Geekspin Blog

A second look at Edgeio

Posted on: February 25, 2006

I spend a couple of hours looking through Edgeio, but first an apology to Keith Teare. Turns out that Keith is in fact the founder of Edgeio, although Michael Arrington is his partner.

On to the review:

When you hit the Edgeio home page first you are greeted with a pleasing modern design with all the ubiquitous Web 2.0 elements like rounded corners and bright colors, so nothing wrong there.

Scrolling down will show you some tagged based categories which you can dive into immediately and just start clicking, or you can do a tag search in the search bar right on top.

Down the right of the screen you can filter by location, and refine with their fancy tag filter widget. Down the right you can also see the most popular items and the most popular blogs.

For the record, I am not too fond of the location filter widget, while very shiny and nice I found it somewhat hard to use.

The main purpose of the site is obviously to draw in people looking for a good deal on new and used goods, and for that purpose I don’t see anything wrong with the service and it does actually seem a lot slicker than anything else out there at the moment.

Within the actual tags the listings are displayed with the claimed weblogs having preference over unclaimed ones (claim by registering and putting a tracking link on your blog, or using an XML-RPC if your blog supports it) with a possible payed listing preferential treatment in future. Another big difference is that if you have claimed your weblog people can contact you directly from the site without having to fish around for contact details on your blog.

So overall I am pretty impressed with the concept and it is a great mashup of new and old concepts and a sterling example of web 2.0 innovation. However there are potential pitfalls, at the moment you can only have a listing if you have a RSS enabled blog AND if you understand the tagging system (Posts destined for listing on Edgieo must be tagged with the word, “listing”), trust me I tried to explain it to some non-tech colleagues the other day and they really couldn’t grasp the concepts. For this reason they will really need to go more in-depth in their “getting started” sections, and I strongly suggest maybe some graphical step-by-steps to explain the whole process with maybe even a video or two. Apart from the basic “listing” tag a complicated tagging structure is available to define price and location for the item, great for a geek like me, but can my mother use it? Also remember that by default services like Blogger do not ping any servers by default, so perhaps this needs to made abundantly clear? A sold or completed listing can be flagged us such from within your edgeio profile page if you are registered.

I do hope that their will be enough interest in the blogging community to support the system, I can’t remember ever seeing a for sale item on a blog. And I am a little worried about items not intended for use appearing on the system, as its not a registration-only system, and what about spam listings? Teare has commented that a human element is in place, in the form of moderators and a user reporting system. In my experience its best to avoid spam than to try and control it.

Overall I like edgeio I think it is a gutsy, early market entry and I could certainly use something like it from time to time, not on this blog, but somewhere else more appropriate. Here is hoping that it hasn’t appeared a little bit before its time.


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