Talk:Main Page

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Hi! Is the Consumerium software still being developed? The service seems rather unhelpful right now (i.e. it's all links to internal Consumerium documentation).

That's because this is just a prototype Research Wiki with some Development Wiki functions right now. Which used to be better explained on that main page (see below for the older text which explained it thoroughly, perahps just a bit of that text needs to go back on the main page).

I guess if it were up to me, I'd make no mods to the software at present, and instead make a document saying:

  • Consumerium standard wiki format:
    • Consensus - Summarizes majority user opinions, with documented sources.
    • Criticisms of X - Arguments against product/company.
    • Praise for X - Arguments for product/company.

Then let users fill in content and watch Consumerium explode like a nuclear chain reaction. That's what I suggest. -- Connelly Barnes

Call this a Consumerium:intermediate page format because it will be sucked in by other non-wiki (or at least non-mediawiki) software to generate the Consumerium buying signal. Metaweb uses the terminology 'intermediate page format' and perhaps we can use what they eventually use, to suck it in and manipulate it.
This is an interesting simplification from the previous and should be investigated. As noted in Consumerium:Retrospection we have drifted steadily from strong checking in data-entry and automatic aggregation of information to ongoing peer-review and lot's of manual checking and compositing. --Juxo 11:10, 1 Mar 2004 (EET)

This is all too complicated for me as a mere mortal. I guess a wysiwyg editor would be asking too much (htmlarea). But I wanted to mention there would seem to be a great tie-in to http://www.hon.ch/Project/HONProjectsPIPS.html, a major project to link health information with a handy consumer experience. There are a number of ongoing projects to create infrastructure, which by leveradging (free/open source) or parallelling might get consumerium off the ground in a useful way.


The intro essay is the only thing that makes sense on this page.

So, of course, sysops delete it, and trolls restore it.

Thankfully it contains links to all the good starting points. So maybe what's needed is just to divide up by advocate, developer, designer roles? So that we figure out what people can do for Consumerium, and send them to the right place?

hmmh. hmmh. Thanks. True. Aren't developer and designer the same thing in practice? Shouldn't that be the other way around?
They're the same only in bad practice. Three different roles. The advocate figures out what's important, the developer responds in code, the designer responds in design and changes to the user model.
Why should the person who chooses the words "Main Page, Recent changes, View discussion", layout and other aspects of the user interface be the same as the person hacking the code? In general the two skill sets are totally different. Bad user interfaces like say TikiWiki come from setting up stupid development cycles where if you can't talk like a developer, you can't be heard about the user interface. Why do you think Microsoft rules the soft-world? Because they have Program Managers to design things and mock them up, and Project Managers to deliver them in good debugged code. There's nothing in common except the "look and feel" between the two jobs.
A good guide to how to lay out a main page for a meta type discussion like this is at http://meta.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page_style - this style is expressed for Meta-Wikipedia in http://meta.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page_Neutral which is sort of the "users' main page". A Main Page *HAS TO* give a concrete and specific understanding of a project, and it *HAS TO* provide clear visible up-front links to the values and concepts of the project. Look at *ANY* non-profit organization's page. They do *NOT* open with all the wonderful technology they are going to use... or a vague mission statement. They open with very specific stories and images.

Shouldn't this be linked from the Main Page as "Consumerium Services" or something?

Doing it. Will include ALL of what's below in a detailed essay, and after that, will summarize to the Main Page to keep the intro to three paragraphs with specific stories and images and an idea of "what you will see and hold in your hand"

Brief Introduction to The Concept of Consumerium

From the consumption perspective Consumerium is about enabling a shift from affective buying behaviour based on illusions to affective buying behaviour based on information on the social and environmental impacts of the production and naturally the perceived quality of the product.

We hope to achieve this by building two, consumer accessible, complementary facilities:

  • The Content Wiki where we hope people will build an abundance of neutral information about products and their production processes and all involved factors. The integrity of this information will be negotiated and upheld by peer review in a similar manner as in Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia and furthermore by maintaining a backend data storage called The Consumerium Vault which mostly validates the existance or non-existance of things the articles in The Content Wiki claim to refer to. The goal of the Content Wiki is to be objective.
  • The Consumerium Exchange or The Opinion Wiki - Where strictly formed datastructures are used to record, archive and enable the aggregation of information on the popularity of different opinions, mostly in the form of competing campaigns on issues related to production and consumption. The Consumerium Exchange is very rigid internally, but the view it provides to consumers and producers alike is very fluid and based on ones subjective preferences.

Both of these facilities will be accessible through the Internet, but we hope to work together with the retailers of the world, who seek an competitive advantage by providing a better shopping experience for their clients, to bring access to the shelf front via short-range wireless connections, optimally Bluetooth, for zero cost to the consumer.

"Bluetooth" is not "zero cost". It costs money to buy hardware and more money to keep it up to date. Also wireless services usually cost money. The cheapest devices to do this would certainly not be Bluetooth but dumber analog FM or other RF devices. Don't "Require" hardware that isn't required.
Well the original concept was rather technology-centered and I can see your point in your argument but looking at it from where I stand bluetooth is a very essential technology because it allows anonymous (from v1.2 on) and secure access to information resources in close physical range which of course is a terribly essential thing. I mean that consumerium isn't worth building at all if the consumer as a human can't be protected from things like company, corporation, advertisement agency or algorithms made by any of the previous or whatever other no body

...to be continued...


