eBay makes another baffling buy
StumbleUpon snapped up
Online auction house eBay has confirmed it has bought StumbleUpon, the website which offers user-created reviews and recommendations of other websites.
eBay is paying about $75m for the site which claims 2.3 million regular users. The push behind the deal seems to be that Web 2.0 doozy "community".
Michael Buhr, senior director at eBay, said in a release: "StumbleUpon is a great fit within our goal of pioneering new communities based on commerce and sustained by trust. StumbleUpon's downloadable toolbar provides an engaging and unique experience to its users, but it is the similarities in our approaches to the concept of community that make it such a compelling addition to eBay."
Buhr becomes general manager of StumbleUpon. The company's founders will remain in their current jobs. eBay does not expect the deal to have any impact on earnings.
The StumbleUpon blog reassures users that it is remaining independent and thanks them for their support.
One StumbleUpon user, perhaps showing the risks of corporations trying to tame user-generated content, commented: "I don't like eBay much but I guess it's better than Google, AOL, or even Yahoo! getting their grubby little paws on SU.nah, they all suck."
Other comments ranged from congratulations to the founders, to "there goes the neighbourhood". Several users questioned what the two companies had in common, with some pointing to the purchase of Skype as an example of eBay buying a company but not effectively integrating it into eBay.
Another commented: "I'm nonplussed. I'm not a huge fan of Ebay. I don't see how Ebay and SU have anything to do with each other. The CLOSEST I can come is saying 'both sites let the users do most of the content creation'...but one is strictly commerce while SU is....well...what the f#ck is SU anyway?"
eBay's press release is here.
StumbleUpon.com can be found here. ®
I can see a pattern here...
Mutter. First Last.FM, now StumbleUpon.
It's obviously buying season....
Bugger.... I hate ebay.... and paypal... and skype!! Basically anything they touch becomes a target for hackers and adware crap......
"But the minute I cop an eBay ad while Stumbling is the minute I uninstall it from my browser and close my SU account for good."
.... I agree, but it's a shame because this and Foxmarks are the only 2 tools I install on ALL my machines, can't live without really!!
So SU will now be poisoned with eBay ads
What this means is that SU users, who up until now have enjoyed being able to get high-quality peer-reviewed sites, will now be bombarded with eBay ads. I have the SU plugin on Firefox and I use it heaps; I've found many interesting sites with it. Now I have AdBlock Plus installed as well, so this might not affect me.
But the minute I cop an eBay ad while Stumbling is the minute I uninstall it from my browser and close my SU account for good.