Sharing The Words Of @DSearls

I was only a year old when Gandhi was shot, so I don’t remember that one; but I was involved in both the civil rights and antiwar movements in North Carolina when Martin Luther King was gunned down in June 1968, and Bobby Kennedy a few days later.

I cannot overstate the senses of grief, despair and hopelessness that followed those two assassinations. (And of Malcolm X three years earlier. And again when Nixon got elected a few months later in ’68.)

Two things were clear to me at the time: that violence won, and that the civil rights and antiwar movements were set back decades by those events.

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p class=”attribution”>Doc Searls
Read It All Here.

Edge Cases Are Real

I just had to switch servers, one that has a lot of parked domains. That meant going to three different registrars (I know I have to consolidate) and entering the new IP address in place of the old one. Why haven’t we created another level to DNS that lets this just be a matter of changing a constant in one place.

Dave Winer

I feel his pain … and I know where the solution lies … it’s called #CustomerTech – some might know it as #VRM – it’s an initiative that Dave’s good buddy Doc Searls has been driving for the past ten years.
Companies like Digi.me and JLinc are at the vanguard of this thinking … apps for people to manage vendors.

I mean if we can have a single financial app to manage our banks, brokers and bonds – surely it is way easier to have a single app that manages our DNS servers? I guess the problem is that people that need to manage DNS servers are edge cases to begin with … but multiple registrars to manage their multiple DNS servers … that sounds like it’s the ‘edge of the edge’.

It’s An Epidemic


I wrote about my recent experiences with Comcast last week. Turns out, that as I was engaging with Comcast, Doc Searls was engaging with Dish Network. And just as I was writing  …

Comcast could make this happen in an instance. It is called process. They know when their services are down, they just try to deny it with delay tactics.

I mostly feel sorry for the people that have to deal with me and the like – they know the truth. Keep up the good work folks – we know it is not you.
Doc was writing …

My experience with the agent was fine. She did a good job.

…and once again – we are down to corporations processes … Continue reading

Both topics dear to my heart


My thanks to my friend Louis for sharing this link … which is called ‘Why Tesla Is Worth More Than GM’. It mentions Tesla 12 times and the word platform 3. The whole article centers on how platforms will / are going to rule the world .. no argument there … yet … though I do have my preferred approaches to how platforms should work – that I have started to write about here – and also this was an interesting read from Doc Searls just yesterday.

Here’s what’s going to happen when the whole cryptocurrency / ICO / token / blockchain / distributed ledger / distributed-everything finishes going down: We will each have far more command of what and how we pay for everything, how we remember what we paid, how we run our personal and social lives online, and how we control our relationships in an open marketplace no longer dominated by giant corporate silos and fiat currencies.
That’s my bet, anyway. Because I see the pendulum swinging away from platforms, and up the stack to new protocols. Union Square Ventures illustrates it this way:

Alas – I can’t provide a link to this post because it now seems to have gone away Continue reading

Spotted this in my feeds today …

You can find the original here – along with the associated article by ‘Chief Martech’ Scott Brinker. Anyone spot the problem?

Before reading on - Scott's excellent piece about Amazon's acquisiton of Wholefoods is not what this article is about. Though I will probably extend that on another occasion. No, rather it is the thinking behind the model that he uses to support his case.

Answer … every level in the stack has software associated with the role except ‘we the people’ – or ‘consumer’ as the chart would have it.
As usual, I am in general accord with Scott’s writing and thinking. Continue reading

            Doc Searls - spiritual leader of the VRM movement pointed to us today at the <a href="http://blogs.harvard.edu/vrm/about/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">what is VRM about</a> page. It works for me - word-smithing aside. This quote caught my eye.<!--more-->

The Industrial Revolution gave companies scale: single ways of dealing with with many people at once. Mass manufacturing, mass distribution, mass marketing and mass media are all examples of corporate scale at work.

The Internet Revolution gives people scale, though not all at once. After all, the Internet we have today (the one that supports all forms of data traffic, including the commercial kind) was only born on April 30, 1995, when the NSFNet (one of the backbone networks within the Internet, and the last to forbid commercial traffic) was decommissioned. The future since then has not been evenly distributed.

I have long held that we are on the cusp of the end of the era of the industrialization of everything. Just one example.

Said it then – saying it again …

Just as we are discovering that industrializing our food chain was maybe not the best idea or that applying manufacturing processes to our children’s education – was ill conceived ….

