Vice President of Buyer Experience, Search, and Platforms/ Chief Architect of Cassini Search Engine Hugh Williams has slipped the surly bonds of eBay to touch the face of  Bob.


I had a great time at eBay, and I decided to leave after the release of 3.0 and Cassini. …[snipped maudlin portion] …  I have nothing to say yet about what I am doing next. I am taking time off with my family for now, and enjoying some downtime.”

Comedic Mass Ejections

It’s taken quite some time for the laughter to subside enough to type out a few words about Hugh Williams’ departure from ebaY, and the synchronous non-verbal admission of a failed Project Cassini along with the entire long drawn out scenario. Although hardly the only one, suffice to say I told you so,  over, and over, and over, and over

The Not So Undiscovered Country

Along the way a thing or two was discovered about the search engine, including the hidden listings test, why Cassini doesn’t support the wildcard * asterisk search: why Cassini may be more like a spyware suite with some search functions.  Also documented Cassini returning zero results on recent high profile auction listings etc.

Really, Commander?

It comes as no surprise that ebaY’s Devin Wenig does some tilt and yaw as he spins, giving a very wobbly appearance on the timetable, if not, the very crux of the situation, as he dawdles also on ‘front end’ and ‘back end’ jargon.

…So at Analyst Day, we talked a little bit about some of the things we were hoping to get out of Cassini, like, Cassini will search not just the headline of a listing but will search the body. We haven’t done any of that. Yet. So what we’ve done is we’ve swapped the old search back end Voyager to the new search backend Cassini. But the roll out – and we’re careful how fast we go because 98% of everything we sell is on the back of the search. The front end functionality is a ’14 event, it was never a ’13 event.

However, Mr. Williams very own words, along with every other reference we could find seem to contradict that:

Project Cassini at eBay Beginning tests, likely launch in 2012″

This is all very telling. A sign of a monumental failure, and the usual deception. It would be very interesting to find the total dollar amount of this massive misconstruction . By any account, ebaY’s search and finding apparatus is worse off than it was before the incessant tweaking began. A quick trip to ebaY forums (or maybe even ebaY’s last Q report) will confirm that.

It’s a blivet. ;p



Reprise maniacal laughter