It has been known for at least a month that Liveworld lost their contract to provide eBay with forums and moderation services.

The forums were always hosted on an eBay sub domain at with that sub-domain routed to liveworld’s servers where the boards were fiscally located.

Apparently someone pulled the plug on liveworld’s end before eBay changed their routing table to their new provider.

Ina Steiner has a blog post about this situation here:

eBay discussion boards are down – and what’s worse, trying to access them results in a long wait followed by being redirecting to the LiveWorld website. As we reported in May, eBay cancelled its contract with LiveWorld, and since then has migrated the discussion boards in Canada to its new platform provider, Lithium, with plans to roll out the rest of the international forums in the following weeks.

eBay’s Director of Community Jeff Terrell told EcommerceBytes it was a “mutual parting” between eBay and LiveWorld, but this redirect, however unintentional and whose ever fault it may be, ultimately results in users being “hijacked” to LiveWorld.

It’s my two cents worth that the redirect is automatic and refers any 404 errors to the home page, like any well designed website. The delay is caused by the server trying to locate the eBay forum that was requested, and when it’s not found the request is forwarded to the sites home page.

It’s really quite simple. eBay is moving the boards to a provider in Canada. Either eBay’s network engineers didn’t update their routing tables to the new forums IP address (most likely situation), or Liveworld got into a squabble with eBay and pulled the plug early.

I had read somewhere that Liveworlds contract expired at the end of June.

Such is life in Corporate America i guess.. Sigh! 🙄