INTERNET conglomerate eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) held its first analyst day in two three years yesterday — and something big happened that almost no one noticed.
For most attendees and observers, there was nothing special about the event. The analysts and journalists showed up at eBay North Townhall in San Jose, CA. The company’s executives did their presentations and the analysts asked their questions. And, as usual, the proceedings where streamed online via an audio webcast.
But for another group, I’m guessing no more than a couple hundred people, there was an entirely different dimension to the event. They were following along on the web, on the microblogging service Twitter in particular.
eBay’s own Twitter and blog coverage
It was on Twitter where eBay’s resident corporate blogger Richard Brewer-Hay kicked off the day’s back channel with his company’s new made-for-Twitter disclaimer and began relaying bite-sized snippets of information from the meeting room, which he would do for the next 6 hours.
|eBay preceded the Twitter session with this disclaimer|
Each message, or “tweet” as they are known, carried an identifying hashtag at the end — #ebayinc — allowing others on Twitter to contribute their own messages and see them aggregated on a service like Twitter Search.
In total, I counted 440 tagged messages for the event, from several different people. There were also additional messages about the event that were not tagged.
|Some of the tagged Twitter messages related to the Analyst Day.|
|Photos from the Analyst Day were uploaded to Flickr for anyone to use.|
Notable other Twitter and blog coverage
However, the standout coverage on both Twitter and via his blog came from Scot Wingo, President and CEO of ChannelAdvisor, in which eBay is one of several investors. In addition to many tweets, he posted several detailed blog posts including:
- eBay Analyst day is upon us.
- eBay Analyst day cheat sheet
- eBay Analyst day – Part I Intro and Donahoe Opening remarks.
- eBay Analyst day – Part II PayPal by Scott Thompson
- eBay Analyst day – Part III – eBay marketplaces
Ahead of the Q&A session with analysts, Wingo invited people following the event on Twitter to send him questions that he could relay via email to analysts on the floor to ask of management.
He received several questions, which he says were passed on to buy- and sell-side analysts he knows, but it’s not clear if any of them were actually put to management.
|Scot Wingo received several replies in response to this request and relayed them to analysts in the meeting room.|
Wrap-ups from eBay and Wingo
At the end of the day, both Brewer-Hay and Wingo posted wrap-ups of the event.
On the official eBay Ink blog’s news page, Brewer-Hay posted:
- a copy of the official news release put out by eBay;
- a link to the webcast replay, a PDF download containing the presentations;
- a link to download an analyst day factsheet; and,
- Links to third-party articles about the event.
|eBay’s blog has a News page where all the Analyst Day materials were posted.|
On his eBay Strategies blog, Wingo posted an excellent eBay Analyst Day news roundup late in the evening summing up the coverage from various media sources and highlighting comments from analysts and eBay executives, to which he added his own insightful commentary.
And the IR website?
The thing that struck me most about the day is how irrelevant eBay’s traditional IR website was in all of the coverage.
As I write this, the webcast replay is there, but not on the IR homepage. You have to go looking for it. And when you find it, the presentations are not posted, unlike on the blog.
Also unlike the blog, there’s no link to the news release and no access to the third-party media coverage, all of which is perfectly doable on an IR website.
|eBay’sIR website is almost irrelevant as a source for Analyst Day information|
Sure, you might be thinking, that’s just your opinion, and anyone who really matters will be using eBay’s IR website rather than the blog and Twitter.
And you know, I thought that myself until I found the following message posted to Twitter while researching this post:
|And why isn’t he pointing to eBay’s almost irrelevant traditional IR website?|
Who is Scott Kessler? Well, according to his LinkedIn profile, he is Senior Director of Tech Sector Research, Internet Equity Analyst at Standard & Poor’s.
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