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Revision as of 23:58, 30 March 2004 by (talk) (Consumerium POV on Consumerpedia)
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The Consumerpedia is a collaborative project to create a GFDL corpus resource specifically to enable moral purchasing. It will provide information that consumers need to develop strategies for engaging in moral purchasing and moral living, to evaluate the morality behind their purchases, and to locate enterprises or products they need.

It was initiated by DanKeshet and it runs MediaWiki and content is under GFDL so it can be useful as a gathering place for Company and Boycott info so that the Development Wiki can focus only on use cases that actually move us forward towards pilot projects.


Ideally, Consumerpedia would work so well that it could become the Research Wiki - pages would be XML imported to the Publish Wiki where they'd be turned into a Consumerium buying signal, get only a final touch up for legal and language/translation/simplicity concerns, and reflect the buying criteria the user wants. There'd be no work for "our own" Research Wiki to do!

This sounds wonderful, but it's a fantasy. Without more structure and extremely consistent naming, it's going to be impossible to tell which companies or products are violating what criteria. The Consumerium:intermediate pages are supposed to standardize that data in the Research Wiki. So, very likely, the best cases where we don't need it at all, aren't realistic, they're just visions worth working towards but not to be expected as an outcome.

Much more likely, Consumerpedia, Recyclopedia, Disinfopedia and Wikipedia will all serve in parallel as GFDL text corpus sources, and only limited standards will be applied in them all, hopefully based on terms and mandatory labels and comprehensive outcome names (like deforestation, slavery, ape extinction) that are already titles of articles in GFDL corpus. Deviating from such standard terms is a disaster, as, it makes it impossible to tell which buying criteria are being violated! So, it's worth every effort to keep all four major sources in line, and to work hard to translate these terms consistently into all other languages (so far, only a concern at Wikipedia)


We all seem to agree that a close relationship is desirable. Convergence is far simpler if some basic conventions are followed very early, and some essential concepts have the same names everywhere: buying criteria, comprehensive outcome, economic choice, moral purchasing, political consumerism, fair trade, safe trade, and externalities like deforestation, extinction, slavery, etc.

From Consumerpedia point of view, different GFDL corpus might well be appropriate, and they might not always converge with those of Consumerium itself. But, it's easier to track that by making sure that en: Consumerpedia: "we",en: Consumerpedia: "Policy" and en: Consumerpedia: "itself" have the usual meanings. An interwiki link standard would be handy about now!

However, they need to get off on the right foot: Gus Kouwenhoven (perhaps CIV should be high on the investigation priorities list. If after all that work you're still buying from Gus via CIV, then, Consumerpedia will just be an enemy projects that distracts and distorts the reality.


Consumerium Service access that doesn't need worn devices could all happen through Consumerpedia if they converged perfectly on definitions of some concepts:

We must at least share comprehensive outcome and economic choice and very exact descriptions of externalities is a real mistake. It's going to take work to get everyone agreeing on all that! But without it, you have no consensus about what is actually worth documenting about a company, no standard terms to use, "what links here" becomes useless, and etc.


They don't have a lot of wiki management problems yet. The above are the minimum required to achieve at least near-convergence. Other structural stuff like best cases, worst cases, user stories, etc., trolls leave to you to manage. It's probably best to avoid that structure for now - it only starts to matter once there is a very rigorous mission, that fails easily, or, far too many people involved. 'Consumerpedia isn't there.

Beware in particular if Angela gets involved. She'll kill it in ten minutes if she gets sysop status, and you will never be able to use one scrap of what's at Consumerpedia to create a Consumerium:intermediate page or ever affect a Consumerium buying signal. She is absolute poison to projects that have to work from actual user buying criteria.