From IIW

Me2B, #SSI, #VRM, #IIW, #Identity, @Cluetrain (Separation of Concerns)

Wednesday 7F

Convener: Doc Searls

Notes-taker(s): Scott Mace

Tags for the session - technology discussed/ideas considered:

Me2B, VRM, Customer Commons

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

Doc Searls history of IIW

Yesterday I was with people not aware of where different pieces come from. Especially work on VRM. To some degree this is my personal story. I come from open source and Linux, from 1994 on. Linux Journal killed in August. In Linux community involved in decision to talk about open source not just free software. Term open source prior to that was used by military community. In 1999, Cluetrain Manifesto came out. Markets are conversations. Was adopted by the marketing world. #Cluetrain tweeted on a daily basis since then. Got pulled by Andre Durand into the identity conversation. Closing keynote at Digital ID World. I give me my rant about what’s wrong about DIDW. All the talk about federation, companies having sex with each other using customer data. Late 2004, ran into Kaliya at a ball game. Steve Gillmor called me up to do a podcast. I sent out a note to 12 people involved in identity conversation, included Kim Cameron, Dave Winer (who created blogging, podcasting, RSS). 2nd to last Esther Dyson, people met. Brad Fitzpatrick sells LiveJournal, gives Open ID code away. Notion: All of us independent actors, peers in the internet, but better able to engage. Devin Lafredo, wrote to the VRM list, coined the term self-sovereign identity. Should start with individuals. That sat there until others picked up and ran with it. The SSI movement came out of that and out of IIW. In 2006, I got a fellowship at the Berkman Center, started Project VRM. Mike Vizard on the Gillmor Gang, talking in fall 2006, was all about to some degree SSI, encouraging development of tools more power to engage with the company. Vizard named it on the Gillmor Gang. VRM. Has never been more than a blog, a wiki, a list and meetings twice a year on the Monday before IIW. That’s all it will ever be. Needs orgs to spin off of that. The first is Customer Commons. A knockoff to some degree of Creative Commons. Where licenses live that others can point to. Also the worldwide organization of customers. Consumers Union.

Me to B, came up independently. A much better name than VRM. Uses me, all of us call ourselves that. Better also than C2B which is a business term, abstract. You can make Me2B into a hashtag. Can use some Customer Commons work.

So much privacy violation over recent years. We have regulations that have energized companies. CRM/CX.

GDPR, we got the regulatory cart in front of the tech horse. That’s on us.

Q: Survey by Axios. Asked consumers to agree/disagree. The privacy threat is a crisis and we need to force companies to change. 58% of respondents agreed with the statement. We’re arriving at this place with consumer sentiment.

I agree. ClueTrain still sells in 9 languages.

I wrote a book called The Intention Economy, in 2012. We didn’t have the examples. Every company is dead. People working on them are still in the room.

Q: In the book you talked about meeting with Target. Trader Joe’s. What is their perspective on VRM.

Jose Alvarez who had been the CEO of Stop and Stop / Giant Stores, he was the guy behind one of the most inhumane things in a store, scan bar codes, read outs saying here’s a discount on fried beans, you get to checkout, no human being, scan bar code, then leave, maybe later get a discount at the Shell station. He told me we screwed up, that’s too mechanized. Talk to Doug Rausch, just retired president of Trader Joes. Jose was teaching history of retailing at Harvard. Retail ideally should be working for the customer. The Trader in Trader Joes is that agent. Jose said we could use VRM. A better conduit from the customer to the company. Trader Joes has nothing but customer interaction. Doug said we do what we do already.

Adrian: Businesses all understand what they want in life – scale. “We” don’t have a word.

It’s not scale.

Adrian: Would love to get people’s ideas, if this is not the right problem, what is.

Examples of what VRM would be. One is a wallet of my own. Has a kind of scale. Various IDs and credit cards. This is kind of an agent. An idea Joyce had way back in 1995, why can’t I get a shopping cart I can take from site to site. That turned into Intent Casting. Why not a normalized way to do subscriptions. If it’s only up to the big companies, it’s not going to happen.

Joyce: It’s the user’s idea of convenience.

VCs require lockin and an exit. I want our customers to love us. The internet is one of those. Email. A key thing Doug Rouse said is, we don’t go to retail trade shows, all about screwing the customer. We know we’re not the only store.

Adrian: #DarkPatterns. The people who design the idea of convenience are UX designers. They themselves are always only paid by the Bs. We as Mes have no equivalent way to paying them. They use Twitter with #DarkPattern, put screen shots on Twitter as a form of penitence. It’s basically stop me before I kill again. This is not a deep thought. We are not going to achieve the alternative of scale unless we can bring to bear the expertise that the Bs get to bring.

