mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Wagglepop fizzles...

The first I heard of Wagglepop is this post on it's demise. They apparently launched this week as an ebay alternative but then quickly and oddly shut it down.

The founder, Ray Romeo, sounds a little unhinged:

Rest in Peace," read in part, "What started out as an interesting challenge has instead become the most painful, personal few months of my life, and my confidence in what I believed about faith and humanity are shaken and shattered... perhaps forever." The post indicated he would shut down the servers, reformat the drives, "destroying any and all personal data."

...he said the site was the victim of a DDOS attack.

"I closed Wagglepop as quickly as I could once the decision was made, in the way I found proper." Romeo added, "The site closed as soon as I realized my family, and myself, could be at risk. I'd like not to speak of this further.....I'm shaken and I'm done with it."

The shutting down the data thing seemed kind of creepy, as does the "faith in humanity" thing. But the "family at risk" thing in response to a Distributed Denial of Service attack on his web servers seems very strange. What, was he worried his kids would be injured by flying packets or crashing hard drives?

I guess you have to be a little crazy to challenge eBay. I'm an ethusiastic eBay seller, and while I feel their listing fees are a little high, they are still really the only game in town. They have way more customers than any other site. If it wasn't for them, there probaly wouldn't be an online marketplace. I have made a decent amount of money selling stuff on eBay, and I've gotten cash for stuff that otherwise would have been trash or would still be sitting in the back of a closet.

eBay has a huge advantage in terms of network effect. If you are a buyer, it's where the sellers are, and if you are a seller it's where the buyers are. Buyers won't jump to another auction site unless there is lots of stuff for sale, and seller's won't jump unless there are enough customers to bid their items higher. Just like a phone is useless if nobody else has one, an auction site is useless unless a lot of buyers and sellers use it.


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