Edgeio, the much anticipated classifieds service, is now open to the public, and is a brilliant idea. I got a look at Edgeio a while back and I was amazed then and now that it has released, my feelings have only gotten stronger. Edgeio, founded by Keith Teare and Michael Arrington, introduces a whole new world for buyers and sellers from their usual eBay and Craigslist classified ad site. The way it works is simple for both the buyer and seller. If you are selling something and you own an RSS enabled website, it is just a matter of writing a classified ad and posting it on your site with the tag, “listing.” Edgeio will then automatically grab your listing by its ping servers and publish the ad on the Edgeio website organized by the tags or categories you assigned to it on your site. Signup to the Edgeio service, claim your RSS feed, and allow buyers to easily view your listings and contact you from the Edgeio website. The method Edgeio uses for its listings is a bit on the techy side, but if you can manage to make a WordPress account and write a simple listing, you are golden.

Now lets take a look at the Edgeio website itself taking a look at it from a buyers perspective. Right off the bat, you will notice the excellent design (designed by Fred) with a friendly blend of colors, typography, and usable structure. A design I would much rather look at then say, Craigslist. On the main page is an organized listing of tags split into blocks consisting of items for sale, housing, auto, jobs, and more followed by the number of listings assigned to the main tag. Clicking on a tag will then bring up classifieds matching the tag, working much like a search engine. You may also search using the top search form, but I find that the tags themselves match the ads better.

There are two features that you, as a buyer, would want to take notice of that can really help your searching on Edgeio. First is the ability to target your location using the geography slider. I found that it really does make searching easier when looking for items near you. What you do is select to target a city and select your city from the list returned. The slider will then set the position onto your location and Edgeio will only show listings in your area. Now take the position pointing and drag it over to the next position and you will see the listing update with results in that range. Each time you move the pointer, it will go from your city to state, country to continent, and then the world. This makes it very easy to narrow down on results, but also easily look in a larger range then a normal zipcode search. The next feature to help make searching easier is the tag filtering. Say I am looking for a job. I view the tag, Jobs and I am then presented with a list of associated tags on the right in the filter area. I’m a Web Programmer, so I am looking for web related jobs like a Web Developer. I click on the tag, Web Developer and it then brings up listings matching Jobs and Web Development. I didn’t really see what I was looking for though and saw the tag, CSS. It then adds CSS to the filter bringing up less results, but being more accurate on what I am looking for because it is now searching for the tags, Jobs, Web Developer, and CSS. Both the geography slider and filter functionality definitely helps. So, now that I have found a listing, lets take a look at it.

The listing result pages, in my opinion, are very well done and work great for both the publisher and the buyer. Coming across a listings page, you will immediately be able to tell exactly what the listing is, where it is from, what the price is, and even learn about the owner of the listing. Not only that, but you can also go directly to the actual website that the ad came from or contact the publisher without leaving Edgeio, if the publisher claimed the website for the listing. Now, I mentioned that you can also learn about the publisher, which is also in benefit of the publisher. A publisher can provide some details Publisher Information area on the right. What I like is that you can provide links to your LinkedIn Profile, Flickr Profile, and even an eBay username. Providing this information lets me learn more about the publisher and feel more comfortable on deciding an ad to go with. You can also send in comments and rate a publisher. Lastly, I want to mention the Alert functionality for Edgeio. You will see icons on the top right of a listing in the Alert Edgeio section that helps Edgeio maintain a clean and accurate service for you. If you think a listing is spam, is organized incorrectly, or maybe is an inaccurate listing, alert Edgeio and it will be taken care of. It’s there for a reason, so use it wisely. It will help you and Edgeio in the end making a more accurate classified ad service.

Say you are publishing an ad on your site to be viewed on Edgeio. What can you do to better display your listing on Edgeio? Take a look at the above syntax, which is just some basic HTML. This is only some of the various tidbits that Edgeio offers to its publishers to better their listings. The first four lines are geography tags, but they aren’t just normal tags. They are special tags that Edgeio is programmed to pickup and use to better organize your listing. Instead of just adding a tag of a city, you can add 94301 linked with “zip:94301″ on the end and it will be organized in that city and zipcode. The more information provided, the better. Now what if you were selling a specific item? You would want to assign a set price to it and you may even want to end the listing on a specific date. Have a look at the 5 and 6 lines above in the HTML block. Edgeio will search for the classes, “dtexpired” and “price”, grabbing the values inside of the elements. This allows you to easily assign any price and any expiration date to your listings. Edgeio has more little tricks that you can use in your postings too. Just take a look at the FAQ page in the display options area. You may also want to keep an eye on this section as well. It appears that Edgeio will be adding more commands in the future, as stated in the FAQ.

I am blown away by the concept of Edgeio and hope for the best of it. It is up against some tough competition, but I do feel that it has a good chance because the ability to track and organize listings from over 29 Million websites automatically is amazing. It may take a while for users of say, eBay, to get the concept because it certainly works differently then any other classified service. They need to learn how to start a blog and write listings. I feel Edgeio should show more support on this. The FAQ simply says to start an RSS enabled site and directs them to WordPress or Typepad. And in my opinion, I think Edgeio should provide more detailed information for users that don’t fully understand. For instance, how to setup the blog, how to post, and how to write their listings. It will show the user Edgeio wants to help them list ads and also makes it easy for everyone to learn how to make a blog so they can use the service. Not that big of a deal, but I personally think it would help. Next, some of you are probably thinking… Edgeio grabs its data from RSS enabled websites. So, what is Edgeio doing to prevent spam listings from blogs? From what I have read, there are some filtering methods in use, but spam prevention is also in the hands of Edgeio’s users. Remember the Alerts that I mentioned earlier? Use them when you come across spam and it will help make Edgeio a better place! It will probably be tough to manage, but if users act upon it, it may not be too bad. That about covers it! Edgeio is quite the innovation and I feel it is a pretty solid service with excellent offerings for both publishers and buyers. Listings to the edge is right! Best of luck, Edgeio.

View Edgeio – Listings to the Edge.

3 Comments on “Edgeio: Taking Listings to the Edge”

  1. Mike says:

    Love the concept of Edgeio too but I am a little bit more sceptical on how they will fair in the marketplace. Yes, Craigslist is not pretty but it has two very powerful things working for itself. (1) It is VERY easy and fast to use and (2) it benefits from local network effects. That means that in a city like San Francisco why go anywhere else? All the buyers and sellers are already on craigslist and the service is free. It is going to be really hard to compete with that. eBay is also not threatened because it has feedback and is a transaction based site. I wish them luck and wish them well but I would not be betting on their service yet.

  2. rob says:

    Are you aware of anything out there that lets you license parts of commerical movies. YouTube for mainstream media?

  3. Is Edgeio a new Craigslist? | inter:digital strategies says:

    [...] One of the latest offerings in tag-based offerings is a company called Edgeio. The new classifieds service has been described as "a brilliant idea" but also as " confusion graduating to disappointment". [...]