What are offerbots?
The solution in 4 paragraphs
In the context of the problem, our goal is to give people their own source of external offer processing so that we no longer need the external offer processing provided (and distorted) by aggregators.
Offers are just information. We can use information processing technology (the web, databases, schema, etc.) to share offers with each other and then filter and display them as we see fit. If we provide people with a tool to process offers, we can stop paying for human attention (which is scarce, expensive and used by aggregators to take our money, efficiency and opportunities) and start paying for information processing (which is abundant and cheap).
The solution, then, is an offerbot – a federated, distributed, personal and open-source tool for generalized offer processing. It will allow individuals and organizations to make and receive any offer and filter, process and display them however they see fit, giving them (rather than aggregators) control over the offers they receive. Once we have offerbots we won’t need to use aggregators’ search engines, social networks or commerce platforms – we will create our own.
Convincing people to participate in a distributed network of offerbots from scratch, however, is almost impossible. An intermediate solution is to create a centralized offer processing system which is neutral and does not exclude any party on the basis of their ability or willingness to pay. This will create a supply of offers, income to build offerbots and demand for offerbots themselves.
The solution in detail
The best way to understand the solution is to read these articles, (noting that, relative to the problem side, these articles are underdeveloped and most are unfinished):
|The Offerbots Concept||What are offerbots?|
|The Purpose of Offerbots*||What must offerbots be able to do?|
|Offerbot Data Structure*||What information does an offerbot store?|
|Offerbot APIs*||How do offerbots interact with each other (and us)?|
|The Offerbots Project*||What is the purpose of this project (and how can I help)?|
|Challenges||What are the hard parts of the offerbots project?|
|Consquences*||What might happen if we adopt offerbots?|
2. (Andrew Mackie) to offer help or discuss the project.