Too many “Web 2.0” value propositions

There are SO many new offerings coming on the scene every week it seems, that it’s increasingly difficult to not only figure out what their value propositions are, but also whether or not you want to invest time, energy and effort in them.

Case in point: I received an invite to the new edgeio site. “edgeio dynamically organizes listings published from RSS enabled websites making them discoverable via the edgeio website and through an open set of web services. Our goal is to give publishers of all sizes the means to control how their content is published, discovered, and consumed. By doing so, edgeio provides everyone easy, up to date, access to content from the Internet’s edge.

Anyone with an RSS enabled website can publish content through edgeio. Using tags, publishers direct edgeio to index and organize their content. No more listing fees, complicated forms to fill in, and struggling to keep content synchronized across multiple websites. Just post it, use appropriate tags, and edgeio takes care of the rest.”

There was a registration hiccup on the site this morning so I’m waiting to actually try it out, but the value proposition seems cool. Simply tag something you want to list (for sale, etc.) on your blog, and edgeio can watch for it, track it, display it, and “Voila!”…your thingamajig/doohickey is listed. Valuable? YES. Effort, energy and time investment? Yes. Will the blogosphere embrace just one new tag (Listing) if it’s incredibly useful? Probably.

Takes study to figure out the value props of all these different offerings:

  • Rolling your own search also is useful (Rollyo). Lots of effort, however, to find all the sites/blogs you’d want to list in your narrowsearch engine AND figure out how to work Rollyo
  • Collaborating with documents (Writely), a whiteboard (Writeboard), or a joint collaboration site that does these and other needs (Joyent).

I could go on-and-on but you get the idea: you have to figure out each value prop, learn how to use it, participate in it (registering, uploading/creating content, etc.), and either get others to join or hope others do.

Just like the first dotcom adventure where there were an enormous number of really valuable companies started doing amazing things, it was nearly impossible to keep track of all of them and even to fully figure out what they did.

I fear that Web 2.0 value propositions will never be heard in the noise of all the rest of them out there and never gain the traction they need to survive.

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3 Comments

  1. Tom Raftery's I.T. views on February 19, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    Sneak peek at edgeio!

    I received an invite to take a sneak peek at edgeio this morning – edgeio is Michael Arrington of TechCrunch fames latest startup. The tagline for edgeio is Listings from the edge so the name comes from the word edge…



  2. Computerworld Blogs on February 21, 2006 at 8:46 am

    Edgeio is eBay killer? (and DIY spy rock)

    In today’s IT Blogwatch, we look to the edge(io) as an Ebay killer? Not to mention DIY spy rock …



  3. Chris - Touchstone Gadget on March 19, 2006 at 8:13 pm

    Hey Steve – this is a really concerning problem at the moment. With so many projects, and so little an early adopter community (although I guess it’s growing), do we all have enough ‘attention’ to devote to give these ventures the traction they deserve?

    I just saw a Web 2.0 list that was bigger than I would have ever expected. Scary!

    It seems that in some ways, talk of a second ‘bubble’ is not unrealistic.

    I think we might keep our project small, self funded and away from hungry investors 😉



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