Web auctioneer eBay adds ‘wiki’ for online selling tips

SAN FRANCISCO, June 13, 2006 (AFP) – Using a technology once the domain of nerds, US auction website eBay is collecting the wisdom of millions of users in a how-to guide for buying and selling online. Any of eBay’s estimated 185 million users can contribute insights to an eBay “wiki,” a website that allows visitors to add, delete or otherwise edit contents.

Executives from eBay unveiled www.ebaywiki.com on Tuesday at an annual eBay Live conference in Las Vegas.

“It is a milestone in the coming of age of wiki in terms of coming out of the land of the nerds to a more mainstream audience,” said Joe Kraus, founder of JotSpot, the company that built eBay’s wiki.

Members of virtual communities wind up informally collaborating on definitive articles on whatever subjects or questions are posted on wikis, Kraus explained.

“The Web was read-only for the first ten years of its life,” Kraus said. “The goal is to make it a two-way conversation as opposed to a monologue.”

Best known would be www.wikipedia.com, an encyclopedic online trove of information compiled and refined by its users.

The eBay wiki was to address online auction matters such as how best to deal with buyers in other countr