2008 Q3 Report VRM
Recent & Current Activity
• This past Summer ProjectVRM held a very successful workshop at Harvard Law. Numerous presentations and projects were the subject of discussion and analysis, with energized sub-groups and expansion of ideas and applications the result of the Cambridge meeting.
• The working group on 'Volunteered Personal Information' is going to get up and running with a phone meeting on Thursday, October 30, and then one every two weeks.
The working group is being hosted at Liberty Alliance as that is the most appropriate place given the challenges being addressed; the wiki and sign up page is below.
• The Standards Committee has been hard at work developing specs and initial software to help drive adoption throughout the web world, the brick & mortar and enterprise world, and wherever vendors can gain from improved user-side and user-generated and controlled interactions.
• The Marketing Committee has been busy working on the language of the VRM message, preparing a “Definitions” document (similar to Kim Cameron’s definitions of Identity) and is working toward pilot VRM projects with targeted major big box outlets.
• The creation of a stand-alone VRM Standards Organization is under discussion, much in the manner of Creative Commons, which enjoyed incubation at Berkman and then became an independent body. During the August VRM Workshop, as well as in sessions in October, progress has been made on scope responsibility.
• A new landing page for Project VRM will soon be ready for public view. After much tweakage and some modification, the Landing Page Committee is moments away from launching the site.
• VRM is active across many continents. In addition to our stateside work, there are numerous initiatives taking place in the UK and also in The Netherlands and Belgium. Recent inquiries from Italy and Spain have indicated new VRM activity will soon occur there, as well.
The Basic Principles of VRM • User-centricity. Work from the perspective of the end-user. Users who desire it should have the ability to control who, how, and what happens throughout the entire process. Create value for the user first, vendors and others second. • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Don't reinvent the wheel. A lot of technology and solutions have already been developed to address various pieces of our online world. Reuse existing tech and learn from prior experiences. • Reciprocity & Everybody Wins. VRM should create value for everyone in the value chain. Although the focus is on the user (see User-centricity), each link in the relationship should come out better after implementing a VRM standard. • Leverage network effects. Network effects scale as more people participate. Whenever possible, build systems with this characteristic. In particular, reducing costs across many different phases of a business relationship can dramatically change a market, even when those costs are relatively small. • Relationships are more than transactions. Build systems that enable rich, long-lived relationships in ways that create real value. • Solve real-world problems. People have lots of challenges and frustrations with existing sales, shopping, and support systems. Pick one and re-invent it from a user perspective.
The work product of VRM will be recommended standards and practices for implementing user-centric e-commerce. Representative VRM initiatives currently underway include:
1 Personal Address Manager – A service that allows anyone to manage their postal address in one place and have it automatically be propagated and used by others, as authorized. Code presently under development.
2 “The R-Button” - Reciprocal symbols for customer and vendor, used by either to express an interest in doing business, or the existence of a relationship that relies on independence and choice on both sides. Open Source coding, in advanced stage alpha stage of development.
3 Project VRM is working in an advisory capacity with Pubic Radio.
There is a public mailing list, monthly calls, a wiki, and an Identity Commons working group. Contributors and volunteers are welcome.
An incomplete list of current contributors:
• Charles Andres • Joe Andrieu • Sean Bohan • Christopher Carfi • Iain Henderson • Keith Hopper • Dean Landsman • Renee Lloyd • Adriana Lukas • Asa Hardcastle • Paul Madsen • Brett McDowell • Alan S. Mitchell • Drummond Reed • Mary Ruddy • Deb Schultz • Doc Searls • Bart Stevens • Paul Trevithick
More information at http://projectvrm.org