I'm way behind on stuff I'd planned to write (and read) and am also now partially sleep deprived thanks to weird schedule gyrations, SES New York, and The Fire Alarm From Hell at the Sheraton (a story for later). So take this with a grain of salt or two.


Anyway, Edgeio recently launched and there's been a bunch of commentary on it, most of which I won't bother to re-hash. However, I noticed that Joe Hunkins titled a recent blog post Edgeio is brilliant ... and will fail. That got my attention for a few reasons.

First and foremost, I'm an advisor to Edgeio. Within minutes of first being told of their plans, I was sold on the idea.

Why? For a while, I had been thinking about the growing trends in self-publishing and the value that can be created by intelligently mining, aggregating, and indexing that data--wherever it lives. Look no further than web search, since it's the ultimate horizontal example of this.

So the more I thought about where the on-line world is moving, the more I convinced myself that services that take this approach will be a natural outgrowth.

It wasn't too long after that I wrote Publishing on the Edge will Change the Game. I said then and it's still the case today:

I really, really, really believe that few companies have begun to grasp how this new reality changes the landscape they're used to controlling.

I saw Edgeio as one of the first companies to get this.

But Joe raises an important objection:

This is a company made in Silicon Valley by Silicon Valley for Silicon Valley and it simply won't play in Peoria or even NYC.

In other words, it's too hard. Most people are not bloggers and don't get tagging.

Agreed! Most new technology is too hard, not ready for mainstream, etc.

But I see a future in which the tools of today look like something from the stone age. Content publishing (blogging, if we still call it that), tagging, and including more rich/structured data will all be dramatically easier. I also envision existing hosed publishing platforms (TypePad, Y! 360, WordPress) building in support for more services like Edgeio as part of the inevitable bootstrapping process.

In other words, a lot of this will happen automatically or merely require the click of a checkbox.

Do they have the right business model? I have no idea. I consider myself far more of a technology person than a business person. But I really think they're following (and trying to get ahead of) some of the right technology trends.

Okay, now I'm going to attempt sleeping before getting on an early flight back to the Bay Area. That's my quick 2 cents on Edgeio.

Posted by jzawodn at February 28, 2006 11:24 PM

Reader Comments
# mike said:

Search is a bit buggy. They probably haven't tested all the edge cases.

Try "this will break ..//..///./"

on March 1, 2006 01:32 AM
# Michael Moncur said:

But I see a future in which the tools of today look like something from the stone age.

I see the same future. And I see a new company that nobody's ever heard of appearing out of nowhere and making a fortune doing the exact same thing Edgeio was doing five years too early to make any money from it...

Unless they realize what a long road is ahead of them and are in it for the long haul. In that case, more power to them. They should spend the next five years working on dealing with spam, since that will make or break them.

on March 1, 2006 01:41 AM
# Jan Ives said:

It makes much more sense to me if

existing hosed publishing platforms


existing hosted publishing platforms

Of course, I may have missed the point entirely :-)

on March 1, 2006 07:28 AM
# Hashim said:

the real problem is lack of reputation system.

on March 1, 2006 08:07 AM
# Scott Johnson said:

When I first read the title of this article, I saw "Eieio Thoughts". What a terrible company name.

on March 1, 2006 08:23 AM
# J.D. Amer said:

The problem with the reviews of Edgeio is that everyone is applying the "Mom Metric" - asking if this is something easy enough for their mom to use. This is wrong for two reasons: 1. Tech Trends do not start with moms, and
2. Having a service that requires knowledge to use, means some will leverage this knowledge and make money off of it. For example, I could start a site where people pay me to make their listings available to Edgeio, BlogBuy, and any other competitors. If they become big enough, people will pay - this is why SEOs are succesful.

Of course, once the tools become available to make this easy (which won't be long - for example, Flock's blog client has easy Tagging built in) we're all on an equal playing field and the Tag optimizing business fails to some extent.

on March 1, 2006 08:28 AM
# grumpY! said:

i put something on craigslist (baby gear, electronics, etc) and it is sold in two hours. tell me how edgeio improves on this. does it even search a blog in the same timeframe? can it command the necessary lurkers needed to generate sales? once again, your item will be SOLD on craigslist or ebay before edgeio even aggregates the content.

on March 1, 2006 10:10 AM
# Hooman Radfar said:

I am amazed at the amount of attention that Edgeio and other so-called "edge-services" have been getting. Aside from the obvious "mom-test," does anyone else see the massive technical problems that are associated with a distributed system that relies on massively distributed text files (blogs) as a file system? Remember that whole database thing we had to do? I wish the folks at Edgeio the best, but hope that they have sufficient cash to work through the inevitable slew of challenges they have to overcome in order to become competitive with the likes of Craigslist and Ebay.

on March 1, 2006 10:37 AM
# Dare Obasanjo said:

Edgeio is a solution in search of a problem. It has a lot of hurdles to scale and once it does, there's the fact that the barrier to entry in this so-called market is basically zero.

'a company made in Silicon Valley by Silicon Valley for Silicon Valley' is an accurate description.

on March 1, 2006 11:01 AM
# Joe Hunkins said:

J.D. - tech trends don't start but usually *finish* with moms.
Craigslist (and Google, Yahoo, Ebay) passed the mom test early.
GrumpY's right in that building a listings venue is not nearly as hard as getting widespread use.
Jeremy as advisor = I'm more optimistic for Edgeio than in my blog post.

on March 1, 2006 12:31 PM
# pwb said:

For casual selling, Craigslist and eBay are much better. Anything beyond that, you will explore solutions tailored to selling online.

on March 1, 2006 10:04 PM
# mk said:

Cool from a geek perspective but I have ask 10 people to look at it and they say, huh.

They site isn't really that interesting.

on March 2, 2006 01:26 PM
# Josh Greene said:

I suffered through the Sheraton alarm too!!!
Did you get the disembodied voice coming from somewhere in your room telling you it was a false alarm, five minutes later, when you were just falling asleep.
And again, another five minutes later?

on March 3, 2006 08:42 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Yup. It took me another hour or so to fall back asleep. :-(

on March 3, 2006 08:46 AM
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