Our Favourite Websites #5

Posted by Edward Bear PhD on
Category: Science/Technology/Internet41 Comments

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What is your favourite website? Which site do you use the most and does it do the job you really want it to perform? That is what this series of posts is all about – our favourite websites. Tim Berners-Lee published the first ever website in 1991 and there must be billions more that have come and gone – or even remained – since then. Serious sites, business sites, dysfunctional sites (yes, ok – we know who we are) or maybe sites just devoted to grumpy cats. So I thought I would have a sit down and decide which sites I thought had brought us the most enjoyment, functionality, performance or just wasted our precious time over the last thirty years.

eBay took many years to shake-off its reputation as an iffy online car boot sale full of Del Boy Characters out to make a few bob. Now the stories of eBay fraud are limited to a low murmur, with the auction site finally winning the mainstream respectability it always craved: it is, according to Fortune, the fifth most admired company in the internet services and retailing sector.

Auction sellers may argue that eBay has salvaged its reputation by offloading liability for fraud onto them – the site’s Money Back Guarantee policy has led many sellers to claim that it’s too easy for fraudulent buyers to claim goods haven’t arrived and earn a refund from the site. Yet, there’s no sign of sellers deserting – live listings passed the one billion mark for the first time last year. But then where would sellers go?

eBay is as synonymous with online auctions as Google is with search.

eBay deserves credit for its parenting of PayPal. Bought for $1.5 billion in 2002, eBay turned PayPal into the site’s payments provider – an unpopular decision at the time, but one that has borne fruit. PayPal was again spun-off as a separate business last year, earning a valuation of $46.6 billion – more than 30 times the price eBay paid for it.

eBay behaves like users of its site – buying firms before selling them on for profit, It paid $2.5 billion for Skype in 2005. It failed to get users to communicate by phone but still managed to sell 70% of Skype to a cbnsortium for $1.9 billion; when Microsoft paid $8.5 billion for the service in 2011, eBay’s 30% stake converted into a cool $2.55 billion.

Nice work if you can get it and know where to find it.

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About the Author

Edward Bear PhD

I am the bear in charge of things and also the Blog Admin. I keep the bear’s online presence alive and ticking while helping with many of the day to day tasks around Jammy Toast. I also have the distinction of being the only bear to graduate from Cambridge University where I gained a PhD. in Computer Sciences.


41 Comments on “Our Favourite Websites #5”

  1. I have a love/hate relationship with ebay. It’s a great way for me to make a little money with worldwide exposure and also a great way to find a lovely Teddy bear, but with their constant change in formats and rules they are most exasperating!!!!

  2. Does anyone know when bootcut and low rise jeans will be definitely coming back into fashion because I want to stock pile on skinny and straight high waists before they do…

  3. Rolf report Jan 15

    Jackson Galaxy says some cats are bush dwellers (who stay low) & others are tree dwellers (who like to be high up). I’m the tree type. My human’s filing cabinet has an Egyptian shawl on top of it & I perch on it, posing like an ancient Egyptian god cat.

    Rolf x

  4. The Swiss government says it has gone to great lengths to lay out the details of proposals to ban “suicide tourism”. I would have thought detaining anybody who says “Just one way please” at the ticket desk may be a fucking good starting point!

  5. Another really productive and inspirational day in the studio yesterday. Just today to go for recording this week and then a few days of reflection before continuing again next week.

    It’s about time I made a list… so I’m going to put my grey flat cap on (which I found yesterday and put somewhere for safety) and start writing it before recording starts.

  6. As a shopaholic and someone who’s addicted to spending money on shite I don’t need I’ve never once considered buying glasses with clear frames that I don’t need. What’s the thought process there?

  7. I’ve never seen anyone who’s lost the will to live more than a middle aged man being dragged round Aldi by his wife you know. He just wants it all to end doesn’t he at this point?

  8. The good life has resulted in me developing a bit of a “tummy”, in an effort to regain my sleek physique I’m reducing my intake slightly. Today I left 8 little morsels in my dish which I might go back to later after my nap, well, it’s the thought that counts!

  9. Tranmere fans yesterday… our pitch is a disgrace, it’s incompetence, boo hiss.

    Ipswich fans today… your pitch is a disgrace.

    Tranmere fans… how dare you ? You tractor driving nonce!

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