Category: Links (page 1 of 7)

VRM Day: Starting Phase Two

VRM Day is today, 24 October, at the Computer History Museum. IIW follows, over the next three days at the same place. (The original version of this post was October 17.)

We’ve been doing VRM Days since (let’s see…) this one in 2013, and VRM events since this one in 2007. Coming on our tenth anniversary, this is our last in Phase One.

sisyphusTheRolling snowball difference between Phase One and Phase Two is that between rocks and snowballs. In Phase One we played Sisyphus, pushing a rock uphill. In Phase Two we roll snowballs downhill.

Phase One was about getting us to the point where VRM was accepted by many as a thing bound to happen. This has taken ten years, but we are there.

Phase Two is about making it happen, by betting our energies on ideas and work that starts rolling downhill and gaining size and momentum.

Some of that work is already rolling. Some is poised to start. Both kinds will be on the table at VRM Day. Here are ones currently on the agenda:

  • VRM + CRM via JLINC. See At last: a protocol to link VRM and CRM. , and The new frontier for CRM is CDL: customer driven leads. This is a one form of intentcasting that should be enormously appealing to CRM companies and their B2B corporate customers. Speaking of which, we also have—
  • Big companies welcoming VRM.  Leading this is Fing, a French think tank that brings together many of the country’s largest companies, both to welcome VRM and to research (e.g. through Mesinfos) how the future might play out. Sarah Medjek of Fing will present that work, and lead discussion of where it will head next. We will also get a chance to participate in that research by providing her with our own use cases for VRM. (We’ll take out a few minutes to each fill out an online form.)
  • Terms individuals assert in dealings with companies. These are required for countless purposes. Mary Hodder will lead discussion of terms currently being developed at Customer Commons and the CISWG / Kantara User Submitted Terms working group (Consent and Information Sharing Working Group). Among other things, this leads to—
  • 2016_04_25_vrmday_000-1Next steps in tracking protection and ad blocking. At the last VRM Day and IIW, we discussed CHEDDAR on the server side and #NoStalking on the individual’s side. There are now huge opportunities with both, especially if we can normalize #NoStalking terms for all tracking protection and ad blocking tools.  To prep for this, see  Why #NoStalking is a good deal for publishers, where you’ll find the image on the right, copied from the whiteboard on VRM Day.
  • Blockchain, Identity and VRM. Read what Phil Windley has been writing lately distributed ledgers (e.g. blockchain) and what they bring to the identity discussions that have been happening for 22 IIWs, so far. There are many relevancies to VRM.
  • Personal data. This was the main topic at two recent big events in Europe: MyData2016 in Helsinki and PIE (peronal information economy) 2016 in London.  The long-standing anchor for discussions and work on the topic at VRM Day and IIW is PDEC (Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium). Dean Landsman of PDEC will keep that conversational ball rolling. Adrian Gropper will also brief us on recent developments around personal health data as well.
  • Hacks on the financial system. Kevin Cox can’t make it, but wants me to share what he would have presented. Three links: 1) a one minute video that shows why the financial system is so expensive, 2) part of a blog post respecting his local Water Authority and newly elected government., and 3) an explanation of the idea of how we can build low-cost systems of interacting agents. He adds, “Note the progression from location, to address, to identity, to money, to housing.  They are all ‘the same’.” We will also look at how small business and individuals have more in common than either do with big business. With a hint toward that, see what Xero (the very hot small business accounting software company) says here.
  • What ProjectVRM becomes. We’ve been a Berkman-Klein Center project from the start. We’ve already spun off Customer Commons. Inevitably, ProjectVRM will itself be spun off, or evolve in some TBD way. We need to co-think and co-plan how that will go. It will certainly live on in the DNA of VRM and VRooMy work of many kinds. How and where it lives on organizationally is an open question we’ll need to answer.

Here is a straw man context for all of those and more.

