eBay Discussion Board Change Stirring Controversy

ebay.gifNext week, eBay Australia is planning a relaunch of its discussion boards, which will include new personalisation options and some other technical policies. However, the change will also see a number of changes to discussion board policy, including a likely ban on general (non-eBay) discussion on any of the forums. Unsurprisingly, that proposal has proved unpopular with many longtime eBay users, who argue that the change is yet another example of eBay putting short-term profit ahead of community development (an issue that regularly flared during last year's abortive attempts to make PayPal compulsory). Do you think eBay has the right to control what gets discussed on its site, or is it going to far? Share your thoughts in the comments.


Comments

    This debate is not unique to ebay. For example Atomic magazine has forums (http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/) where the overwhelming majority of posts are in "The Green Room", the general forum where almost none of the discussion has anything to do with the magazine, or the subjects that the magazine covers. I believe there was a push from Haymarket management a while ago to delete that forum, presumably for the same cost cutting reasons as ebay. It would be interesting to see if Lifehacker could get the editor, David Hollingworth, to comment on how they convinced Haymarket that the community was valuable to the magazine.

    eBay whether in Australia or anywhere else does not care about community development. Nothing will change an announced policy except direct orders from an entity more powerful than they are, ie ACCC or the RBA and if they think they can get away with threats and bullying there they will give it a try.

    The new forums will be moderated by bots which will produce some 'interesting' results. They are clunky and hard to search for threads which is the whole purpose, think of it as crowd control.

    Eventually I believe all the acres of white space will be filled with paid advertising like the rest of eBay. What we think of as eBay, the sales venue, is only a moderately profitable content generator to attract the wildly profitable advertisement business so far as management is concerned.

    They no longer have any interest in sellers with less volume that Gold PowerSeller (small sellers) they want the big commercial sellers who get special deals.

    So sad but too bad.

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