Off the Block: eBay's Post-Auction Future

And so, the most important part of Tuesday's announcement was not what everybody noticed -- the shift to fixed pricing -- but what appeared to be an afterthought: eBay's announcement that it was eliminating payment via checks and money orders and shifting all electronic transactions through PayPal.

This announcement, little more than a footnote, is the real story about eBay this week. Amazon aside, this is eBay's actual new business strategy. And as Pierre Omidyar understood far better than me that day in the parking lot, eBay is a very flexible and adaptive company name. It even holds up well against, say, VISA and MasterCard …

TAD'S TAB: "Today Is the Day" is a delightfully strange Web comic, told in 93 photographs, about a foam rubber person. It's a complex story about disintegration and rebirth, yet uses less than a dozen words. Oddly compelling, it is definitely something to see. Check it out at http://istheday.blogspot.com/

This is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Michael S. Malone is one of the nation's best-known technology writers. He has covered Silicon Valley and high-tech for more than 25 years, beginning with the San Jose Mercury News as the nation's first daily high-tech reporter. His articles and editorials have appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, the Economist and Fortune, and for two years he was a columnist for The New York Times. He was editor of Forbes ASAP, the world's largest-circulation business-tech magazine, at the height of the dot-com boom. Malone is the author or co-author of a dozen books, notably the best-selling "Virtual Corporation." Malone has also hosted three public television interview series, and most recently co-produced the celebrated PBS miniseries on social entrepreneurs, "The New Heroes." He has been the ABCNews.com "Silicon Insider" columnist since 2000.

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