Consumerium:FAQ

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This needs to be broken into a Consumerium:Consumer FAQ, a Consumerium:Researcher FAQ, and Consumerium:Developer FAQ eventually.

FAQ
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Place your question on top. When it is anwsered it will be moved to the proper category. Avoid empty linking when writing anwsers in the FAQ.

Q: Why is there no functioning prototype Research Wiki

A: Consumerpedia intended to be a prototype for our research wiki, but the project stalled due to ad hominem a priori banning of users. CorpKnowPedia is operational and is correcting information about corporations. Also licensing questions are open yet as is wiki governance. Research Wiki will be placed in http://research.consumerium.org

Q: How long do we have to wait for the Publish Wiki and how it will be governed with no Sysopism?

A: Publish Wiki will be launched in English for starters after the multilingual, unified Research Wiki has covers some area well enough to be called comprehensive. Publish Wiki will be placed in http://publish.consumerium.org

Q: What is a Wiki?

A: Wiki is an hypertext system where anyone can edit any page easily and make it immediately visible to others just by saving. You can learn how to edit articles in less then 10 minutes at the official users guide to editing a page using this mediawiki software, which obeys (and more or less defines) the de facto wikitext standard.

Q: What is GFDL?

A: GFDL stands for GNU Free Documentation License. All material here is Licensed under GFDL, so it's free and will stay that way forever, as will improvements or extensions to it. Click here to view to license.

To comply with the source-text access here is a link to the MySQL dump where you can load cur and old tables of the database. The schema used is that of sub-1.0 MediaWiki that is to say old Phase III.


Q: Is there an equivalent of the help desk to ask general questions about products etc?

A: Our Research Wiki will eventually allow Consumerium Service access directly to do this. For now, no, due to our policy of What Consumerium RD Wiki is not we don't have actual content about products and Service cycles yet. Check out our Links page for links to some good resources.

Q: Why should I think this project will work?

A: Because many global NGOs with long experience in moral purchasing have proposed or launched similar efforts, usually as shorter-term boycott efforts. Such projects were instrumental in ending the apartheid regime in South Africa, for instance. More recently, Greenpeace activists discussed 'personal moral purchasing rules' and systems to support them including collecting Universal Product Codes of offending products. Given the experience of the organizations that support and organize such efforts, it may be more appropriate to ask "what makes you think this project would not work?"

Q: What is the scope of the Consumerium project?

A: The goal of the Consumerium project, in a nutshell, is to increase power of the consumer in market economy. This goal is achieved by developing an information gathering, storage and transporting infrastructure that delievers all available information to support consumer decisions - with just a touch of a button, and gives to the consumer the ability to give feedback, even to the other side of the world - with just a few touches of buttons. All this must be offered to the consumer free of charge. Ideally it would invoke criteria from trusted mediators, e.g. Non-Governmental Organizations, e.g. Greenpeace, where a suggestion of how to do this was debated extensively in June of 2002.

Q: That's not saying much. Can you be more concrete?

A: Sure, go check out the planned Features and the healthy signal infrastructure that is already evolving to support this and related services.

Q: Why Consumerium?

A: The Motivation.

Q: I want to contribute. How do I do that?

A: If you're not coming here from Wikipedia you should go and see w:How to edit a page to learn how to edit pages in under 10 minutes. Please do come back though, and add interesting Wikipedia articles you find to Research. You can of course edit any page you want here, or even create a new one. We are not so crowded as Wikipedia, and so we can be more relaxed.

Q: This seems a little poorly organised?

A: That's true, we pretty much make it up as we go along. There are different Stages charted out though. We are currently somewhere between stages I and II. There's also a glossary which might help you see how things fit together. Like most moral purchasing we are growing from "bottom up".

Q: Who's the founder of this project?

A: The founder is Juxo, who is also Lowest Troll.

Q: Who will run this complex project once it starts?

A: We simply don't know, the structure of the Consumerium Governance Organization and an independent board for it, and what software development concepts ought to be applied, what licenses, what wiki code and mobile device code, etc, are all being researched right here right now.
We have some general ideas about democracy and staying troll-friendly, since all people who criticize corporations are basically trolls from someone's POV.

Q: Who are the other people writing?

A: Some elves and some trolls, who are people too. Chimps are now also people too (in Genus Homo)! Don't be too concerned about "who" here, if you see something you disagree with, just change it. We don't need credentials for research, though we might need them to certify things said about companies.

Q: Will every element of this be free software?

Not necessarily. Free software and open source models have problems. A Consumerium Governance Organization may develop or aggregate "non-free" software to assist in the compilation and validation of information to guide purchasing. For integrity reasons and to prevent bad copies and misleading competitors, this may require a more specific Consumerium License regime. We reserve the right to use your contribution to achieve the general goals of Consumerium. Discussions remain GFDL so that a different implementation on the same design could be, conceivably, created as "pure" free software for those ideologues who want it.

Q: What exactly will this look like to me as an end user?

A: Here's our best current guess:
Our front end will be seen by the end user as a red/yellow/green light traffic-type signal, or as a score easily translated into a price premium, or as a note in Simple English about issues with, or merits of, the product. Release of this advice is keyed to bar codes.

Q: How will this data be updated to the users' device?

A:There are several ways to connect back to front end: we may rely on frequently updated data embedded in hand-held devices, and/or dynamic retrieval via short-range wireless to the shelf front. Where possible, reasons for making buying decisions, or refusing a certain product, will go as feedback to the producers.

Q: How will this data be kept accurate?

A:Our back end relies on opinion wiki comments compiled by software using a wikitext standard. Semantic link standards may be required also. To work out the conventions and issues involved, we are working through a wiki in the R&D phase.