Earlier this week eBay made several announcements of new features to its site. Here are a couple that you might find interesting.
First one is the release of a Wiki and blogs for eBay. The Wiki is available at http://www.ebaywiki.com/. Topics are on the left and are divided into several categories including buying, selling, finding, and developers. The site doesn’t really look like a “Wiki” as I visualize it — it looks more like a set of articles. Some areas are more populated than others — the section on developers had only two articles, while there were 13 articles in the buying section. Articles are editable, with history and comments, along with a count of how many people found the article useful.
eBay is also offering blogs now, which you can view and learn more about at http://blogs.ebay.com/. The front page of this site has the latest posts and the latest created blogs. (You can also browser blogs by eBay user name at the bottom of the page.) At the top of the page you may search by titles, posts, or members. I did a search for antique and got nine results. Results appear to be listed by date, but unfortunately no RSS feeds of search results appear to be available. Drat. (Individual blogs DO have RSS feeds.)
Those of you who do information trapping on eBay will appreciate eBay’s recently-announced eBay Alerts, which will notify users about eBay listing updates through instant messages and text messages as well as phone calls. (For example, users can get a phone call to let them know that three minutes remain before an item listing ends.) Sorry, these alerts are available in the US only. You can get more details about the new offerings at http://pages.ebay.com/wireless/?ssPageName=CMDV:AB. A couple of things to note. The text message alerts will actually cost you — 25 cents each, with the charges showing up on your cell phone bill. Yeesh. Also, while these features have been announced, the instant message and phone call offerings are actually marked as “coming soon”. (The phone call service will be available in July and will be rolled out as a pilot program. The instant message offering will become available at the end of June. eBay plans to offer similar alerts via Skype in 2007.)