eBay, in collaboration with
JotSpot, has just released a new community wiki – making it almost certainly the
world’s largest wiki platform for a commercial website (Wikipedia is bigger, but it’s
non-commercial). eBay Wiki is described as “a collection of
fact-based articles written and maintained by eBay Community members” and is powered by
JotSpot’s innovative wiki technology. I spoke to JotSpot co-founder and CEO Joe Kraus
about the new eBay wiki yesterday – his thoughts later in this post. But first an
overview of the product.
eBay Wiki is located at www.ebaywiki.com and the
wiki topics are categorized and tagged. You must be logged in as an eBay member to edit a
wiki page, which then presents you with an easy-to-use wysiwyg HTML editor. So no awful
wiki syntax to learn!
Choosing topics/sub-topics and tags is very easy, as the following screenshot
eBay Wiki also has article history and ratings, the editor’s user details and
seller/buyer ratings (i.e. their eBay reputation), RSS feeds and other easy-to-use social
So why did eBay choose to add a wiki? eBay has a buyer and seller community of more
than 193 million members – a huge community that is thriving with conversations and
activity. Their message boards get
over 100,000 messages per week and eBay users are very knowledgeable on their topic
niches. Having a Wiki on eBay will serve to refine and formalize the cream of the content
in its user forums. It will also help eBay in the search engine rankings, as its
user-generated content coffers will increase significantly over time!
Joe Kraus: it’s a Wikipedia for eBay
In a Skype call, Joe Kraus
described eBay Wiki to me as “a kind of Wikipedia for eBay and about eBay”. He said its
main focus is to give “tips and tricks on how to get the most out of eBay”. The Wiki
will complement and build on the eBay forums, in that the wiki will be a “single point of
reference” on topics.
Joe sees eBay Wiki as another step towards wikis coming of age and becoming
mainstream. I agree, the use of wikis from one of the Internet’s biggest consumer
companies may be vital to their uptake outside of tech and enterprise circles. Joe
said eBay will promote the Wiki as part of their community hub and eBay CEO Meg Whitman
is announcing it in her keynote address at the eBay Live! user conference in Las Vegas