eBay Evolving

I noticed something a couple of days ago over on the O’Reilly Radar site, but to be honest it hasn’t fully sunk in yet. From the post (Link):

To celebrate both the success of the eBay Developers Program and the removal of all fees associated with using their web services, eBay are holdling the eBay Developer Challenge. {quote removed} Tuck into eBay’s web services and build your own vertical search (think Rollyo for stuff), mash eBay up with Yahoo! Maps, Google Talk or any another web service(s), hack eBay alerts into your TiVo, …

I have a feeling there’s something especially significant happening here because I already see eBay as potentially much more than just a site for connecting people hocking old junk (not a fair perception, but one that is, I believe, still largely held by the general public). They are after all one of the original social platforms.

Long before Myspace and MeetUp and Friendster and all the rest, there was a site called eBay connecting people in one of the most important ways available: exchanging goods. Opening up their API will undoubtedly spur innovation and that can’t be anything but important given the starting point.

My first thought is that we’ll see some amazing mash-ups; maybe even a system linking eBay to a virtual world like Linden Lab’s Second Life or the open source, peer-to-peer Project Croquet and then from one of those to Myspace (for the music), Google Video, Flickr and more. The result could out-PLM the biggest PLM software developers (see my earlier posts on PLM – Link 1, Link 2, Link 3). And I still expect to be surprised.