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Until the end of 2007, I worked for eBay. Many people knew me as Avery@ebay.com.
It is with considerable sadness that what prompts me to post and say hello is primarily a deep sense of concern. I've watched the changes that have been made during the first half of 2008; I've watched the decline of eBay.com; and I've watched the erosion of respect by eBay for its Community.
In 2008, it would be inaccurate to say that eBay cherishes its Community. Actions always speak louder than words.
On the eve of eBay Live! 2008, I feel compelled to offer a few words to this Community that I served for 5 years with passion. I stayed for 5 years because I loved the eBay Community. I left for many reasons, but I still love this site and Community. And while I debated about saying "hello" to many of you that I miss and to many that I don't know personally, it is my love of the eBay Community that compels me to offer a few words.
There are many labels flying around about people being negative, or being "anti-eBay", or being an "eBay cheerleader". Some wish to draw lines between buyers and sellers.
Please don't.
eBay Inc. is the one who has unwisely drawn a heavily line between buyers and sellers. This is not productive. The eBay Community needs to rise above this and make itself known again.
eBay is now a very large company. And as is the case with many companies that grow into a large corporate structure, it is dangerously easy to forget the basic foundation that put a company "on the map" in the first place.
I deeply lament what eBay has chosen to do in 2008, but this isn't the time or place for me to dwell on this. At the heart of my concern is the conclusion that the Community that made eBay great is not respected in the way that it once was.
For many sellers, this has been a year of hard decisions. For those who are not happy with the changes made by eBay; who see it as far more than an issue of change itself; who recognize that some very destructive things are taking place, there are a number of possible directions. Some choose to boycott. Some choose to post on discussion boards. Some have stopped selling. Some have moved on to other sites. For those who feel torn between their love of eBay and disgust with the changes, many thoughts and emotions might be involved.
In conclusion, the thought that I want to offer is this: when you are driven by passion, integrity, and conviction, it is your right to dissent, to push for change, to hope for a better place. One should never have to feel that "speaking out" in and of itself is a negative characteristic. My hope is that those who truly care about the future of this site will find ways to collectively organize, strategize, and work on a plan to help eBay realize that it is and never can be anything of significance without its Community. It's not too late for this Community to become truly relevant again.
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