March 7th, 2015


Another Step Backward for eBay

I just logged on to eBay to check some prices. eBay has changed the layout of the item page. THEY NO LONGER SHOW THE FULL ITEM DESCRIPTION! There's the "Item Specifics" box, and then there's a "See full item description" link. You have to click the link to see the item description.

There's already a problem with buyers not reading the descriptions and then demanding refunds because the item is "not as described." eBay is now making it even easier for buyers to ignore the item description; they're also making it more difficult for serious, careful buyers to find and read the item description.

Currently there is a "what do you think" survey button next to the "see full item description" link. I just now clicked on it. I selected the "I don't like it" response, and added the following comment:

This is STUPID! But I guess you're catering to the cell phone crowd. For me as an eBay seller, you insist that I describe the item completely and accurately, but now you make it more difficult for buyers to see the description, and you open the sellers up to even more frequent charges of "item not as described" because the buyer did not bother to click through to read the entire description.

As a buyer, you are doing me a disservice by making sellers less inclined to provide detailed descriptions, as they will feel it's a waste of time since the description will not be readily visible anyway.

eBay is becoming increasingly seller AND buyer unfriendly, at least to those of us who like to consider our purchases or accurately and completely describe items we are selling. Perhaps your new approach will increase your sales to mobile-device shoppers. I suspect it will also lead to a higher percentage of returns.

I shouldn't have to "dig" to find the item description, particularly on pre-owned items. As a buyer, this cinches it;I'm done with eBay.

I guess I should hurry up and list the last of my crap on eBay... and be prepared for a lot of return requests from people who don't read the description. I'm done buying through eBay, and I hope, soon, to be done selling as well. Extra clicks -- a giant step BACKWARDS in internet functionality! Thank you, cell phone culture!

Goodbye Twitter

I deactivated my Twitter account a few minutes ago. Apparently it won't be fully deleted for thirty days. If I change my mind in that time, I can go back.

I won't change my mind.

The deactivation page on the Twitter site has a link asking for users to share their reasons for leaving. I clicked on the link and typed my response into the available space. But when I clicked on the required subject selection button, I was directed to a help menu page. I went through the process several times, selecting different subjects each time, but the result was the same. Apparently Twitter doesn't really expect, or want, to hear why users leave. And I very much doubt many users officially deactivate their accounts. Most users who grow weary of the site probably just stop using it. However, I want my presence removed. I do not wish to contribute to the success of Twitter by adding my one pathetic account to their overall userbase statistics.

Following is the message I typed into the Twitter "tell us why you're leaving" box:

I am in the process of deactivating my account. Your deactivation page asks, "Is it something we said? Tell us." No, it is not specifically something Twitter said. Rather, I choose to no longer support a service and company that allows violent extremist organizations like Boko Haram and ISIS to promote and publicize themselves. The recent media stories about Boko Haram announcing via Twitter that they will ally themselves with ISIS indicate to me that Twitter is comfortable profiting from the presence of criminals and murderers. I no longer wish to associate with a company that makes these choices. I miss the days when Twitter was about what people had for lunch today rather than a platform for promoting violence and murder. I do not understand why Twitter allows known terror groups and groups threatening violence to the entire western world to use their service. I like to believe that I am reasonably tolerant of most belief systems, but I draw the line at associating with a company that is used by groups like ISIS and Boko Haram to promote their ideology of hatred and murder. I am not comfortable with the guilt-by-association I feel by continuing to use your service. While I generally appreciate the freedom of speech offered by Twitter's platform, I feel that Twitter has become a tool for purposes and for groups that I prefer not to support. I am sure the profits the Twitter corporation shareholders will reap from Boko Haram and ISIS and similar organizations will far outstrip the minimal losses you might incur from the departure of minorities like me. Thanks, it's been fun, but I'm done.

Now, what to do about LiveJournal? After all, according to American media, Russia is out of line in the Ukraine. But the Ukraine is crawling with rebels and warlords and criminals and crooks. Who are the "good guys" and who are the "bad guys"? Among the differences between the Russia-Ukraine issue and the Boko Haram on Twitter issue is that the Ukraine issue is largely a government-vs-government issue. More significantly, I have not heard about any militant extremist terror groups using LiveJournal as their platform for recruitment, press releases, or propaganda. So the difference is, I'll maintain my LiveJournal account. I might even start posting more regularly. And I think I'll resume hanging out on, too.