Daily I scour hundreds of articles and several books that span many different subjects. I'm on the lookout for useful information on how to plan for the future and how any particular info might affect our future.

A fairly recent term is "crowdsourcing." That is, using the collaboration made possible by technology and the Internet, to amass a "crowd" of people to help solve a problem.

Crowdsourcing has tremendous potential for the frugal prosumer and solving many of the worlds problems. One of the goals of The Frugal Prosumer is to harness the power of crowdsourcing by having frugal prosumer gatherings and using the internet. To start a movement that gets us back to the basics and helping each other make this world a better place.

A major theme of our book The Frugal Prosumer Philosophy is balance. We talk about both good and bad changes that will come about and how we need to plan, prepare, and think through the implications of each new development that seems good. Give some thought to the following and is it good or bad?

I recently came across a crowdsourcing tool. An iphone or ipod touch app designed for reporting businesses or neighbors who are not being ecologically "sound".
For all the eco-warriors, you no longer have to gripe in vain about neighbors wasting energy. Finally, there’s a tool you can use to report environmentally negligent behavior. Individuals can report on wastage of water, energy, trash or toxic pollutants. You can view cases filed near you via GPS and add documentation using photos and commentary. You can create your own complaints. If for example, the store is leaving the parking-lot lights on during the day or your neighbor is dumping oil down the drain, you can let the world know. You can go to EcoSnoop and see what naughty businesses are wasting resources and if you live in the area go harass them or stop doing business with them. Go get them.
Is this an example of saving the earth or losing our freedom? What are the implications of using this. If we stop pollution and the waste of our God given resources we make this world a better place for us and our grandchildren. But--

The ecologist may think this is great without realizing what other things it can be used for to destroy them. What if the anti-ecology people wanted to discredit the ecology movement and post the big house, big car, airplane flights, and other waste and bad things they are doing. Even make up things and photoshop evidence.

This could be a great way to expose terrorists. Have people anywhere in the world monitor a suspects house?

Or how about the way Texas is doing this. texasborderwatch

Texas doesn't have the money or manpower to monitor video cameras they have along the border so they have real time video streaming to the internet. Anyone watching can report what they see. This allows people to do what I always say. "Don't just complain about something, do something." Now even if you are in, let's say Michigan, instead of just protesting about illegal immigrants you can now watch for them and turn them in from the safety and comfort of your home. Wow! Nearly 125,000 people signed up to be “virtual Texas deputies”.

Two other groups I am sure will find these videos very useful.
1. Vigilantes now don't have to go out randomly hunting. They can just watch the videos and be ready in ambush for "the bad guys" as they get out of video range, so no one can see what happens.
2. Or the criminal element who now may know where to wait for their next victim to rob.

As stated in our book: change "will open up opportunities for the astute and further tempt the evil and the foolish."