I had a thoughtful comment on my post Angry Villagers With Torches. My response got so long I felt it needed to be a post of its own, so here it is.
I agree with a lot of what you say. I am seen as being extremely negative towards eBay myself, especially by the high profile eBay fans. Their disapproval doesn’t mean what I have to say is somehow invalid, I research my blog posts extensively and if I write something speculative, that I am unable to prove, I say so. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to be able to write something positive about eBay. Meanwhile I shall continue to expose Bayspeak, evasions and the sometimes amazingly stupid things that eBay management say and do.
I think what bothers me most about the eBay boards these days is not simply negativity, there is an element of nastiness, sheer spitefulness which requires demeaning anything that does not fit their line of thought. It is bullying.
To me, the phrase “angry villagers with torches” is just as demeaning as “flea market” and “noise”. It implies that anyone who does not bow down and acknowledge the superiority of those who still have their jobs at eBay, or whose job is dependent on eBay is ignorant, uneducated and part of the great unwashed. I can’t say that the opinion of sycophants (suck-ups) means more to me than a tuppeny ha’penny damn but when you get down to it they are just as entitled to their opinions as you and I are.
Many of the ‘business is business’ folk are not ignoring the emotional and community aspect of eBay (as it was) they simply don’t ‘get it’ any more than eBay management ‘gets it’ when sellers complain about the 52nd or 53rd major editing change in less than 46 weeks. They are not bad people, they are different. The vast majority of them are on the fixed price, brand new consumables side of eBay and to them it is simply a venue, but we can learn from them.
I am an anomaly in the mix because I sell brand new items for the most part, but my items appeal to the collectibles group and I belong firmly on that side of the fence as a buyer. I joined eBay in 1999 and spent literally years learning my niche and how to do it right, not only to sell but how to be a good eBayer. This is not something that can ever be taken away, the skills I learned on eBay will still serve me well wherever I choose to sell. Sure I have had to learn different things, so what else is new?
Grieving is a process with stages that must be passed through before any healing can happen. Many small sellers are grieving the passing of something (yes an inanimate unloving corporation) which was an integral part of their lives. For a lot of them the pain is not just emotional it is financial too. However, it is possible to get stuck in one stage of the process. It becomes a habit, an endless loop. Sometimes we need a little shove to get us started again, back on track so we can move on with our lives.
Like you I was not pushed out. I looked at what was coming down the road and did not like it. I left. It was still quite a shock to realize that I could either accept what was to me unacceptable or that the end of the road was here, now, right now. In my case because I had been working on an exit strategy for two years I believe I went through the stages pretty fast. It was not easy, I had a buying habit and went through withdrawal. I also became very angry. Carrying anger within you is exhausting and not very healthy, I was glad when that stage passed.
If you followed Red Ink Diary when I was on Blogger you may remember that my slogan was “How ebay lost ITs groove. A chronicle of eBay’s destruction of the brand” When I moved to WordPress, hosted on my own site I felt that the time had come to add four more words “and the path forward”. My path forward is not only my website but Bonanzle. I have come to realize that Bonanzle is not an eBay alternative, it is its own thing, different but alike in the sense of community, respect and friendship.
There is a path forward, you just need to make the choice to move on. You can never return to the past, what is gone is gone. Remember it with fondness but don’t allow your anger and grief to blind you to the good things that are waiting to happen, or to spoil the good memories.
Y’all come back!