I've been thinking about transparency a lot lately, and I was intrigued by Andy's post on PROTS and Berlind's post on JOT. But I think there is a big missing piece here: the responsibility of the reader/consumer to be transparent.
If blogs, for example, are about conversation, then there is responsibility on both sides to declare their interests. This also holds true if we say markets are conversations.
Company: What would you like Mr. Customer?
Customer: I dunno, how about a computer that can accurately forecast stock prices that doesn't cost me anything.
Exactly! We have to keep in mind the motivations of the customer/reader. We should ask that they make their own motivations transparent as well. With transparency on both sides, you can then enter that hallowed state of communicative rationality (a la Habermas).
Lots to think about here...stay tuned.