February 16, 2006
@ 05:22 PM

A few days ago, I asked Edgeio: An eBay Killer or Just Another Lame Startup? which seems to be a question that was asked by several other bloggers. On the Edgeio blog there is a post entitled More Bloggers Discuss Edgeio which promises to address some of the questions raised about the service. The blog post states

There are three key things people bring up when questioning whether or not edgeio will be successful.

1. Will bloggers want to post classified listings on blogs?

2. How to deal with the inevitable spam onslaught?

3. Assuming 1 & 2 are overcome, what stops everyone from entering the market?

These are all great questions whose answers I'd love to see. For #1 the edgeio folks have to convince vendors of blogging tools and hosted blogging services to make it easy for people to mark up their blog posts as auction listings. I called this a 'Make this blog post a classified listing' checkbox in my previous post on Edgeio. Then there is the task of convincing people that instead of listing items for sale on eBay or Craig's List, they should instead post an entry in their blog. This will be an uphill battle. Assuming they solve that, question #2 points out that the next hurdle is dealing with the inevitable avalanche of splogs which will pollute the system. Blog search engines like Technorati seem to be doing a decent job at filtering out splogs so this is tough but not an insurmountable problem.

The real doozy is question #3. Once they've convinced the blogosphere to start posting classified listings on their blogs instead of using existing listing sites AND have done a decent job holding down spam, they still have to contend with the Google factor. From my perspective, the functionality Edgeio plans to provide is the kind of feature that could be added to Google Base by an enterprising developer in his or her 20% time let alone if a bigger player like eBay or Craig's List decides to get in this space.  Besides proclaiming that they have patents protecting their business model, I can't see how Edgeio plans to answer question #3 above. I'll be watching their blog to see what their answers to the above questions. My curiousity is definitely piqued.