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August 23, 2004



Of course, I know of your work with eBay. As an avid user there, your name is hard to miss. But I had no clue of your passionate interests in these other areas, or of this blog until today. I just wanted to send best wishes to you in pursuing these efforts. God bless, Thalia

Arjun Singh

Want to congratulate you on this vision. The most exciting thing about the Internet for me is how empowering it can be. I have met a great number of incredibly interesting people through my blogs, for example.

A couple of thoughts...your foundation needs to expand it's activity past just the blog / geek / tech world. I know bloggers are known as huge influencers in many offline communities, but we need to really cement a solid mindshare among the majority of people who aren't really technologically or politically active.

I would encourage wild creative appeals to the broader society. Use humour and inspiration rather than fear and partisan tactics. In essence, turn much of the mainstream activity in this political year in North America on its head.


godspeed on your vision. it's good to know that most visionaries want to give something back for the good of the collective.

blogs, wikis, and social text,

Bill Phillips

You are absolutely right about empowerment. As a former teacher of web design and HTML starting in 1995, I always tried to stress this to my classes. Used properly, the Web can be tremendously empowering.

Well, I'm no longer teaching. It seems my "start with basics" philosophy is no longer appreciated. I've tried a number of things over the past 3-4 years to make a buck, and finally thought I had a winner. Two winners, in fact.

The first is a photographic restoration service. I still believe I can make a go of it, but got sidetracked on the way to setting it up. Unfortunately.

What sidetracked me was pressure from family members to "Sell on eBay". Well, this seemed like an excellent idea, and early this year I started to put all my energies into that project.

Note that I am not one of those people who can simultaneously start two "major" (for me) enterprises at once, singlehanded. Tiny though they are in reality, each one requires my full-time attention until it takes off.

So I began, tentatively but optimistically, selling books on eBay. Big mistake! I picked precisely the worst possible time to do it -- the time of the disastrous "Item Specifics" changeover and "category rollups" in the Book section of eBay. My sales were pitiful.

For months, I, along with hundreds of other booksellers, some with very impressive feedback ("power sellers"), have protested the changes, but have succeeded only in getting mostly symbolic crumbs tossed our way. Sales, for the non-megasellers, have tanked, and show no signs of coming back significantly. eBay management is stunningly unresponsive to the people who made it what it is: collectors (book buyers cannot browse nor find the books they want) and "little guy" sellers (who are now finding it too time-consuming and too expensive to list). I myself listed a handful of books last week, my first attempt since April, and had no results whatsoever.

Many of the small booksellers have moved on to other venues. Unfortunately, none of them have (a) the market share nor (b) the former fun of the old, lost eBay. One venue I have moved to is slowly getting off the ground, but it will be quite a while before it is a major force. It is, in fact, what eBay Books probably should have been (and to some degree, was till recently) all along.

Before I started listing early this year, I researched things like sellthrough, and found them to be quite encouraging. By the time I was ready to begin seriously listing, as I later learned, this promising environment had been devastated by badly thought out actions of management. I look at completed listings now and see page after page of no bids. Where formerly one could expect at least a few bids on any reasonable offering, now one is extremely lucky to sell at the starting price!

Had I realized how intransigent eBay management would be about reversing the changes, I believe I would have put this project on a VERY back burner and followed through on photo restoration instead.

Now I don't know what to do any more! I had worked out that the two businesses could easily pay the rent. (My wife is employed, but her salary is not enough to support us.) In fact, the book business looked to be capable of paying a big chunk of the rent by itself, with the restoration covering the rest, and possibly even getting us out of debt to some extent.

Instead, we've had to borrow to cover our rent several times since this began ...

There's my sad tale, mirrored by I don't know how many other eBay booksellers (not to mention other categories that have been similarly savaged).

How can we become re-empowered now? And quickly? I just have no clue ...

If you got this far, thanks for reading this.

Jay Allen

Hi Pierre, I was pointed to this post because of the comment about comment spam. I don't know if you've heard of MT-Blacklist ( http://www.jayallen.org/projects/mt-blacklist ) but it's a comment/trackback spam prevention program for Movable Type. It's been highly successful in the 10 months since its creation and it's about to get even more so with the latest version.

But you use TypePad, so why am I telling you? Because the new version was specially designed for use in large hosted environments. When installed in a hosted setting, a company (say, Six Apart) can install it once and allow each of their users to have a configuration which matches their needs -- as if each user installed it for their own use.

Anyhow, I don't know what their plans are, but if you (and anyone else who is bothered by this problem) send an email to Six Apart, they may consider it.

