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Edgeio Thoughts

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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.

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Jeremy Zawodny is the author of the popular Jeremy Zawodny’s blog. Jeremy is part of the Yahoo search team and frequently posts in the Yahoo! Search blog as well.

Visit Jeremy’s blog: Jeremy Zawodny’s blog.

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