  • Top Level: Tools for people. These are ones which, in legal terms, give individuals power as first parties. In mathematical terms, they make us independent variables, rather than dependent ones. Our focus from the start has been independence and engagement.
    • VRM in the literal sense: whatever engages companies’ CRM or equivalent systems.
    • Intentcasting.
    • PIMS—Personal Information Management Systems. Goes by many names: personal clouds, personal data stores, life management platforms and so on. Ctrl-Shift has done a good job of branding PIMS, however. We should all just go with that.
    • Privacy tools. Such as those provided by tracking protection (and tracking-protective ad blocking).
    • Legal tools. Such as the terms Customer Commons and the CISWG are working on.
    • UI elements. Such as the r-button.
    • Transaction & payment systems. Such as EmanciPay.

Those overlap to some degree. For example, a PIMS app and data store can do all that stuff. But we do need to pull the concerns and categories apart as much as we can, just so we can talk about them.

Kaliya will facilitate VRM Day. She and I are still working on the agenda. Let us know what you’d like to add to the list above, and we’ll do what we can. (At IIW, you’ll do it, because it’s an unconference. That’s where all the topics are provided by participants.)

Again, register here. And see you there.

 

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What small businesses and their customers have in common

small vs largeSmall businesses and their customers both have problems dealing with big businesses that are more vested in captive markets than in free ones. So, since VRM is about independence and engagement, we may have an opportunity for customers and small businesses to join in common cause.

To dig deeper into that possibility, I interviewed LaVonne Reimer, who runs Lumenous (a startup that  provides ways for small businesses to create and share credit profiles on their own terms). Here goes—

DS: How big is small business?

LR: The domestic small business market in the U.S. is currently at 28 million firms. This includes employer and non-employer firms that provide products or services to their neighborhoods and communities as well as those that provide a unique offering to a larger supply chain or marketplace.

The impact of credit decisions is another big number—how at least $4 trillion flows to small business in the U.S.. That includes a significant portion of over $1 trillion in federal contracts and grants, and $700 billion in loans, a substantial portion of which are backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

DS: What’s the biggest issue for small business, and how is that similar to issues for individuals?

LR: Credit. The $28 billion credit industry provides creditworthiness indicators as well as personal identity and entity verification for both businesses and individuals. From the standpoint of both, that industry is a collection of black boxes. They are unaccountable collections of algorithms that can make or break a business, or often its owner, without explaining why. Or even knowing why.

The incumbent with the biggest impact on small business credit is Dun & Bradstreet. Founded in 1841, D&B is the grandfather of all credit bureaus and in many respects the originator of corporate surveillance.  And now D&B is in the identity business as well, putting those being identified at D&B’s mercy.

DS: How?

LR: Through the Data Universal Numbering System, better known as DUNS. It’s a loss leader that gives D&B a potent tool for finding and extracting information from business owners not otherwise publicly available. And it’s all done out of the sight of the business, and—effectively—government as well.

DS: Are they alone at this?

LR: No. A handful of venture-backed “fintech” startups are using similar technology to harvest data. Some of the data gathering might be initially authorized by the business owner. Other data they can scrape or mine from the Web to determine creditworthiness for purposes of making loans. Many do not disclose “effective APR” but recent Federal Reserve System research suggests the range may be from over 50% at the low end to somewhere in the hundreds. Business owners may get loans they couldn’t get from regulated or traditional banks but are blind-sided by onerous terms and in some cases thrown into bankruptcy because the collection model—daily automated micro-payments—catches them off guard, for example by triggering excessive non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees. To a business owner, these providers seem much like credit bureaus. There is no way yet to leverage or re-use the data you have to supply to get the loan, much less understand how the algorithms work.

I should add that a small business “bill of rights” has been circulating among start-ups; but it under-estimates the degree to which the odds are stacked against a small business across commercial credit.”

DS: What about government oversight?

LR: Today, consumer identity and credit providers must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, but the FCRA and similar regulations do not govern small business credit, not even when consumer credit information is used to verify the identity and creditworthiness of the entity and owner.

There is, however, increasing scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of big data systems in credit profiling and other data brokers. In multiple enforcement orders and two major reports, the FTC is calling on identity and data providers to demonstrate greater transparency and accountability in the uses of personal data. One report is Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? The other is “Data Brokers: A Call for Transparency and Accountability.

