Edgeio: edge aggregator

Michael Arrington has just launched his new baby: Edgeio, a classifieds aggregator. Edgeio will spider and index anyone’s feed and aggregate the posts tagged with “listing”. It then clusters the other tags in order to attach the post to the right classifieds category. The revolutionary thing here is that Edgeio does not require you to post your offer on their own site, they go and take it from yours. Edgeio clearly states that they start with classifieds as an example, a proof of concept for a concept that is much broader than that (that sounds like an echo from the Google Base launch).
As I understand it from their specs, they use the standard RSS <category>listing</category> categories from the RSS spec, no microformats (see further).

Pioneer?

The pioneers of this type of aggregation are Technorati (specifically Tantek Çelik): they have been using the rel=tag microformat <a href="http://technorati.com/tag/music" rel="tag">music</a> (instructions for laymen and experts) since the beginning of 2005.
The people at Technorati also have created “Most Popular” pages based on the same principle:

The basic concept is: find a link type that identifies a topic/resource (e.g. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0388795/ for the movie “Brokeback Mountain”) and aggregate all blog posts that have such a link. Whereas for books it makes sense to use Amazon as principal link source for books, it is more difficult to find a good one for music CDs (Amazon? iTunes? CDNow? CDBaby?), TV shows, political candidates, theatre plays, …

Competition?

Edge aggregator

The direction Edgeio and/or Technorati could evolve to, is a “generic edge aggregator”. In the end we don’t want 5000 different services all scraping our blog feeds for each little niche application. The ideal would be a handful of aggregators that provide APIs to data and aggregation services, either paid, or monetized through contextual advertising. Image a hypothetical ‘edge aggregation’ provider “GoogRatiO“.

Imagine the ease with which applications like “Most Popular Youtube video“, “Most popular De Standaard newspaper article”, … could be created. The Long Tail at work!

Edgeio Buzz Timeline

As a professional reporter on Web 2.0 projects, Mike knows exactly how to plan the buzz for his new project:
Edgeio Buzz

(There are obviously clear advantages in finding seed investors/business consultants/software developers/media buddies that are also A-list bloggers.)

This is certainly a project to follow!
PS: thanks to Bart and Francois for bringing Edgeio to my attention.

Technorati:

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