Transparent Consumerium

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This is speculative. It is about a totally Transparent Consumerium.

Yes, Consumerium is already quite open and quite transparent. But not totally so. It's worth examining the requirements of m:total transparency:

  • Server logs would not only be visible to all, but, tools to make sense of them would be provided, and server statistics that reveal interest in pages, and relationship between browsing and editing, must also be provided. The Holy Grail of transparency is to see the full Markov chain of events from any angle. This is what net advertising servers are good at tracking, and good money is paid for it. Even when applied to a nonprofit project like the Wikipedia, it would be valuable to see which articles were leading most frequently to reading of other articles. See essential projects - which would benefit from authors/editors who actually knew the readers browsing path?
  • When point of purchase queries are being handled by a network of servers, these must compile their "hits" into a single server log that will tell us somehow what influence the system is having on buying. That too should be public, so we can leverage the actual impact with greater potential impact. If some company is losing sales due to us, and can see that, they can respond much more rapidly to false information. If we provide that data free to anyone, no liability for publishing it can accrue - it's their fault for not checking.
  • All watchlists and perhaps internal social network and contact network listings would be public - anyone could inspect interconnections and interaction and interests - call these the three ins. Of course one can always use external networks Consumerium can't see. Unless it retains opaque control over for instance the ability to contact someone else via the system - requiring anonymity or constantly changing userids or something. However this could be defeated by people simply swapping some more stable userid via the system. A dating service is a good prototype of how this happens - in general control can only be kept over rendezvous for those who do not yet trust each other.

Separating trust decisions from technical decisions is one advantage of this transparency exercise. So is having clearer requirements for mediawiki, which may or may not still be in use by the time the live system starts up.