Still, as is true of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, small business is left unaddressed, even if creditors use consumer credit information associated with the owner of the business.

DS: What outcomes are we looking for here?

LR:  At Lumenous, we are applying the principles of VRM to transform the relationship between small business and creditors. As a result, up to six million small employer firms will be able to access the credit, capital, and commerce they deserve.. This will lead to better leverage of cash and ability to not only meet payroll and pay bills on time, but also better contribute to the economic well-being of their communities. Twenty-two million “non employer firms”—freelancers and sole proprietors, for example—will have access to credit, and more easily form trusted joint ventures to bid on otherwise out-of-reach projects.

DS: Are there any large companies that are working to bring small business and their customers together in the fight to improve the economy from the bottom up?

LR: I really like what Xero is doing. It is far more friendly and useful to small business than other accounting software and services companies (especially Quickbooks). It’s growing rapidly too. I believe that;s because it has a deep understanding of how small business works, and a genuine respect for how small business owners think about their firms, and those firms’ roles in the world.

DS: I noticed. Xero’s CEO, Rod Drury, sourced a recent post of mine in a talk he gave just a few days ago. And Gary Turner, an old friend from my Cluetrain days, is Managing Director of Xero in the UK. I’ll be talking with both in the next few days as well.

LR: I expect that Xero will also have lots of useful intelligence about what’s actually happening with small business, worldwide—and with possible VRM connections.

And here are some bonus sources, mostly courtesy of LaVonne:

There are many more, but I’ll save those for a follow-up post.

 

 

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A reading list for online publishers

I’ll be talking to a pile of publishers today at a Meet the Blockers thing hosted by DCN in New York. Here are a few of the many links I’ve accumulated as a background for the conversation I hope ensues. (These are in addition to my own Adblock War Series, now 53 posts long.)

I’ll report more on my exact advice later.

 

A pile of VRooMy links

Eventbrite – Edit VRM Day 2015a Monday,  6 April at the Computer History Museum, leading into the next three days of IIW, at the same place. Free.
Internet Identity Workshop, aka IIW. Where we’ll have lots of productive VRM sessions. Tuesday to Thursday, 7-9 April. It’s the 20th of these, or the XXth. Should be a good one.
How VRM works Dave nails a primary use case: intentcasting.
What’s wrong with surge pricing? Dave mentions VRM in the midst
nodeStorage now! One of Dave’s great new hacks.
Decentralized Law and the Blockchain For those who like both subjects.
EFF’s Game Plan for Ending Global Mass SurveillanceWe needed one, and now we’ve got it.
Meaningful Consent Project  A Call for Participation in #MCDE15, the second Workshop on Meaningful Consent in the Digital Economy.  Happening 23-24 February 2015, in Southampton, UK. I’ll be speaking there.
VRM Development Work – Project VRM The list of work grows longer. So does the range. For example…
Welcomer Simplify applications by giving individuals access to their own online data | Welcomer
A Short History of Welcomer FrameworkOriginal and cool, in Canberra, Oz.
Index | Tapit Another Ozzie original
FillIt | FillIt.com And another.
Authentic Vision VRM with an IoT solution, in Austria.
@EVRYTHNG) | Twitter VRM in the UK.
Handle: To-Dos + Email + Calendar on the App Store on iTunes A  personal tool on which VRM solutions can be built
Cebit: VW-Chef Martin Winterkorn warnt vor Auto als "Datenkrake" – SPIEGEL ONLINE A landmark statement from a car maker.  In German, but translating it ain’t hard. It’s 2015 now.
Hey, BMW, It’s My Data, Too Making sure that BMW’s angle is a VRM one.
Legal Markdown A legal hack. Worthy.
Decentralized Law and the BlockchainFor those who care about both.

Weekend Linklings

The Net makes VRM possible. No Net, no VRM. So for this post I’ve gathered a bunch of stuff about the Net, starting with posts about neutrality and structural separation, and then moving on to other Net-threatening topics.
David Reed:Does the Internet need “governance?The short answer is no. The best long answer is here.  And we need it, because “Internet governance” is a hot topic. Pay close attention to what he says about “stakeholders.”
Susan Crawford (who worked for him), gives usObama’s Presidential Moment .