Sydney Johnston

Pierre, I find your belief that every person can make a difference to be quite refreshing and a change from everything we are taught. From early childhood on, our society pays lip service to 'the individual', but in actuality we are taught the opposite. After all, what difference can my one vote actually make in the upcoming election, especially when the only choice I have is to vote for the lesser of two evils, IMHO? And our problems seem so overwhelming and solutions seems far beyond the efforts of any single person or group, especially with a government currently devouring our liberties and stifling our freedoms as fast as it can.

Have you read Power vs Force, by David Hawkins? Wayne Dyer called it the most important book of the last 20 years, and he just might be right. It is about how the consciousness of each individual affects the totality of humanity, and even our beautiful planet and everything on it. You are already contributing a powerful energy by your very intention, and every contribution you make further raises the consciousness of all people, everywhere. I congratulate you and thank you.


are you going to sell out and allow this site to succomd to the sad realities of the commercial site of attacking all users and there log ins as I am witnessing now or maybe you can be a real american and set your income aside for the media and do the good of our future as the USA. Please don't reply if, Unless of couse you're for the destruction of her?
Don't have time like you so only respond if a true American.
Thank you
to the intern sreening this


are you going to sell out and allow this site to succomd to the sad realities of the commercial site of attacking all users and there log ins as I am witnessing now or maybe you can be a real american and set your income aside for the media and do the good of our future as the USA. Please don't reply if, Unless of couse you're for the destruction of her?
Don't have time like you so only respond if a true American.
Thank you
to the intern sreening this


Pierre, I wish you luck with the Omidyar Network. If it is as successful as you other ventures I am sure that you will do great things for the betterment of society. You are truly a visionary of our society today.


Are you a trekkie? You sure sound as open minded, and refreshing as one. Each person can make a difference, and shape their own life and surroundings.
eBay for instance has changed my life. Not just in a business sense, but a way of living and thinking. I get involved and spread the news as much as possible by joiniing Voices of the Community, the new Volunteer/Mentoring program and leading a group on ebay.com.
Life is what you make it.
Best Regards, Christine

ron carr

why in the world would someone with your money even care about making more money?? shouldn't you be figuring out what you can do to make this a better world.. maybe like get all the billionaires together and donate, let's say.. most of your money to things that are going to protect this planet and all of the people and animals on it?? like you really need more than a few million to live the rest of your life comfortably... i assume that your answer about making more money and more company's is that it's a challenge, but wouldn't it be a much tougher challenge, and satisfying challenge to actually make this a decent world to live in??? i'm talking about making it better for everyone... there's nothing wrong with my life right now except for the lack of health insurance as a student but there are billions of people out there that you can do something for that need it, deperately! i understand that you do have some social causes that you hold dear to you but at what point do you examine yourself and your place in history?? do you want to be remembered forever as a rich billionaire who could start a lot of companies or do you want to be remembered forever as the guy who made everything better- I always think about what I would do if I had Oprah's money... shoot, you have Oprah's money times five... I probably couldn't sleep because I would want to spend every second I have left doing whatever I can to bring health, happiness and hope to every single person...

Anne Marie


Funny how I feel like I can call you by your first name. Most talk of you that I hear is in the abstract with your first name being used, like you were sitting at my kitchen table.

It's a pleasure to read of your vision for your Foundation and the Network, and even just to see an entry from you here. I am a big admirer of yours; I shook your hand in Orleans in June (you were gracious!) and have a pic of you that I had to sneak to get! No one knew you were there, but I recognized you merely from that little square pic of you on this blog. I'm also a Voice, and an avid ebay user/believer.

I hope you continue with your endeavors and staunch up the altruistic part of them as much as possible, and that your input, whether financial or otherwise, brings success and happiness to the lucky recipients. I wish you'd post here more often too, selfishly, I want to hear more from you on this personal level.

Good luck and good day! Going to read about the investments now.

~~ Anne Marie

Rich Boronski

Mr. Omidyar,

First of all congratulations on all of your success. After reading many of your blogs, I would have to say you may be the most socialy conscious billionairre on the planet.

I am very pleased that a man of your resources is on the side of Americans and not greedy aristochrats.

Thank you for being a powerfull voice for good.

Rich Boronski

Payam Fotouhiyehpour

Dear Pierre,
Actually looking at your picture in the corner of this page make us know very much about the coolest billionairre in the world. I am studing master of art in e-commerce, and as you know, ebay is a kind of Newton law in our lessons. But the wonderful thing about ebay, is the way that it goes to make people connected.
Why ebay is not open for Iranian people. I think that a C2C e-commerce do not related to Bush2Khameneii relationship!!!

Best Regards,

e lee


Reading your newest post and some older postings over the Labor day weekend. You wrote about your trying out the Segway in the summer of 2003. Great to know that you were testing something new. This was your finest moment to 'try' Segway on the sloped gravels. I would have done it on the slope too. You are brave.

Since 1997, I have set a personal goal that: for every year, I will learn at least one new sport or art/ music activity that I have never dreamed about.

