By B.L. Ochman eBay is exuberantly jumping into social media with the launch eBay Blogs and the eBay Community Wiki and other community tools that heralds the largest corporate move into Web 2.0 to date. eBay will launch the new sellers’ marketing tools at the sold out eBay Live conference that more than 10,000 people are set to attend in Las Vegas on June 13-15, according to Ina Steiner at Auctionbytes blog.
Clearly, eBay understands that selling on the Internet is about creating community and engaging in credible conversation, and not about whacking buyers over the head with heavy-handed sales speak. Providing the community-building tools for sellers involves a massive education campaign that other sales sites, from Yahoo stores to department stores will have to catch up with quickly or be left behind in the dust.
However, and it’s a big caveat, it remains to be seen whether eBay will allow the creation of true community or just go through the motions by restricting how the tools can be used. Integrating eBay with a social network like MySpace or even Soflow would add an important dimension. Instead, the company is re-inventing the wheel.
The eBay site is rife with information, instruction and tools for social media from blogs to wikis, to RSS feeds and tagging. The new blogs will be located at http://blogs.ebay.com, which is not yet live.
Conference Sessions Show How to Use New Tools
A conference session called “It’s not About Me, it’s eBay Blogs!” shows conference attendees how they can use eBay Blogs to write about the things they sell and build their networks.
Another session, called “Wiki 101 – An Overview of the eBay Community Wiki,” defines Wikis in general, looks at Wiki implementation on other sites, and discusses Wiki features eBay provides to the Community.
The description of a session about Leveraging community building tools says:
Community used to be defined by location, affiliation, or membership. But today, the internet is fostering a giant network of interconnected communities. How do you leverage the tools to create your own community? This session will outline the ways community tools (social bookmarks, participatory media, free APIs and tagging) are enabling communities to form.
Other sessions include:
– Finding and Capitalizing on New Opportunities New trends in Commerce, Communications, and Community on the web, including Web 2.0 and what it means for eBay ecosystem developers
– Lessons from The Long Tail and What They Mean for You
– Getting Started Building Skype Applications
eBay’s help pages already are set up to provide information on social media tools:
In About Member-Created Content, blogs, discussion boards, guides, reviews and the eBay wiki are explained. An explanation of how to use tags on blog posts can be found here
Help pages about the eBay wiki say
An easy way to remember how wikis function is:
The eBay Developers Program has its own conference June 10-12 in Vegas, and its blog mentions that Duncan Mackenzie from Microsoft’s Channel 9 will be looking for eBay apps that sellers use at Developers Conference.
The developer’s conference also will have a whole technical track about building Skype applications according to the Skype blog.
The conference Wiki shows that there’ll also be sessions on International Money-making Opportunities covering how the lack of viable competitor tools in many international markets can enable you to more than double your user base and revenues, and multilanguage marketing.
eBays’ Chatter Blog says that Mike Rudolph, eBay’s Director of Education & Events, said he would shave his head if eBay Live! sold out. Look for it on web cam soon. :>)