It is one of several essential projects that will make moral purchasing a daily reality. Consumerium focuses this moral purchasing power.

Advice will probably 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. All rely on opinion wiki comments compiled by software using a wikitext standard. Semantic link standards may be required also.

In any case, the release of this advice is keyed to bar codes, and 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. This will enhance the consumer experience, advance product development and keep this planet as hospitable as possible for human and other natural life.

The alternative, of course, is for us all to be blissfully ignorant.


Here's a summary of anticipated Consumerium Services:

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.
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.
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.

This is that wiki. We invite you to participate by editing proposals and discussions below. Any page can be edited by anyone, or restored to a previous state by anyone, which is the convention we assume will also apply in operation:


humm. It's better now imho. Juxo 23:58, 14 Dec 2003 (EET)

Thanks. The Consumerium FAQ could use an update maybe, but the questions answered on the front page are the ones that give the clearest legal and physical and trust relationship picture of what we've talked about - the ones that most people will tend to ask up front, suspicious about "who controls this" and "what will this look like?" It really pays to filter out people who care more about "Free software purity" or "gaining status by pleasing powerful people". The Main Page should be simple enough that you can read it, agree or disagree, respond emotionally quite favourably or not, and move on if you have doubts. A good front page is something you can tell in about two minutes if you want to participate, or not.
http://www.metaweb.com is a good example of this kind of front page. We might work with them on wiki style issues, they have done a pretty good job especially with their intermediate page format.



There's some interesting data at "the Executive Paywatch system" http://www.aflcio.org/corporateamerica/paywatch/ceou/database.cfm that might be relevant to consumers.


I find this front page absolutely overwhelming. All of your ideas re: signals in supermarkets are cool, but, frankly, when I arrived here, I hoped I could just find a list of companies, and quickly research whether, if I buy sneakers from Adidas, will I be supporting child slavery, etc.

Basically you want to browse the Research Wiki/Opinion Wiki which does not exist yet. Right now the Development Wiki is serving multiple purposes, but it serves those pretty well. Abstract language like Consumerium buying signal and terminal device is quite necessary for development purposes, but you are right, the ordinary user shouldn't see it.

I'm new and don't want to step on toes by editing the main page, esp. if I have a different vision of what this should be. Do you mind if I give it a go and you can revert? Or should I discuss this somewhere else? DanKeshet 22:08, 10 Mar 2004 (EET)

We welcome trolls and encourage the New Troll point of view. So please be bold. But keep scope in mind. As one troll to another, we ask you please do not edit the Main Page of the Development Wiki to focus on end user concerns. Its purpose is not to serve such end users.
What you're asking for should be at http://consumerium.org itself - the REAL front page. The user generally doesn't want to become a wiki contributor to look up information such as you note. Right now all that is there is an ad for Wikipedia that assumes you already know what a "wiki" is, etc., which drives away most users. It MUST change, and it MUST change quickly - it's driving people away. So if you want to prototype an HTML page for http://consumerium.org that would be very very welcome. There's some comment on this at What Consumerium needs and that's the best place to discuss it.
As for this page, we are still trying to find people who share the development goals, and don't have enough. If you think it can lay out the overall problem better, go ahead, but we really don't have a separate Signal Wiki (for signals we are sending out officially) or Research Wiki (for views we are compiling) yet, which is what you would want to be looking at. And which just doesn't exist yet, we have few Consumerium:intermediate pages even, and no format for most of them. We're working on it. Please help us.
You are quite right that Main Page style is lacking but there are three different groups to serve, so there must be a Main Page User, Main Page Researcher and a Main Page Developer, and also a Main Page Troll possibly for those concerns that are being consistently bounced off those pages.
Notice at Meta-Wikipedia, a similar situation, you have a main page that is basically for developers and frequent contributors, and to find the stuff of general interest there's a subpage Main Page Neutral (neutral as to the interests it serves). And a fair bit of troll discourse as well, though the sysop power structure tries to suppress it and censor anything that questions their so-called "virtual community". We aren't doing that, and believe a troll-friendly approach (as also practiced at Recyclopedia and Metaweb) is going to work better to bring under-reported views to light.



Is there an easy way to link to recyclopedia? Something like rec:corporation?

See interwiki link standard, the link would be [[en:recyclopedia:corporation]] when that's implemented. Which it isn't, yet.

The MediaWiki this wiki is using is now updated to 1.3.5 and everything seems to be working. Pls report any problems / changes in behaviour --Juxo 18:36, 8 Oct 2004 (EEST)


The MediaWiki this wiki is using is now updated to 1.3.7 and everything seems to be working. Pls report any problems / changes in behaviour --Juxo 23:35, 20 Oct 2004 (EEST)


Perhaps it is necessary to Consumerium:protect page this one (Main Page) to prevent spam from discouraging newcomers. If they see there is stuff here, they will click around and find non-spam to read. If they see only spam at the main page they will rightly conclude that the Lowest Troll is not doing his or her duty.



Another offshoot of Wikipedia, eh? Sure are a lot of those. JarlaxleArtemis 10:44, 1 Jul 2005 (GMT)


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