Liquid Media's Apps

A former contractor of mine, Jarkko Laine has just launched the site he's been working on for the past few months: It's a social networking site that encourages people to share stories (good and bad) about companies.

I hope this project works out; in the past year I've become a pretty big fan of organic food, ethical business, etc., but I've found that people often don't have a very clear picture of the good and bad that a company does. It appears to me that a lot of people hear something and then keep repeating it, even though they've never looked into it. Rumours are perpetuated easily, and negative ones have a hard time dying. A site like this can help people collect the rumours and then either credit or discredit them.

What I really like about is that they're making a point of encouraging both good and bad comments. Getting a varied perspective will show visitors that this is a site that is really seeking to do the right thing, and not just tear down big corporations. In my opinion, success or failure for will depend on whether or not they can build the right kind of community. Fair assessments of companies will require fair people. Their membership must be willing to look at both the good and the bad of a company in order to build a fair assessment of whether the company does more good than bad. Consider the recent documentary, Wal-Mart which had very little positive to say about the company. I can't believe there's nothing good about Wal-Mart, and the absence of anything positive or constructive leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Although I can't say I have a positive opinion about Wal-Mart, I do think that I will have a very forgiving ear if I ever hear anything positive about them, especially after this very harsh documentary.

In's case, I don't see this happening just yet. The community as it stands right now doesn't seem to have an axe to grind. In fact, so far they may be erring a bit on the optimistic side. Starbucks and Wal-Mart, both of which are frequently accused of being unethical, are showing up as having net positive impacts. Although I love Starbucks coffee, I'm having trouble believing that they are as innocent as they seem considering how many rumours there are. I look forward to seeing how this site and its community develops.

Tagged dotherightthing, ethics, online communities, and starbucks.
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