eBay gets a new official blogger

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Richard Brewer-HayeBay are to launch a new blog, eBay Ink, which is being touted as a direct and open conversation between the company and its users.

The blog will be mainly written by social media/PR specialist Richard Brewer-Hay, who was recruited by eBay specially for the task. Company spokesman Jose Mallabo explained the purpose of the new site: “There hasn’t been one place where investors, industry analysts, employees, buyers and sellers, and PayPal and Skype users can talk to someone from the company, or listen to someone from the company discuss what changes mean from a high level.” The blog will allow open comments, unlike The Chatter which syphons comments off into a separate discussion forum.

Asked by CNN what he would be covering, RBH said “You name it, we’re going to blog it.” eBay Ink is not due to launch until April, but RBH has been at the company since January, learning the ropes.

Sellers may be a little concerned to hear him say that he has never sold, though his wife has. But he intends to start selling, and to post his feedback count on the new blog. Keep an eye on those DSRs, Richard ๐Ÿ˜‰

Done right, this could begin to repair the damaged relationship between eBay, its members and its shareholders. RBH makes the right noises:

It’s got to be transparent. There’s got to be an authenticity to it, an honesty to it, otherwise there’s not point in doing it in the first place. I’m going to open up my e-mail to questions from folks. People can comment, too, and comments are going to be open. You’re going to get the good, the bad, and the ugly. … They hired from outside the organization. I have no prior agenda with any of the execs or people in the company.

But if RBH wants to convince the more vocal members of eBay’s community that he’s more than a corporate mouthpiece, he’s got his work cut out. Can you really convince eBayers that you’re honest and authentic when you’re writing a blog on eBay’s site, and taking eBay’s paychecks? It’s going to be fun finding out.

With thanks to Drewdomkus for the picture.

8 Responses

  1. It’s going to be very intersting to see the reaction when the first comments roll in. Just imagine an official eBay blog with a post saying “No more negs for buyers” ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    I do wonder how much censorship will take place, I guess the first time he disses eBay will reveal just how far he can go, but sure as eggs are eggs there’ll be something they get wrong he’ll feel obliged to post.

  2. In the first few days I expect it to be abuse after abuse after abuse… basically, all the Q&A bitterness will pour over him.

    poor chap…. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  3. its a publicity and involvement thing
    I dont think ebay really care what is said, as long as what is said and discussed involves them

  4. Hmm. This looks like ‘radical transparency’ eBay style.

    Which means at first glance it is neither radical and likely not to be all that transparent. As far as I can see, eBay have hired a journalist/reporter.

    And, if that guy’s tone doesn’t rub sellers up the wrong way, then I’m the queen of Sheba.

  5. A paid mouthpiece who will be programmed to spout only what they’ve been spending 2 months worth of telling him “exactly” what to say…

    What a waste of money!!

    Ebay is the most greedy company on the market…

  6. Your article is spot on, but the key phrase is “If it’s done right”
    I plan to call into the eBay Town Hall Meeting this afternoon, here is the gist of what I’ll be saying if I get on the air.

    ” Two of the biggest complaints often heard are that ebay sellers don’t feel they have any representation in the company and that the company is straying too far from it’s auction model.

    I’m aware of the new eBay blog starting in April. I think it’s a great move, yet the perception is that it’s disingenuous because the blogger has never sold anything on eBay.

    My question is that wouldn’t it make sense for eBay to at least pair this blogger up with a long time eBay seller who is also an experienced blogger? I also think it would be a wonderful thing for eBay and it’s sellers to have at least some kind of representation by an experienced licensed auctioneer.

    Your loyal but honest, 9 year eBay veteran Powerseller and licensed Auctioneer,

    Walt Kolenda aka Auctionwally

  7. Hi Walt, welcome to TameBay ๐Ÿ™‚

    I won’t be calling in to the Town Hall – it’s the middle of the night here in France – but what you’ve said above is very similar to the email I sent them earlier. I do hope they address this question.



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