Peter Cashmore at Mashable reviewed super-fast-growing new social network Zebo yesterday and stopped just short of calling their acquisition of four million users in one week sinister. It's certainly inexplicably rapid.
I proposed in June that sooner or later a site would emerge for listing everything a person owned, and that site would be the next eBay. Enter Zebo. Currently, it's "just" a social networking play. People list their possessions and hook up with other users exhibiting similar consumer preferences (and with my usual cynic's hat on I note that this is going to lead to some almost unbelievably superficial friendships and dating experiences). But the commercial value of a repository of what everyone owns is immense. Want a first edition Animal Farm (as Adrian Mole says, I had one once but some bastard called Eric Blair had scribbled in it)? Want a Maserati V8? Want a private Caribbean island? Someone somewhere's got one, and while it's not necessarilly for sale (and therefore not on eBay)...everything is for sale at the right price, and Zebo is there to take a cut. eBay's a great marketplace for things that people are actively selling. Zebo fills the gap for things they didn't even think they wanted to sell, but might for the right offer - for the passive classifieds market. That's what's really meant by "the world's online marketplace".