Friday, August 18, 2006

A week of shutdowns

This week started with me hearing that eBay were changing their pricing structure so that they could charge more on average from their professional sellers. Some sellers then staged a boycott, but, hey, what can you do if you've built your existence on top of somebody else's business who could pull the rug from underneath you, and you'd be flat on your bum? If eBay had no competition, that would be a silly thing to do. However, there's still Amazon and other trading and swapping sites to choose from. It just so happens that eBay is being used by a lot of customers, but the next "disruptive technology" (i.e. a better website) is just around the corner.

This reminded me that some senators in the US are advocating privatisation of their domestic internet (as I understand it). Reeks of corruption and is unlikely to go ahead in my opinion, but it could leave a lot of web businesses stranded if they had to pay considerable amounts to get their data packets through, as some critics fear. May the decision makers listen to Sir Tim.

The conclusion to the story might be that the world works better if at least some basic services are being provided by the (nation) state, such as garbage collection and the internet. It's even possible that the economy would benefit from a tax-funded eBay equivalent.

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