Archive for the ‘Open Business’ Category

back from burningman

Friday, September 11th, 2009

And I have much to think about…

The biggest issue is me needing to be a bit more heads down for some of my work. it is an issue of priorities… and time…

I have been doing way too much, for way too long, for way too little money. It is simply not sustainable.

I thought long and hard about what matters most to me and what my CORE goals are…

It is hard to leave something I have worked so hard on for 5 years. But it is time to retire the Transparent Federal Budget and to rethink the role of the League of Technical Voters.

I think the time is now for the OurOpenBank. It is going to mean a drastic change for my work/social sphere. And I have to get up to speed on some topics I never really thought I would study. But it is important and my new priority. I have seen way too many signs of the dangers up head.

Just like when I saw how to run political campaigns in 94, MMOs in 98, and transparent govt in 04. It is time. Mutual ownership of data is the next thing and the only way to have true control over an ever changing fractionated identity.

I believe an open bank is the best way to go about this.

I know this will disappoint some people and I am sorry. But I am not sad that I have worked on these projects for the past 5 yrs and I did change the way some very important people saw possibilites. I mean when I started everyone told me I was nuts and yet I was able to reach and exchange ideas with some amazing minds.

I am not stopping on my mission to make the world a better place. I simply feel like for a time I got caught in the details without remembering the fundamental reason I started doing Transparent Government is the first place.

I started because of concern for the individual’s pursuit of happiness. I started because of my concerns of loss of privacy and social structures. I started because I perceived a dangerous inequality. This is a continuation of that story. It is more linear than just the concept of “government” this is going to hit people where it hurts the most – money.

I will start again here.


podcast w Phil Windley from is up

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Phil gets me to talk about steps 4 and 5 for the openbank as well!

And jokes about this week being @silona week at itconversations :-)

now just need to write up both my posts for O’Reilly Radar! and then no geek alive can miss seeing my picture on the two topics of Citability and OpenBanking!

also some reference links from things I talk about…

and I guess I should put something up at and .org since I own them but not yet I think… I will make them point here for now.


How to save the world in 3 easy steps

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

This is the 10 year plan I created in 2004

1) transparent govt
2) transparent business
3) introduce checks and balances in behavior
and create legal constructs when social norms fail

I started on all this because I am “Silona Bonewald” the only one in the world and I am a database geek. So I realized with the nature of things as they become electronic – privacy thru obscurity is gone. We needed a new (might I say better) type of checks and balances. And decided to start making govt and businesses more transparent.

When I started I didn’t talk much about business – everyone thought I was crazy enough in regards to govt. But now with the crash and such… I am not looking as crazy.

This is why I do allllll the crazy projects I do…
this is my theme!


Mutual ownership of data – B2B B2C P2P O2O O2P

Monday, June 15th, 2009

So how did I get here?  this concept of mutual ownership of data.  To be honest I did not get there from the perspective of the individual.  I got here because I wanted to figure out how to create a mesh of social nets so that I could have multiple personas.

The big piece is getting groups that control the Social nets to share the data.  I had to create something so that competitive groups would share data.  That is when I realized

business 2 business

org 2 org

business 2 client

and org 2 patron and even person to person

were all the same issue.  Setting up a TRUST relationship and keeping that balanced.  To do that mutual ownership must be acknowledged then maybe we can begin to negotiate what might be an equivalent relationship to create that trust.

Trusting without recourse… isn’t very smart in business though as people we do it naturally (and I think it is why we are losing our data left and right and suffering the advertising overload consequences.)  good fences make good neighborhoods.  good contracts make good business partners just by SETTING EXPECTATIONS.

I honestly believe that a mesh of Federating Social Nets cannot exist without this mutual ownership of data.  How else do we get Businesses and organization to share data?

Mike Neuenschwander wrote an awesome blog post about the equivalence issue – and explains it better than I in business terminology.

He calls it the law of relational symmetry.  I should state here too that one of my top five movies is “Brazil.”  Also Princess Bride, Dune (6hr version NOT TV), Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and The Fifth Element.  But that did not bias me to his article :-)

Sometimes I am upset that we do not learn to barter in this country.  I think this aspect of figuring out the relational symmetry of ownership of data would be more intuitive if we realized – Data is money therefore negiogate cash for its release!


Relative Reputation

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

firstoff – Reputation what is it?  and how do we as computer geeks – replicate it?

Wikipedia says basically – “Social evaluation of the public towards something used for social control”

What does this mean?  Well the main part that most in the tech industry seem to forget is that the “public” decides what your reputation is.  It is not a statistical average but instead a matrix of social interactions on a one to one level…  it is relative to your own set of criteria.  For example a cynic may have a very different base rating as an optimist.

I decide if you are “good at” dancing.  Now you might be an overall “okay” dancer but with me something special happens and you become a “better than okay” dancer.  I have a reputations as a “very good” follow.  So when I say that you are “good” rather than “okay” several follows will reevaluate your skills but in context of ME saying it.

If I regularly find leads to be better or if I have a different dancing style,  the other follower or followers may discount my rating.

So social does not simply mean an mathematical average.

It is specific to an instance in time with many factors.

