eBay is implementing community-building features at its online auction site, including blogs, a new wiki for members to share information and new alerts to help users to stay on top of sales.
The eBay Wiki will let anyone post and edit articles on topics of interest to eBay users. It looks a lot like a blog, including the capability for visitors to post comments about articles, but also lets users alter the content of existing posts.
Visitors can browse headlines based on categories including eBay policies, seller tools and specialty sites. Many of the articles posted on the site so far are how-to type articles that might help users learn about how eBay works.
eBay is also now hosting blogs for users. Bloggers can post photos, allow others to comment on their postings and enable RSS (Really Simple Syndication).
eBay also introduced some new alert features in the US, some of which are already available in other markets. Bidders will be able to choose to be alerted via a phone call when three minutes remain before an auction closes. Buyers can also opt to receive text messages when they're outbid or when time is running out. Users can also re-bid on items via text message.
Separately, eBay also announced that it will allow sellers to add a "Skype me" button next to items for sale so that potential buyers can make a VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) call to the seller.