Jerry Seinfeld has this great bit about cold medicines that he did on his Live on Broadway show. He picks on fast acting vs. long lasting ("Do I want to feel good now.. or later?") and then he gets to "The Maximum."
Some people aren't satisfied with "extra", they want "maximum"! "Gimme the maximum strength ! Give the maximum allowable human dosage ! That's the kind of pain I'm in!
Figure out what will kill me, and then back it off a little bit".
You don't have to be on the edge... go right to the edge, than back it off a little bit. Not everyone blogs and on top of that, even with a blog we're still just in the early stages of microformats... plus add on the penetration of edge publishing even if all the tools are easy and out there... and you've got a very small group of people that are going to be hanging out with Umair on the very edge.
But centralization isn't the answer either.
danah wrote in her glocalization post, which remains one of my favorite blog posts of all time that "...no one actually wants to live in a global village. You can't actually be emotionally connected to everyone in the world."
I think that's true. There's plenty of crap on eBay I have no interest in, plenty of categories on Craigslist I never tread, and plenty of jobs on Indeed I'll never apply for. Centralized hubs are tough to get started, expensive to bring traffic to, and feature a lot of noise people don't care about.
But, I do think hubs are important. I really believe that some kind of a marketplace serves a function. People want "pricing" to get a sense of what their stuff is worth, whether that means Beanie Babies or what people are willing to pay in salary for someone of your qualifications. They want to see supply and demand. Giving where you get, publishing where you consume, that's all something I don't think will ever go away. That's why I'm not sure how far Edgeio is going to get, but I think its an interesting alternative to be tracked closely.
So, my maximum is going out only as far as the niche portals, the bigger blogs--the clumpy places on the web that tend to attract even small homogeneous crowds or people who just share interests. TechCruch should be running an Indeed tech job board and a version of eBay with just electronics and a listing of all the Meetup groups that have to do with tech. Go to where the people are. Snarky media jobs on Gawker, powered by Indeed. Kayaking stuff from eBay on Sea Level. Buy sports tickets on ESPN, etc.
This reminds me a little bit of the whole last mile problem in broadband connectivity.