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Wed Aug 19 2009 23:58:27

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

By: Ina Steiner

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The new eBay team put into place last year after long-time CEO Meg Whitman retired has been slashing payroll and eliminating programs. Its latest target is the 10-year old Voices of the Community program, commonly referred to as "Voices."

eBay is ejecting the oldest members from the program, whose participants give eBay monthly input into programs during their development and pre-launch. There are 47 groups in Voices comprised of about 130 active members. Over 30 are being ejected from the program. Voices members are not paid, and some of them worked within the program for a decade to help eBay grow the site.

A source familiar with the decision to retire Voices founding members said eBay wants to focus on big sellers and buyers now as the site moves in that direction.

eBay has been giving perks to large retailers to entice them to the site, and it has moved away from investments in community by canceling its annual user conference and laying off its discussion board moderators, where both buyers and sellers gather to talk about everything from collecting and fashion to buying and selling tips.

In research for an article we published about the Voices program in 2004, some sellers explained that they stayed in Voices so they know what's coming down the road, and prefer to be in the loop on future developments.

In a 2003 eBay Chatter newsletter article, the Community Development Voices Coordinator at the time said of the program's creation, "CEO Meg Whitman decided that eBay should hear what members had to say face-to-face."

Update 8/20/09: Please see the update to the Newsflash story - I spoke with Garnor Morantes, Senior Manager of Seller Development for eBay Marketplaces, about the changes to the Voices program.




Comments (183) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: Patricia

Thu Aug 20 00:05:49 2009

Donahoe keeps burning those bridges.  He's a regular Nero!  Its fun now to sit back and watch the stupidity in motion...just gets better and dumber every day ;-)

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: ebay glee club bouncer

Thu Aug 20 00:18:36 2009

Now you former ebay voices, better keepa you mouths shut, capiche?

Don't you make any noise bout this, or else ebay will get very upset, and you know what will happen, right?

ahahahahahhahahaha!

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: Nonsense

Thu Aug 20 00:32:09 2009

Sounds like they just kicked their biggest cheerleaders to the curb.

Nobody is immune from JD's slash and burn tactics.

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: Ebay makes me ill

Thu Aug 20 00:42:20 2009

Wow, wonder how long before the 2 usual suspects are here cheering about this, unless they have now been gagged too.

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: eBuyer Feedback

Thu Aug 20 00:52:41 2009

eBay silencing voices is nothing new.

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: Randy

Thu Aug 20 02:29:54 2009

Looks I was smart to leave when I did last year ....  Randy (Former) Voices 3 Member.

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Aug 20 02:54:49 2009

Precisely what we should expect from a fascist corporation run by a clinically narcissistic sociopath.

Ming's ebay Law #2:

EBAY REMOVES OR DISCREDITS SPEECH THEY DON'T LIKE ANYWHERE ON THE INTERNET.

I hope Ina will invite former Voices members to leave comments about ebay management and their decision making process here.

Death to ebay corp. in 2009.




eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: unknown

Thu Aug 20 04:45:20 2009

Guess they're just making it 'official'. I'd asked about Voices on the boards when the Donohue disaster showed up and was told it had been disbanded - and that was from a Voices member.

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: Ebay Pays My Minimum Monthly Payment

Thu Aug 20 04:56:16 2009


And the hits just keep onnnnn coming...

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: ebay= penny stock

Thu Aug 20 07:44:56 2009

SILENCE IS GOLDEN.

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: dyna

Thu Aug 20 09:21:44 2009

Voices won't comment on much of anything if they want to keep their little stock stipend.  That's why the non-disclosure was signed.

The non-disclosure can be very easily picked apart in court.

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: Kelly

Thu Aug 20 09:55:18 2009

Again, no surprise here. They really don;'t care to listen to customers (sellers) anymore. It is very sad indeed.

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: Monster

Thu Aug 20 10:19:46 2009


Hey Ming,

I see you as a “cyber-squatter” with issues…

“EBAY REMOVES OR DISCREDITS SPEECH THEY DON'T LIKE ANYWHERE ON THE INTERNET.”

Why don’t they remove or discredit your “speech” here…?

And speaking of discredit, the last time I posted here on AuctionBytes you were the very first, and only I might add, person that went out of your way to “discredit” my speech…

You belittled my mentioning Ayn Rand; you went on and on about how “educated” you are, and how your opinion was the only one that mattered… And if that wasn’t enough, you tossed out some wild accusation that I was actually someone who had been posting somewhere else on the Internet, and I was here posting under a different name…

You were in full “discredit” mode the last time I posted here…

You are the mind-numbingly, tedious pot calling the kettle black…

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: RicRoe

Thu Aug 20 10:39:31 2009

It is obvious that Donahoe and Co are continuing their small seller extermination program and that they consider Voices to be little more than NOISE.

How much longer before they make the official announcement that in order to sell on eBay one must qualify for the new Top Seller status?

The only way this extermination plan is going to be stopped is when Donahoe and Co are given their multi million dollar golden parachutes and sent on their way to destroy the next company foolish enough to have them.



eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: Reagan

Thu Aug 20 10:42:38 2009

Donahoe, Tear Down This Wall!

1. If you are offering a service, you must fully disclose the terms and conditions to your customers. (Best Match)

2. Capitalism is based on free market, let the buyer decide what's best for him/her. (Best Match)

3. Equality before the law: rights and obligations must be the same for all, specially if you are charging for a service (Diamond PS).

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: In The Event of Fire

Thu Aug 20 10:46:41 2009

I guess Donahoe considers all voices just noise. What an unbelievable coward.

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: ebay seller

Thu Aug 20 10:48:06 2009

So basically you have a group of people working for you for free and you tell them to get lost .Par for the course for ebays other decisions lately

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: Silent no longer

Thu Aug 20 10:48:35 2009

Voices did more harm than good for the average seller on eBay, so the quicker it disappears, the better. The members that they are booting are the smaller, older sellers - I mean, when you have the largest seller on eBay as a Voices member, who can see what changes are coming to the site in a few months, and can implement changes ahead of the curve (and ahead of competitors), how much of an advantage does that give him?

I'd look very carefully at the list of Voices members - it's very telling who is staying, and who is going! Oh, and those who are getting the boot - your NDAs are now null and void. Ask your lawyers.

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: In The Event of Fire

Thu Aug 20 10:49:09 2009

And monster, you do a pretty good job of discrediting yourself. Your grudge fueled rant is evidence of that.

eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members   eBay Silences Founding 'Voices' Members

by: happy as a bug

Thu Aug 20 11:03:52 2009

I'm glad to see Ebay do this. Since when does 130 select few have any input about how ebay does business. They are the selected elite who have no opinion.

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