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Econix is a way of thinking about, sharing, and using economic information using open standards.

(For more info, see our session proposal for the Open Source Bridge in June.)

We support and are creating tools that help us combine the best elements of planning and markets to create profoundly democratic patterns of economic choice. That is, they support people in defining and acting on their own values, whatever they are; they allow knowledge formed by people with special experience (long-time users, workers, trained experts, etc.) to be accessed by anyone who trusts it, in the ways they choose, with a diversity of ways of structuring it; and they make it as easy to choose using this complex set of criteria as it is to choose based on price.

Econix draws on the metaphor of Unix: small, modular, interchangeable data services that interoperate using open standards to provide a highly configurable, coherent, and robust user environment.

Recently, various Linux flavors have taken massive strides towards user-friendliness and ease of adoption. That’s also an immediate focus for us: developing a proof-of-concept aggregator that allows many different kinds of data from many different platforms and services to be brought together and interconnected. This is used to provide a simple and consistent interface that does most of the user’s work of filtering and prioritizing information based on evolving user preferences.

We are currently focused on making what’s already out there more accessible and usable: classified listings (Craigslist, jobs boards, etc.); ratings and reviews (Consumer reports, Yelp, etc.); social networks.

For more on this project, see this overall introduction and our draft specs for Sifter, our aggregator project using already-existing open standards, or microformats. Also see our Organizing page to keep track of progress.

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