And From Knowledge, We Get Power!
We expect to be able to find peer ratings and reviews for jobs, employers, products, and services on the Internet. These ratings and reviews empower ordinary people relative to owners and managers of corporations and other institutions.
But most rating and review systems are run by people with corporate and other institutional interests. These systems are like privately owned and operated 18th century toll bridges, better than nothing, but of uncertain construction (Face Book & Google), with ulterior motives (Glass Door), and built for and dedicated to profit (Yelp).
Face Book’s and Google’s logic and algorithms are proprietary, secret, designed to monetize your life. Glass Door is dedicated to helping employers to find employees. And Yelp has been accused of removing negative reviews for advertising dollars.
People who rate and write reviews are taking the time and effort to inform the rest of us about their experience and the value that they did or did not receive. They are helping us to get power from knowledge.
We propose the creation of a system for standardized and fair ratings and reviews, built with open and free software, without hidden agendas. Users will be able to be anonymous, and we will integrate relevant writings and media with the possibility of taking further action (from anonymous complaint to coordinated action).
We will start small and grow based upon your support.
We need your ideas and other forms of help. Here are some questions we are currently considering:
Job sites focus on helping employers to recruit. To attract potential employees, they allow limited rating and review functionality, which includes “pro” as well as “con” job features.
Question 1: Should Says-Us include pros as well as cons in reviews?
“Collaborative management”, rarely identified, has leaders who listen to employees and who engage in dialogue to discover best solutions and practices.
Question 2: Should Says-Us give a focus on collaborative vs authoritarian practices?
A great job, with good leadership, can produce poor product, or product that is socially destructive. For example, Monsanto employees may be happy as employees, but producing Round Up is killing the earth.
Question 3: We want participation of consumers as well as producers of goods and services. Should Says-Us ask about usefulness and quality of product as well as job quality?
This is a site for a site!
On this site, I advocate for the creation of a web site which I am calling, for now, saysus.net (says-us).
Says-us would be a not-for-profit site where people could write reviews / complaints about companies, landlords, schools, managers, hospitals, non-profits, for-profits, and institutions and organizations of all types.
Reviews could be about the whole institution, or about a particular boss, manager, rental agent, principal, mayor, etc.
The site could be searched by organization, location, type of organization, existing ratings, actions already taken, and more.
Types of complaints could be categorized, and remedies and actions could be suggested, with links to appropriate individuals and organizations.