This year is surf fishing in towering Pacifica wave and oil painting. A couple years back in Minnesota, I was trying the ski jump from the Highland Park in Bloomington, MN and indoor racetrack speed rollerblading inside the Minneapolis' RollerDome where rollerblade was first patented. Before that it was cello playing, scuba diving, Argentin tango, snowboarding, downhill skiing, SF MOMA modern art, air pistol/ rifle, golf. Gosh, cello is the toughest musical instrument I've ever put my mind or fingers through in my whole life, especially trying cello out after age 40, upon hearing YoYo Ma's playing Dvorak's Humoresque in the radio driving home one night.

My thinking is this: by trying out a new sport or an activity that we never did before, we open ourselves to brand new dimensions of mental & physical requirements, thus we adapt, condition, change, challenge ourselves to think or behave from more angles of life or about human beings. This has been the easiest way for myself to keep minds being 'young' from getting old. We see and think things new. A typical baby-baby-boomer's mentality. Very childish of me, thank you.

When I was slowly diving down and finally standing on the 150+ ft deep sandy seafloor near the shipwreck in the Florida's Keys, the challenges to stay warm or alive down there or what I was seeing up above was totally different from the preparation I was doing or seeing down below for the *K30 meters' ski jump. *Note: I never reached the K90 ski jump level.

Well, dreaming of sky jumping, hang gliding near the east bowl of Mt. Rose ski resort or rock climbing in the Yosemite or Boulder, CO in the next couple years if I can ever muster enough courage to try these since I was born in the year of chicken* as said from the Chinese's year sign. I wonder what it will be like?

*Please, don't you ever say I am a chicken. Thank you.



salam aqaye omidyare aziz
salam bozorgvar ---salam osveye nikukari
man ta'rife dastodelbazi & kheyrkhahitun
ro kheyli shenidam ...
valla man emsal daneshgahe azad qabul shodam
tu reshteye pc vali vaz'e malimun khub nist
ba kamale porruei mikhastam lotfi nemaeid
va meqdari pule nachiz ro baramun send koni !!!
aqa omide aziz khahesh mikonam shoma digeh
az daste khahesh man dar narid . man be har
sarmayehdare iruni ke e-mail zadam , mahalam
nazashtan va hatta javabe manfishun ham behem nadadan .
ajezaneh azatun mikham ke hatta agar nemikhahid

be ma badbakhta yari beresunid , aqalan javabe manfishun
ro baram befrestid .....
agar javabetun mosbate e-mail bezanid baram ta
shomareh hesabamo bedam ...
haq & moula poshto panahet ...
zemnan man dar iranam .
ya ali.....

Arash M

Wow, that last comment took me some time to get through... got to brush up on the Farsi.

Anyhow, God bless you for you vision, and I am certain without a doubt that your work will not only influence those who you target, but hopefully encourage those in the periphery to act.

I think your wife Pam deserves some major recognition for her work and dedication. It is wonderful to see a husband and wife team working together like this. Being a 25 year old single guy, that gives me some hope.

Thank you for your service.
A humble observer

Talita Joy

Hallo friends! Really nice place here. I found a lot of interesting stuff all around. Just what I was looking for. Great joy!


Dear Mr.Omidyar
Ineed you I am fineartist kuwaiti I would like to make bussnes with you and I am verey simple man but I have dream to open brunch for (ebay)in kuwait and gulf aera so I need your support to make this dream actuality.pleae reply me and I am waiting yours answer
thank you .
yours faithfully
mobile.00965 9660567


Hello Omidyar,

I am highly impressed to note that you are a Capitalist with a kind heart.

I have a suggestion. If you really want to make a big difference then launch a non-profit online educational venture that can play a vital role in educating millions of people throughout the world.

There are millions of young educated people who want to contribute in their own way to educate others and they can be utilized.

This way you will be positively shaping the lives of billions of people in the years to come.

If you need a plan then I can prepare one. Your network sure has the resources to implement such an initiative.

I hope you will give it a thought.

Wishing you the best.


Jay F.

Hello Pierro:

I just saw you in the rank of 16 in Forbes 400 and It was such a very good feeling to see a humble, low key, and media shy guy like you with all these money to charit-away!

As an Iranian, I have been following your news since the Ebay existance and It is just a great pleasure knowing a person like you even exist!

Once, my cousin won a few Million dollars in California Lottory back in ealy 90's and made me believe that there is a chance to wine it. Now your presence make it believe that there is a chance to be rich and humble.

I am an architect but as a hobby, I am running a website for people to add the information of their loved ones that they have lost or those of the past that they want them to be remembered. It is getting out of my hand and I wish I could have had your advise of what direction I should go.

Best Wished to your work and your dreams!

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