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Pooling Resources for Information, Power, and Profit

Data Collectives and how they enable communities to regain power, a dumb way to use a printer, and a tool championing consumer rights

In today’s issue:

  • A look into Data Collectives and how they enable communities to regain power

  • Would you rent a printer with a cap on how many pages you can print monthly?

  • A new AI tool championing consumer rights

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Data Collectives

A data collective is a group of people or organizations that collect or purchase data to process and analyze it for a common benefit.

While this framework has lots of future potential, data collectives exist today.

Bega Valley Data Collective is a non-profit community association in Australia with a mission to provide their community access to valuable data.

You pay a yearly membership fee to join, and you get access to a library of data and insights and invites to events, workshops, and networking sessions.

They provide the collective with data purchased from 3rd parties, acting as a steward and collecting it from the community.

Using this data, they can compare their specific community to national statistics to help local decision-makers make more informed decisions.

Mixing up the definitions stated above, you can also look at data collectives as a way to pool resources and bargaining power to purchase data that would otherwise be limited to commercial entities.

Another group benefiting from data collectives is gig workers.

Gig workers have to trust the algorithm that finds them work. These apps don’t want to show you essential stats or data as it can oust their potentially unfair platform.

Collecting data and aggregating it with other workers in your city can give you the insight you need to be more efficient or make more money.

Princeton’s The Worker’s Algorithm Observatory (Great name, also formerly known as Driver’s Seat Cooperative) provides a secondary app to your rideshare app of choice that collects the data and provides insights. It will give the worker individual metrics like hourly wage and expenses and how their stats relate to other drivers in the area.

They also provide insights like the most productive time to work and which platforms are paying best.

There is much more potential for data collectives. Watch for some more ideas in future newsletters.

Further Reading:

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Interesting Reads

  • Nintendo suing makers of open-source Switch emulator Yuzu (Polygon)

  • Apple cancels plans to build an electric car (yeah, I forgot, too) (CNBC)

  • HP wants you to pay up to $36/month to rent a printer that it monitors (Ars Technica)

  • Why you shouldn’t trust product recommendations from big media publishers (HouseFresh)

  • U.S. prescription drug market in disarray as ransomware gang attacks (Axios)

Cool Finds

  • DoNotPay

    • DoNotPay uses artificial intelligence to help you fight big corporations, protect your privacy, find hidden money, and beat bureaucracy.

    • That description from their website sounds right up my alley. It has a lot it can do, from helping you negotiate a higher salary to unfreezing your crypto funds in that Binance wallet you forgot about. (Bitcoin is doing goood) It costs $36.00 every 2 months, which is odd pricing, but it may be worth the price if it can do that much. I might give this one a go, and I’ll report back if I do.

  • Summarize.ing

  • lumpysoft.com

    • Lumpysoft allows you to search deeper in Google using a technique called dorking. Dorking enables you to add filters that are not available via the user interface. It can allow you to show only certain files like videos or software or search specific sites. Lumpysoft helps achieve this with a simple user interface.

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Have a good week!