imagesFor the longest time I used “I am my own system of record” as part of my email signature. It came out from my position that the concept that an organization – ANY organization – that was trying to build a realistic picture of who I was – so that they can better sell to me was essentially flawed. It is impossible. (I will write more about that sometime – but I think if you think about it – it is perfectly obvious.) Nobody knows more about me that me. Repeat for the other 7 billion and counting people on the earth.

Delighted now to see that The Berkman Center for Internet and Society @ Harvard University concurs.

In this Wiki article on ‘Project VRM’, I was pleased to see these principle called out ,,,

VRM Principles

VRM development work is based on the belief that free customers are more valuable than captive ones — to themselves, to vendors, and to the larger economy. To be free —

  • Customers must enter relationships with vendors as independent actors.
  • Customers must be the points of integration for their own data.
  • Customers must have control of data they generate and gather. This means they must be able to share data selectively and voluntarily.
  • Customers must be able to assert their own terms of engagement.
  • Customers must be free to express their demands and intentions outside of any one company’s control.

VRM is at the core of my thinking around the transition that is occurring across the globe. I have written before about Customer Effective Demand Networks, The Industrialization of the Sales Process – and even how we need to collect – not connect data. The underlying theme is that the world seems to be turning through a full 180 degrees – switching the power from the broadcast / blitz / blast communication style of The Brands – to a more considered engaged, conversational, embracing dialog that people prefer.

Of course – for that to happen – the flip side of CRMs (i.e. how Brands think they manage us – the people) are VRMs (software designed to help all of us individuals manage the cacophony of Brands all vying for attention). And one of the key thoughts I have around a good VRM is the intense need for the ultimate in personalization.

In the publishers world, organizations currently publish to hundreds of markets of a hundred million, The future is exciting – they will need to stand it on its head and be thinking how to publish to seven billion ‘markets of on’e. It is VRM applied to publishing and the ultimate in personalized content. I call it ‘Extreme Niche Publishing’.

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