Pete Cashmore on the Edge

I normally am on board with Pete Cashmore but he’s making some brash comments on a couple of his latest posts.

First, he called coComment the best Web 2.0 service launched this year (if need be, check out this refresher on coComment):

I love, love, LOVE CoComment! The idea is a good one: bring together your widely scattered blog comments and help you track the replies from around the…err…commentosphere

I respectfully disagree with Pete at a number of levels on this one. Here is part of a comment I wrote on his blog:

Best Web 2.0 service of the year, Pete?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think they have streamlined some of the process I was using to track my comments but what they are doing here is not revolutionary.

Plus, who besides uber geeks actually wants to use this service? I think it appeals to a very, very small group of people, who if prompted to pay would have plenty of free alternatives to use.

[In his response to me, Pete says coComment might actually be an alternative to having a blog. But in all cases, it is still a rather small audience – and I’m not buying the long tail – it is not an all encompassing magical term to justify limited appeal]

Pete also recommended that coComment could take the content they have and implement a revenue sharing business model ala Squidoo. That would definitely rub me the wrong way, especially since that sort of model was not articulated from the outset.

Then, Pete calls Mike Arrington’s new edge project Edgeio a little eBay killer. I think Pete is approaching the edge himself.

Edgeio is an interesting idea but it has some challenges. One is what Rob Hoff spoke to last week, “it may take a lot of marketing to get bloggers to post listings on their blogs and go to Edgeio to refine them.”

Secondly, is that it appeals to a much smaller audience (e.g., one that understands how to tag something “listing” – many non-tech bloggers are unaware of how to tag). Of course, Mike probably knows that and has adapted his approach accordingly – I don’t doubt Mike’s side of the equation, I’m sure he has done his homework.

To say that Edgeio is going to be an eBay killer though, is a bit extreme. As an example, there is no doubt that my aunt who sells dolls on eBay will continue to use eBay and not begin listing them on a blog (her response, “blog, who?”). Same with other older or less tech savvy friends and family. If anything, Edgeio may eventually be a strong competitor / alternative to craigslist in the future but it’s definitely no “eBay killer” (despite the 20,000+ audience that Mike can turn onto it from the outset).

Techies and early adopters need to realize there is a whole big world out there. And it’s one that can give two hoots to tracking comments.