Ebay Sellers Revolt, Proving Again That Internet Users Don't Get Strikes

Some eBay sellers decided to protest the site's rule changes, which include ending negative reviews (which didn't matter in the ratings-inflated eBay world where everyone stamps "A+++++ WOULD BUY AGAIN" on every transaction) and discounting fees for power users. Does it mean eBay will reconsider? Well, recently I wrote about how Digg saved itself after some users threatened to boycott the social news site. What I failed to mention was that Digg was never in any danger. This revolt, like nearly every "revolt" in a major web site in the last five years, had no effect on the user base at large; the small cohort of disgruntled users would have made a stink for a week and given up. The same thing happens on Facebook every week, and founder Mark Zuckerberg pretends to listen but never really changes policy. Unlike those sites, on eBay, the strikers really are betting their livelihoods. So do they have a chance?

Hell no. Among the millions of users on eBay, a coordinated group could get maybe a few thousand to abandon their accounts. Obviously those won't include the top sellers, who benefited from the policy changes. Since the whole point of a strike is to have some bargaining power, the strike thus fails. EBay doesn't even notice the difference, since it's busy losing more money on Skype than any strike could cost. The difference between using the Internet and having a job is, your employer actually needs you.

Unless you're a writer. Then you're shit out of luck.