eBay are about to close the eBay.com Chat Rooms and Neighborhoods sections of the eBay community.
The eBay Cafe was one of the very first eBay Chat Rooms established and goes way back to the late 90’s when eBay was in it’s infancy and as you can imagine there’s a fair amount of regret that eBay are shutting them down.
Neighbourhoods are a pretty recent addition to the eBay community pages and my original assessment of Neighborhoods was that it was simply intended as a place to pump products to buyers. That’s not how the members see it though and there are thousands of active Neighborhoods about to be shut down.
eBay have simply posted an “Upcoming Changes to this Community” sign, saying that “On or around October 14th, 2011, eBay will be closing access to this chatboard technology”.
eBay have been rationalising the community forums for some time now, with long standing discussion boards such as Q&A and The Nags Head disappearing from eBay UK’s site a year ago.
When boards are closed in this manner it’s not a real problem in eBay’s eyes for their users. There are still discussion boards and available and Groups are very similar to Neighborhoods.
However for those affected they lose contact with the community members that they’ve built up online relationships over the years and may not even know each other except via their eBay User ID. For these people finding their friends again may be impossible and for the entire group who dip in and out of Chat or on a casual basis they’ll probably lose their community forever.
It’s rather sad to see The eBay Cafe still with the subheading “This is where it all began…” on the eBay Chat Rooms index. It may be where the community began, but for the members of Chat this is the end.
Currently the and are still live, so if you want to visit a last time to say goodbye it’s probably best you log in sooner rather than later.