            Earlier this week, <a href="http://bizcatalyst360.com/i-am-my-own-system-of-record/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Bizcatalyst posted my article 'I Am My Own System Of Record'</a> to their site. I then shared it with various people that I know that are interested in the topic (including Doc Searl's VRM list). For posterity - some of the responses that came back into the mail list follow ...<!--more-->

Doc Searls

I’d like to bring two threads together, with what Adrian (Gropper) wrote here:

My authorization server will manage any number of persistent relationships at one central console so I don’t have to fly from silo to silo but that does not take care of the discovery aspect of marketing by a “new” vendor.

A “new” vendor will need to discover my authorization server somehow while preserving my anonymity until the point where my policies (as managed and exposed by my authorization server) decide to either automatically release identifying attributes or notify me somehow and impinge on my attention. Who will play the role of dating site in the broader economy by enabling my authorization server to hide some attributes even as it promotes the discovery of others?

It seems to me that we are missing a clear vision of the public space for discovery of my authorization server. Does it look like Google or like Apple or like blockchain?

Seems to me there’s not much daylight (if any) between being one’s own system of record and operating one’s own authorization server. Do I have that right?


John Wunderlich

The amount of air between the two depends on whether or not the Authorization Server and/or the personal System of Record allow me to manage multiple identities. If one or the other is just controlling selective attributes of a root unitary identity then you will still need to manage multiple systems to manage multiple identities.

Example use case would be a human rights worker in an authoritarian regime, who needs to maintain an anonymous social networking presence for their human rights work but an innocuous social networking presence for presentation to the authorities. The two must never be linkable. People with socially stigmatized medical conditions, unpopular political views or who just want to maintain a social life separate from their corporate life will all have similar requirements.


Jim Pasquale

You can all beat into submission-or-at-least-try. We all only have one identity, it is based on all my data both private, public, and shared. We all have multiple personas we use at any one given time all day long. The amount and kind of identification data to each and every one of my personas are different and at the same time, the same depending on who or what one needs to identify them self’s to.

Identity and Identification are two separate entities depend on each other. While a person can be their own system of record managing multiple personas, the only true way to change my identity is by changing the data which it is complied of.

Based on the thinking above, an individual’s digital dashboard or even a PIMS, or what Jim here, calls a lifecycle mixing board and others like Adrian call an Authorization Server rightly so. Should and would be able to signal out a persons personas, I share much different and much more health data with… you can fill in the BLANK, than I would in comparison with a FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) who offers skin or hair care products one might be interested in.

What can I say other then I like to keep it simple.


Brian Behlendorf

It would be nice to believe that a dashboard to a personal authentication server would faithfully and perfectly keep separate those persona whose mixing would lead to problems, such as in John’s examples.  The history of such technologies, however, lends one to believe that’s not likely to happen.  Thus why people often have a separate cell phone, laptop or tablet for personal use and work – whether it’s cookies or simply our own blinkered brains, the already-leaky abstraction can become a life-threatening (or at least livelihood-threatening) problem all too quickly.  Thus, I’m on the side of those saying that even with a semantic of “one identity”, my “personas” may need to physically and virtually reside in completely different places.

Adrian Gropper

I agree with Brian. Trying to hide my Authorization Server behind Tor onion addresses makes my head hurt. For now, I prefer the simplicity of one AS per persona. I think we can keep identity off the table for now.

This still leaves open the question that Doc and I are asking about the nature of the “discovery” service that manages the transition from anonymity to the AS that represents my persona. Does that look like Google, Apple, blockchain, or something else?

            More reasons to be excited by iOS9 ...

iOS 9 comes with a new feature called ‘content blockers’ which allow developers to build apps for blocking advertisements.

[ Source : The Next Web via Doc Searls ]

More important, for our purposes, is that it’s VRM technology. It gives us a tool for personal agency. We can say no to stuff we don’t want.

[ Source : Doc Searls ]

And a more complete post from Doc Searls on this topic.

            Doc Searl's long - but well worth reading - take on the state of online advertising. Absolutely mind boggling how many trackers are sitting on sites - watching us - to mine us for an extra couple of cents. To give you a taste, and in case you are wondering why should I care ... check out TRUSTe’s 2015 Privacy Index that Doc highlights in his article.

42% are more worried about their privacy than one year ago.
91% “avoid doing business with companies who I do not believe protect my privacy online.”
86% “have taken steps to protect their privacy in the last twelve months.”
63% “deleted cookies
44% “changed privacy settings”
25% “have turned off location tracking”

… wait … 63% have deleted cookies ? It wasn’t that long ago that the general public didn’t even know what a cookie was – much less how to delete it !


[ Source : Doc Searl’s Weblog ]