Join the Project VRM list: https://bitly/vrml1st

Drummond thinks he has a wallet with connect.me.

Adrian: HIE of One, we’re not willing to move any faster than the standards. My criticism is none of us are working together on anything.

Q: I came here a year because I didn’t want to build it. Make really cool personal AI. Could get creepy quickly. Have to tell our users it won’t run amuck. I learned of this community, can I retire a lot of what we’re building. We thought would need hardware stuff Johannes is building, I was told last year none of this stuff is good for production. Seems a year later inching toward a place where we can build something. The AI.

Q: The core driver is the consumer’s need. I worked at Sears in the e-commerce group. Online pickup in store. 0-48 hour need state. Thought could compete with Amazon at that time. How do we know what a customer needs and our experience to fulfill that? Definitely not a lockin. Matter of convenience was what we were building. Driver from the person side was what is that need state. I believe that AI as an agent for consumer has a real role to play here, trying to capture that. To have a mechanism to publish those states to actors that could fulfill them.

Johannes: You had a bunch of use cases I wrote down, wallet, shopping cart. I’d like to understand, is there no way of getting it adopted, have we not found a way to get it adopted, or has it not been built yet?

Doc: Project VRM wiki, page of developments, 20 companies doing intentcasting. None of them have caught fire. Lots are in personal data collection and aggregation business. Liam has one. Digi.Me is another. It’s really hard to get the UI right on this stuff and make it viral.

Having figured out how to make it work.

Yes. So easy to get it wrong. AT&T. Apple Newton. Esther Dyson said nobody is ever going to write on glass. Blackberry ran with that in a huge way. Palm, Nokia. Nokia would give me a phone, the US version didn’t do WiFi, wanted to disable that, partners in phone business quashed that. Apple and Google win by having you write on glass. Will be something that’s going to be in this. Digi.Me is great for one thing. Finding things on Twitter that Twitter won’t find. Search is getting really deprecated. Anything old disappears. I put lrfmstrdl in old blog posts. Google won’t find it anymore. Google is only following the live world right now, the archival world is deprecated and going to hell.

Adrian: Can we consider the design, the architecture by which the three of us and the other six can split the separation of concerns in the VRM umbrella so that by design as open source projects under this flag we start to literally architect scale for this wallet, this shopping cart, this app on the app store. Do we have critical mass in IIW to now actually establish kind of a pact that, Liam’s going to do the AI, Johannes do the hardware, I’ll do the regulatory.

Doc: Come to Lisa’s talk and to Nitin’s talk. You’re all doing Me2B work. Needs to be a term that catches fire. The other is, Nitan and Sean Bohan and Lionel Wallberger worked on a VRM maturity model, will be very useful in Me2B also. He lives and knows everything about what will click with businesses.

Nitin: Full disclosure. I spent two decades in CRM. Know that space really well. Doc mentioned customer experience, the definition of that came out of a group of 4 or 5 folks at a very small company, we invented a market called CX which caught fire, we got acquired by Oracle. We open sourced the language of CX. But that’s a win. The struggles I’ve had with IIW, all these initiatives. I’m not a technical person. We decided to build a framework. We identified 5 participant groups: A developer, a customer, vendor, market maker, policy maker. Not perfect. Most of those are self-explanatory. The mall is a market maker. Ebay is a market maker. A business unto themselves. These are the constituents that make VRM happen. What is the technical stack? What layer are you playing at? We did all this stuff back in 2015.

Adrian: You are describing exactly the components we modeled at HIE of One. It’s perfect. But then what next?

Q: The work that me and my team have been doing may slot into this in a way that is complementary. Holochain is the idea of instead of having a web server, users themselves end up not only end of sharing burden of storing, but also the validation. An app is really a shared grammar with other participants who meet the rules of whatever the participation is. Doesn’t dictate what the interface looks like. Decoupling ends up being interesting and powerful. Opens up possibilities of the thing the customer has. They visit all of their contexts.

Adrian: Data about me. Will be in my session, last of the day.

Q: Holochain not in production, getting close.

Adrian: We have a lot of work to do to enlarge the tent beyond the 4 of us. Probably does have to happen around IIW.

Q: Encourage, there may be paths that are indirect paths that get us there.

Adrian: How do we get Nitin to help us?

Q: But orgs come to me, should we use Holochain for identity stuff. I say no. Focus instead on supply chain coordination, passing information between customers, that’s a context where you’re not boxed in by the framing of the problem in the first place. A 360-degree solution.