Ning on GigaOM & SearchBlog

It looks like Ning has been picked up on some heavyweight blogs today:

Om Malik on Ning

John Battelle on Ning

I’ll save my comments on Ning for another post, another time. I certainly think that Ning shows just how tenuous, from a technology perspective, the Web 2.0 sites hold on users can be.

In any case, I’m going to take this opportunity to share instead one of life’s little pleasures – seeing a friend’s name in print. I first met Gina Bianchini in high school here in the Bay Area, and got to catch up with her a few years ago when she accompanied another Stanford friend to one of my birthday parties.  Growing up in Silicon Valley is fun that way.
I remember hearing the news when Gina took on the opportunity, and its great to see some positive press around Ning. Like all startups, it certainly seems to have evolved considerably from its early days.

Honestly, seeing Gina’s company called out on these major blogs is just a really nice way to start the day. Congratulations to Gina & the Ning team.

Randy Smythe & Glacier Bay DVD (former eBay Powerseller)

Two eBay-related posts in as many days?  There goes that promise…

However, it is newsworthy to note that Randy Smythe, a former eBay Powerseller who achieved over 200,000 positive feedback, has started a column outlining his views on eBay.

Randy decided to leave the world of online selling in February 2006, and the radio silence since then has created quite a bit of chatter in the eBay community.

The introductory article is here:

What is the E! True Hollywood Story About eBay’s Former Top Seller Glacier Bay DVD? 

Interestingly, Randy is quite reticent about his own successes and failures in business, which to me is refreshing.  Running a small business is one of the most difficult challenges professionally, and running one online is no exception.  If Randy chooses to share his insights from this experience, it could benefit a lot of people.

I’ve commented on this blog that people are rarely rational with money, and surprisingly, this can even impact people when they run multi-million dollar businesses.  Like personal finance, I believe that entrepreneurs have the most to learn from each other – the good, the bad and the ugly.

To give some insight into Randy’s perspective, he linked to this article from The E-Commerce Guide on the challenges facing eBay.  It’s an interesting piece as well.  You can find it here:

eBay: Down But Not Out 

I am, of course, extremely optimistic about the future for eBay and for e-commerce in general.