing.

    At the moment, it does seem that Edgeio is a good twist on the current trend of vertical search sites and Google Base. But, I'd somewhat have to agree that, while there is a deep un-met need in the jobs space.. this first iteration of Edgeio doesn't seem to be meeting it. But, it's only been a day or two.. so, I'm very curious to see how it develops.

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