About WikiProduct

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Wiki is a platform for widespread democratic participation in the development of products and services that could reach far beyond the present parameters of Wikimedia. Today, the Wiki platform is employed in the creation of products including news, books and information sources. The same principles that govern the creation of these products could be employed to develop many other consumer goods and services. For example, one could imagine a site called "WikiProducts," in which participants design, create, and distribute origional products. This would be the full realization of projects such as the Wikipedia t-shirt concept. In Wikiproducts, a product would be designed by millions of independent users who, regardless of background or documented qualification, could contribute to the specifications. This would be the same concept as Wikimedia productions and open source computer programs, only the product would eventually, by vote of the designers, be created in a factory and distributed worldwide, with capital lent by the creators, banks, or forward thinking credit unions. The profits would be distributed to the designers in a way determined by their agreement, probably by some sort of majority vote, with particular weight given to individuals who had contributed the most time or the most pivitol ideas. This system could begin with simple products, such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, pens, etc. which would be purchased by consumers merely to support the endevor, but later progress to more complex consumer goods and services, such as software, electronics, prescription drugs, think tanks, accounting companies, etc. Advantages of this system include: everyone's valuble ideas being realized in production, the creation of only goods and services actually desired by consumers, a decrease in advertisment and the participation of everyone, whether a self-taught teenager in Nigeria or an eminent scientist with a full research lab in Sweden, in the creation and management of a company which would benefit them with real profits. Potential probems include vandalism, problems with tax-structure, maldistribution of profits, safety concerns with products, and regulatory issues. The project, with much development and checks, could become as popular as wikipedia, and could usher in a new era of economic participation.

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