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Oodle’s Real-time Stream of Classifieds Listings

From a platform perspective, Oodle has a lot in common with Twitter…

1. We index a real-time a stream of perishable, unique “tweets” (800-900k new messages a day) in the form of classifieds listings. Actually, we do more than just index these listings.  Our real-time infrastructure tags, enhances and prunes the messages flowing through our system.  For example, if someone posts a listing a for “2006 Prius,” we determine that it’s a car listing (hybrid subcompact), year=2006, manufacturer=Toyota, make=Prius and enhance the listing with all the standard features, including a stock photo if one was not submitted.  (In other words, we auto-apply hash tags.)  Moreover, if someone posts a listing that is fraudulent or inappropriate, we have a range of proprietary technologies that automatically detect, flag and remove the message.

2. Users search and browse our stream. Due to the volume and structured nature of our stream, we enable users to quickly slice and dice the stream both through keyword search and by selecting attributes (or tags).   Moreover, we’ve applied our parsing technology to search, so if someone searches for a 2006 Mercedes, we convert the query into year=2006, manufacturer=Mercedes Benz to deliver the most relevant results.

3. Users post “tweets” (classified listings) into our stream.  And the post is a quick and simple process. Recently, as part of the work we did with Facebook Marketplace, we streamlined our post process to make it as lightweight as possible.  It’s not quite 140 characters but we’re getting close. More importantly, we bring the user’s identity into the listing.  So rather than a stream of anonymous content, listings are tied to the identity of the poster (on Oodle, Facebook, MySpace, etc.).  Someone can also see the previous listings posted by that user.

4. Users follow relevant topics in the stream. When you’re looking for a car, you want to see all the listings that are currently posted, as well as new listings as soon as they get introduced into the stream.   With a single click on Oodle, users can easily follow any search (e.g., Acura TLs for under $10k within 60 miles of Burlingame, CA).

5. Users share and discuss “tweets.” It’s easy to share an Oodle listing with your friends on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.  You may see a listing you think a friend would be interested in — or want feedback from a friend (should I buy this car?).   Having said that, we’re really only just getting started in this area.  There are a lot of interesting features coming soon…

It’s exciting to see users become more comfortable with metaphors around streaming, subscribing and sharing.  It not only enables us to better represent the cool stuff we’ve built over the last few years, it serves as a wonderful launch pad for where we’re going with “social classifieds.”

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4 Responses to “Oodle’s Real-time Stream of Classifieds Listings”

  1. June 18th, 2009 at 10:22 am

    marc tobias says:

    In my opinion the whole post is hard to read and the wording almost misleading. At first it sounded like Oodle was indexing tweets or had any kind of other Twitter integration.

    Let’s replace all the Twitter-sounding expressions:

    “We index data as soon as we crawl it or users post it, 24/7″
    “Users can use our search, and filter search results on our website”
    “Users can post an ad using a form on our website, it’s fast and easy”
    “Users can subscribe to a result page via RSS”
    “Users can share results with friends using email-a-friend, Facebook-share or various bookmarking websites. Discussion with friends then happens on those platforms.”

    Now it sounds like the Oodle platform is a classifieds search engine like many others. If Oodle has a lot of common with Twitter then the other search engine do that, too.

    marc tobias

  2. June 18th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Oodle Blog » Blog Archive » Missing the Boat on Real-Time — It’s About Social Discovery says:

    [...] « Previous Missing the Boat on Real-Time — It’s About Social DiscoveryJune 18, 2009 by Oodle BlogUncategorized · Trackback · No Responses » [...]

  3. June 18th, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Oodle Blog says:

    Marc,

    I just reposted it with tweets in parentheses. I was trying to use twitter as a better metaphor for what we’re doing in classifieds (as compared to a “classifieds search engine”). And apparently doing a poor job at it…

    Classifieds are a stream of perisheable messages that share a lot of similar characteristics to tweets. To this end, we’ve had to invest a lot in real-time search technology to appropriately index this content.

    Moreover, when we launched Oodle is was hard to get people to understand that search really wasn’t the best metaphor for what we were trying to do. When looking for a car, you may conduct a search on Oodle and not find what you are looking for. That may be bad news on Amazon or Shopping.com, but not on Oodle. Minutes later someone may post just the right car. That’s why we built out “alerts” functionality.

    Anyway, sorry that you found this confusing. For what it’s worth, you’ll see more information on what we’re doing with Twitter soon.

  4. February 19th, 2010 at 12:53 am

    riddic says:

    Oodles is one of the best platform for classifieds, sharing your ads on facebook, myspace and twitter can be best done using Oodles. Hoping to see Oodles more and more informative just like a valuable search engine.

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