[LINK] Grocery Choice - what's the problem?
sylvano at gnomon.com.au
Wed Jul 1 00:03:02 AEST 2009
On Tuesday 30 June 2009, Craig Sanders wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 09:54:38PM +1000, Sylvano wrote:
> > We kind of don't need government, choice or the retailers to keep
> > track of the pricing of things.
> actually, government and legislation ARE essential - without them, if
> any service like the snaptell one you mention ever became a significant
> factor in the marketplace, it would be astro-turfed into irrelevance.
I take your point, though I did only say that a user generated price
comparison internet based utility was something to *consider*. And it comes
off the back of the particular observation, as I mentioned, of a market
research service that does in fact operate that gathers detailed product
pricing info from regular people as part of a market research panel.
And that service is an example of something that exists, which does not
require government or legislation - or retailers - to achieve it's aim.
The consideration of "the option of people uploading info to an online price
sharing web site" *is* a compelling one, for that very reason that it's not
reliant on government or retailers.
But there are issues to face, of which there was the one you raised, being
astro-turfing. Particularly where "those with deep enough pockets or by
skilled memetic engineers" can subvert a crowd-sourced info site. But I have
to admit that I'm not at all clear on how government or legislation would
helpful toward stopping that kind of thing. [Net Filters Stop Porn, Net
Filters Stop Porn, Net Filters Stop Porn...]
By comparison, the actions of the users themselves to provide a corrective to
the input of "bad data," whether in the context of Amazon reviews, wikipedia
entries or whatever, is difficult to ignore.
Anyway, I was thinking more of the kind of issue that David Boxall raised:
"People are fickle. They get bored. How long does the crowd continue to
provide information? My guess is that the flow of data quickly dwindles to a
trickle. Something more substantial and more durable is needed."
Compared to this challenge, the technical matters and dealing with malevolent
forces is relatively simple.
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