What and who is/are OpenLabel? “We are a group of developers, advisors, and investors dedicated to the mission of building a free, social space around millions of individual products…Now the public can create their own “labels”, and attach them directly onto products, where consumers can rate and help spread this information.” A question that immediately came to mind was, “Why do we need this? Well as they put it, “Because most of the stuff we want to know about a product is not on the package. Our dollars are our most powerful voice. By creating a centralized place for people and organizations to share environmental. political, social, animal, and health & safety information, the OpenLabel Project will make commerce more transparent, and help consumers make smarter, more responsible choices.
Sound complex? It doesn’t have to be! OpenLabel works like this. You find a product by searching their database (FYI, they have over 20,223,294 products there already!) You can also scan the barcode on the product, and if it isn’t listed, you can simply add it. And this is where the real stuff happens: Creating the label. “What should people know about this product? Your label should share useful information about the reason you recommend (or avoid) the product. Include links to relevant websites or articles.” And that’s it – publish it and “Your label is immediately available on millions of shelves and stores across the country, where mobile consumers will instantly see your comments. They can also ‘follow’ you, vote on your label, and share it on social media.” Amazing!
The guys at OpenLabel are on a mission. “Our mission is to bring radical transparency and accountability to the world of commerce. So we started by developing a web platform and iPhone app that allows anyone to attach useful information about any product directly onto the UPC barcode of that product. We think all information about a shampoo – whether environmental, political, social, or just opinion – belongs on the shampoo bottle itself, where millions of demanding shoppers will see it.” Although currently closed for Private Beta, this is not one to miss – sign up for an early contributor spot and get your invite.