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PubWan (http://www.geocities.com/n8chz/) is something LorraineLee has been shamelessly plugging for a couple of years now. Originally, PubWan was meant to be a "public WAN" (see http://www.brightidea.com/ob_view_idea.asp?idea_id={CA337CF7-8040-11D4-9F8D-00A0C932F0D2}&bucket_id=), sort of like the PreWebInternet?. As time went on, LorraineLee realized that much is already being done in this area, and started plugging PubWan with an emphasis on its applications to database technology. It is LorraineLee's belief that interesting consequences can be realized by society if there is widespread sharing and aggregation [1] of MachineReadable? data by consumers, for use by consumers. Think KnowledgeDiscovery? meets ConsumerEducation?. One goal of pubwan is a far more intelligent consumer than exists today.

So far, PubWan has attracted very little interest. Perhaps it never will. Pubwan, like everything else in the open systems movement, is a vain effort at defiance to permanent features of the Universe, such as the TanstaaflPrinciple?, the TragedyOfTheCommons, and the fact that information doesn't want to be free.

Implementing PubWan will require overcoming some very real barriers...

These barriers have been overcome by similar projects, so there seems to be no reason to quit promoting PubWan yet. If the amount of PubWan activity reaches a CriticalMass?, PubWan will probably accomplish interesting things. In that event, the challenging thing will be preventing the evolution of PubWan into some kind of institution.

Lori, I have been mulling this idea over for a while and think it is an interesting problem to solve. . . This is a site that is somewhat similar, correct? [Gas Prices]?

I see only two hurdles. One is the technical aspect of building a public WAN. For that, I personally would rather see something like the guerilla WirelessNetworks because I'd prefer information where I need it as I need it. The other aspect is the social problem, which is what Meatball is working on, so I don't think that's much of a problem. -- SunirShah

While [LorraineLee I] originally had in mind a WAN, I later got more interested in consumer transparency, and more database than netwprk issues. I still say pubwan because it sounds cute. Like a gas price website, a need is expressed for a "transparency engine", or "aggregator" of empirical information about the consumer marketplace. The big barrier is social, RecruitingVOlunteers? to do DataEntry. Hopefully automated data capture can also be found that will not tie a consumer's hands re. RAW MachineReadable? data.
new pubwan wiki http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Pubwan


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