Edgeio to Aggregate Blog Classifieds

Posted on February 26, 2006

EdgeioEdgeio is a new startup from Michael Arrington who runs the TechCrunch blog. Edgeio is a new type of listings service that will aggregate classified ads posted in blogs or feeds using tags. Tom Raftery, who has tried an Edgeio test post for an antique italian cabinet, says the Edgeio listings will be free.
The idea behind edgeio is that people can advertise items for sale from their website or blog and if they include the "Listing" tag with the post, the edgeio site will automatically find the post and List it on edgeio. Edgeio will therefore become a free version of Ebay (you won't have to pay to be listed on edgeio, you simply post on your site including the "listing" tag in your post) where you maintain ownership of the data!
Raftery also has some screenshots of the service and explains how Edgeio also offers sidebars that people can post on their blogs that list the items they are selling. The key to eBay is that people learn to trust the sellers over time -- eBay uses seller reviews to help screen out unreliable sellers. Blogs may have an advantage here in that many people already trust the blogs they read. The big question is will people really want to post classifieds in their blogs and sell things from their blogs? UserDriven suggests that bloggers could create a second blog just for commerce.
One possible issue is whether or not bloggers will actually want to sell stuff off of their own blogs, but there are so many easy ways to work around that issue - bloggers can easily set up an extra "commerce blog" linked (or not linked) off of their main blog and/or edgeio can easily provide "commerce blog post" space off of their own platform - so this should not be an insurmountable issue in the least.
We talked about the idea of a second blog last year in a post about structured blogging. Classifieds are also one of the promises of structured blogging. For classifieds to work in either stuctured blogging or Edgeio it will have to very simple to use. Edgeio appears to be making use of the existing tag feature which should be helpful. A possible concern with using tags would be posts by spammers getting into the database but by allowing only posts from registered users they should be able to avoid spam at least in the short term.

Another question is how will Edgeio itself make money since they aren't charging for listings? The AMCP Tech Blog says Edgeio will charge sellers for top positions and they could also use the familiar third-party ad service like Google Adsense.

You maybe wondering just how Edgeio will make their cash. Well, they plan to charge powersellers 25 cents to get top positions on their listings page and they are looking into running a third-party contextual ad service, possibly Google Adsense. This will allow local sellers to have advertising in the right column. Edgeio creates RSS feeds for local listings, items for sale, and almost anything else you can think of. This is another area that advertising could be implemented. Anyone with a RSS-enabled website can publish content through Edgeio.
BusinessWeek also has a post about Edgeio on its Tech Beat blog. If enough people use the service then it might have a chance to become something big. However, it will take an enormous amount of listings to have anything close to the auction giant eBay. One big advantage eBay has over potential competitors is that its brand is so big that many people simply sell stuff through eBay at drop off stores. eBay also isn't operating completely in the dark -- they added RSS feeds last November.

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