VRM News & Views

First, some VRooMy startups and projects:

Next, I’ve got this idea that whawhat we need for full personal agency is an operating system of our own. Something that’s as personal as our own clothes, and just as wearable and privacy-affording. Also something we wield, like a tool. Or a set of them, which might include, if need be, weapons. So here are some links that point in that direction:

Now for some government stuff:

A collection of VRooMy posts by Don Marti, and links from some of those posts:

Data stuff:

Etc.

#VRM Tweetings

Here’s a pile of #VRM tweets. One of these days I’ll find the least crufty way to copy and paste them (or whatever works best). Recommendations welcome.

    1. Here’s Why Public Wifi is a Public Health Hazard

  1. Some more Morgo coverage RT : “The rate of company failures is increasing…”

  2. @seanbohan  Oct 17

    MT Take a look @ list of developers: Not a complete list, but not bad

  3. @AdrienBlind  Oct 17

    “What’s bugging people is that companies know stuff about them that they don’t know”

    1. @AdrienBlind  Oct 17

      today at to speak about (vendor relationship mgmt). Interesting presentation!

      Embedded image permalink
    1. @RealEstateCafe  Oct 16

      . Compare Few 3rd parties developing commercial solutions vs residential

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    1. @RuudKnorr  Oct 16

      Visit Kenya and Ethiopia Veiling Rhein-Maas suppliers Start-up Season

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  4. Been a couple years since I read The Intention Economy by . Wanted to see what was going on with

  5. Looking forward to connecting with other ‘ers at VRM Speed Networking event tomorrow at 9am PST.

  6. @gaguilardelgado  Oct 15

    What’s this? We are building an app that will surely explain it. And maybe will help users to take advantadge of their .

  7. The “I don’t care who you are, terrorist, Fed or , get out of my data” sentiment HAS to favor PDSs, no?

  8. VRM+CRM at IIW “come for the , stay for the

    1. @nitinbadjatia  Oct 8

      Is Fitbit selling data? – Fitbit doesn’t plan to share stats with Apple’s new Health app, for now via engadget

  9. @seanbohan  Oct 8

    want to learn more about Intention and ? Check out what’s happening at Oct 27-30

  10. needs a hand to shake on the customer side that’s not a captive one’ –

Weekend Linklings

Events

VRM Day 2014b- Eventbrite. 41 have registered. Room for 50.  Better hurry.
Internet Identity Workshop XIX #19 – 2014b- Eventbrite. Come for VRM Day, stay for IIW.

Politics and governance, aka #GRM

 snapvote14.com by NewGov.us.
 SNAPvote14 | Indiegogo. Support a Good Thing.

Thinkings

 Hidden In The Myths Of Time | Brian Grimmer Founder & CEO Present Group. Deep thinkings across space and time from the father of the personal cloud company Onexus.
 Doc Searls: Business as Morality – O’Reilly Radar. Some possible moral contexts for VRM discussions, including the…
 Genuine progress indicator – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 Shift Happens – Katryna Dow. Thinking from another of our great friends from Oz.
 Iain Henderson – The Personal Data Eco-System | Kantara Initiative. An oldie that’s still a goodie. Dep reading.
 Walk A Mile In Your Customer’s Diapers: Co-Creating The Customer Experience. Big topic.
 kitewheel.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Journey-Final. More on that.

VRM +/vs. Marketing

 Unhappy Customer: Comcast Told My Employer About Complaint, Got Me Fired – Consumerist. Source of much discussion on the VRM list.
 The Marketing/Cybercrime symbiosis. T.Rob on a topic close to home.
 2014 Report – Adblocking Goes Mainstream | Inside PageFair. A fair warning to the online publishing and advertising industries, which are kinda the same.
 US tech companies heading for a customer service disaster? | MyCustomer

Developments

 ownCloud.org
 Company – Protonet
 Thingz. Dunno what it is, but it’s run by our friend Don Thorson.

Etc.

Today’s VRooMy Links

    Data Ontology

Loose links float ships

Closing a bunch of open tabs. Here goes:

VRooMy news

Startups

Older posts

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