And so ends eBay DevCon08...

Richard Brewer-Hay

As the sun sets on this year’s eBay Developer’s Conference I need to splash some water on my face and get ready for eBay Live! staff orientation this evening.


I found the last couple of days incredibly informative and invigorating to be honest. Each conversation uncovered another layer of possibility for eBay users. For example, in a past life I worked at Microsoft’s WebTV so it was great to talk to folks that are incorporating eBay functionality into set-top boxes. I spoke with Dan Levinson, marketing executive for BIAP (Broadband interactive Applications) whose applications include “eBay on TV”:

eBay on TV – Using a digital set-top box and a remote control, registered eBay users can access an eBay account directly on their TV screen to view current auctions, watch lists and recent history. Viewers are alerted when they have been outbid and are provided the option of placing a higher bid. They can also be notified if they have won an auction.

I got the impression that this is still just scratching the surface on the potential of eBay on TV (currently no ability to complete a transaction after an item has been won) but if the BIAP folks can work with eBay developers on PayPal implementation and other advanced but essential features, then they’re definitely taking the QVC concept to a whole new level. On a side note, as a sports fan, I’d love to also check out their Fantasy Sports Trackers:

Fantasy Sports Trackers – Applications that give TV viewers the ability to personalize a roster of up to 25 players in a particular sport and view real-time statistics and alerts while viewing any channel.

Presentations were also very informative. Sue Bailey over at TameBay covered Adam Trachtenberg’s developer preview presentation of this morning. Check out her take on what he had to say by clicking here.

For those of you unable to attend this year’s DevCon, the eBay Developer team have compiled a comprehensive list of the majority of presentations from this year’s event. You can click here to view the PDFs of the various presentations.

I managed to speak briefly with Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, who invited me to tour their offices when I attend the RocketPlace conference in Las Vegas in September; a conference focused on all levels of eBay sellers. I also spent some time with the eBay developers involved in the Firefox eBay edition who were very excited to be promoting Firefox eBay edition on the same day Mozilla launched Firefox 3.

Granted there were a few technical presentations that went over my head a little bit but for the most part, I could see the business benefits of a large number of applications and news coming out of the conference. The big winner of the week was the Project Echo team who announced that third party application development was now open on eBay’s Selling Manager. The full brief can be viewed as a PDF by going to:

It’s 5:10pm now and my eBay Live! work begins in 50 minutes. I look forward to providing updates over the next 3 days.