I suppose to go back farther into what is reputation we have to look at trust

1) how one feels that day

2) your expertise on a specific topic

3) mine expertise on a specific topic

4) my belief in your expertise

oh and remember you do not OWN your reputation – the community does.  And the Community owns the data that creates your reputation too.  So you have an advantage in being transparent… but you give up ownership.

I find these days it is pretty rare when anyone actually “OWNS” their data.  Most things are built on work of others…  Sometimes I don’t even realize I am doing or thinking something emergent or derivative.

And friendship and reputation are created from the interactions btn at least 2 people.  Both of those people own that “child” that is the relationship or statement of friendship.  Facebook doesn’t…  Facebook owns the behaviors it monitors (oh and trust me they are monitoring else de be fools.)

oh well noodle noodle…


quantifying evil

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Can you quantify evil or corruption?  is it an absolute number?  can it be a singular metric?

ummm no it can’t

we all have different values and perspectives.

What we might be able to do is quantify based on information given the chance or percentage you might think something or someone is corrupt or evil.

But really… this all come down to time and transparency.  If we give all the information and if you have the time/intellect does our stuff seem right to you?

or you could trust “experts” and perhaps also be “corrupted” by influence…

The reality of that transparency without “expertise” is actually useless and a form of overload.  For it to be useful, it must be interpreted… that means bias.  I prefer to know where my bias comes from.  I trust in bias :-)

I find it interesting in so many groups currently the end goal is transparency.  And for me transparency is simply a neccessary description of a process.  I do not find it to be good or evil simply necessary.

Why I decided to do Open Source code was not a question of morality.  It is a practical question.  If you want me to trust your code, I want to see it.  I want to know I have the ability to fix your mistake (even if honestly I might not be smart enough.)

The other business models out there are not “evil.”  They are what they are.  I just think with today’s online toolset and ability to crowdsource; they are outdated.  They require a different kind of trust.  That trust is “I paid you money I expect your software to work. ”  There is no evil there.  There is no evil in bartering.  You can walk away from a deal.  You can choose not to use a product.

evil I believe lies in purposeful deception…  and then um yea…


Microsoft’s outdated business model and how they can redeem themselves

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

So I was talking the other day to Mark Hindsbo, the GM of Evangelists at Microsoft. He was basically wanted to talk about healing rifts with the OpenSource community. I was a bit blunt and brutal (but in a gentle way :-))

I said it is impossible for the OSS or FOSS communities to ever believe MS. I said the OSS shouldn’t and that MS should quit trying. The MS business model is broken in regards to OSS. The only way to change that trust is to change the business model.

The way to do that is focus on services. But maybe not services the way the FOSS community does…

I said if MS wants redemption it should look to the clouds…

hehehe or “the cloud.” One thing MS has always respected is the automony of its business clients and developers. I mean that is the point for such products as Small Business Server. Business clients are responsible for their own data and can act autonomously. This is NOT a stretch for people to believe in when it comes to MS’s reputation.

With the cloud’s current state, Data/autonomy is being taken away from people and businesses. Years ago I registered the URL when I realized this was happening.  Though understand,  I have a gmail address. I am as guilty as the rest. But, at least I understand the tradeoff of convenience to secrecy.

So what can MS do? instead of Open Source… they should give people back their data. On MS cloud, Azure, they should do it right. Charge for services. Encrypt the data so the Feds can’t raid MS to get YOUR company/ind data.

and here is the BIGGIE


Let people SEE the data can be gathered and decide if they want to SELL it back to you for “free” services. This will KILL google. When people realize the scary psychometric data being gathered and presented back to them ESP companies… I think they will find it worth while to pay for services.

I mean most companies don’t even realize that they void NDAs when using gmail addresses. Make that transparent to them. Create accountability.
This isn’t just about security… it is about another form of transparency and that is about data.

People as a whole don’t care about code… they care about themselves and their data is a reflection of that.

yea… sometimes I’m evil. But they loved me at the Microsoft VIP party at SXSW.

At the very least we will be able to check the anonymizing functions the data is being put through… and make up our own minds as to what monolith to support.

Personally this gal with a libertarian bent likes it better when the monoliths are fighting it out.


Microfinance for the US

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

So chatting w a republican friend online today…  we were discussing the new teaparties people are throwing.

I live in my own little world so I hadn’t heard of these tea parties (one reason I value the diversity of my friends.)  I as a unemployed person, I certainly understand their frustration.  And I view much of this as a failure of the system – not a political party.  I personally have a hard time associating myself with a party ever since I was burned by the democratic party in 94 and had the democratic reject my demo while the republicans stole the concepts.  Yes I ran political campaigns and such in my youth (a surprise to some :-).  I just view partisanship as something that often limits conversations.  So much is wrapped up in categorization rather than in problem solving.  but I digress…

She was speaking about how this bailout is costing us 40K person.  She was saying how much good her small business could do with that 40K.  And I realized we should be doing what Pierre Omidyar did…  And instead of all these complex structures – we should do something more basic.  Microfinance small businesses in the US.  Instead of bailing out banks that have failed us.  Bail out the individual small businesses that need those loans.  Yes there will be fraud.  But it will be on a small scale.  And it is manageable with the proper transparency style tools… like ebay perhaps?

It’s just a thought but I describe myself as a “lego builder”  and I think this idea encompasses that.  heck I am already designing in my head the online system that can track this and make it transparent to the public.

So anyone want to help me pitch this to Pierre?