Friday, November 2, 2007

Kidnap Santa and Listen to the Drones Whine

Here we go again. Since news of eBay Australia's holiday advertising promotion, named "Kidnap Santa," has leaked, I've been hearing all sorts of talk that the drones are grumbling. Apparently some of my drones think that eBay Inc. is being insensitive toward kidnap victims. Others seem to think that exploiting a fictional North Pole Gnome is in bad taste. I've even heard from Legal that there has been chatter about a lawsuit if the Kidnap Santa campaign happens to scar any small children psychologically - something about Juvenile Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But the most irritating of all grumbling is coming from long-time career sellers who feel that the campaign cheapens their products and makes eBay seem like a bargain basement.

God knows I'm growing weary of the constant whining being done by less-than-loyal drones. If I (or anyone else in management) at eBay makes a decision, implements a change or rolls out an enhancement - the whining begins. First they whine because eBay isn't advertising enough, so we increase our advertising budget and spread our marketing dollars wider and include more avenues. Then they complain because the commercials are stupid. Meanwhile, many have started stand-alone ecommerce sites or are experimenting with online malls like ecrater. Argh, ecrater - but that's a blog for another day. So anyway, I'm really thinking of instituting another round of fee hikes, not because of anything to do with revenue, but rather just to spite some of the sniveling masses of drones who think they are entitled to something just because they sell on

I'm thinking a nice big increase across the bottom three tranches ought to do the trick. We've already begun expelling the worst performing drones from the eBay community, and it's working like a charm. Of course, now that the bottom 1% of the poorest drones have been banished, there is still another group that has now filled that bottom 1%. If we could banish these drones as well, I'm told that a lot of the grumbling would leave with them. The problem that management and I now face is that another round of expulsions so quickly on the heels of the first, might result in even more grumbling. So, we haven't raised fees in awhile - heck, it's almost expected that we are going to sometime soon anyway, so I think I'll raise those bottom three tranches' fees quite significantly. I'll have Cobb smooth over the fee increase with talk of more frequent listing specials like we've already been feeding the brainless drones. That will turn their frowns into smiles on the fronts of their empty heads. Meanwhile, the drones at the very bottom, the ones that will be most affected by the fee increase will simply evacuate eBay, but not after a massive round or two of listing millions of items before the fee increase goes into effect.

Fee increase. Tens of millions of additional listings from those about to leave the site. The holiday shopping season. Maybe a listing promo or two thrown in. Ah, yes, I think I'm going to make out very well when I exercise my options at the year's end.

Speaking of discontent drones, I have told PR to ramp up the Anti-Entitlement Team's activities, especially on the eBay Community Forums and other online discussion boards. Why these drones think that eBay Inc. owes them anything is beyond me. It's a service that they are paying for, why should they expect a hand in decision making. Why should they even be allowed to complain or speak out against decisions made by management at all? Sometimes I wonder if Red China and the Soviet Union were on the right track with censorship and laws against speaking out publicly about the government. I can tell you one thing though, if the grumbling continues after the fee increase, the "censorship" that the drones are whining about now will be nothing compared to the wrath I will unleash on them all. I will squash them and their negative talk about eBay once and for all, and rid the site of anyone who dares to question my judgement....once and for all.

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