Taking Responsibility in Commercial Relationships


I’ve been trying to write something about this for a while but finding a title that didn’t mention VRM was important to me and now I’ve just done it, it looks scary but worthwhile. “VRM” (or vendor relationship management) as a term doesn’t look scary or even interesting let alone worth putting some effort into. It’s a cute shorthand, but, in my view, talking about “the reciprocal of CRM” will only work for the intersection of two groups: those who understand CRM and those who understand what a reciprocal is…

We’ll be hosting a bolt-on (starting at 12.30) to this week’s new-fangled Tuttle at the ICA in preparation for a conference (at which I’m speaking) on 3rd November: “Unlocking the see-saw” organised by the unstoppable Adriana Lukas.

I’m interested in particular in:
Why it’s time for us to take power back from vendors who’ve come to dominate and control our relationship with them.
How we can make the whole thing a lot more fun.
What successful personal relationships can teach us about improving commercial ones.
How we start to take more responsibility for our part in commercial relationships.
What freedoms we can lay claim to.
How relationships are affected by being codified into structured data.
How the social web can be used to manage such relationships for our benefit.

Which is to say, I haven’t written my presentation yet beyond those few bullet points.
Come, help us think it through on Friday.

Women in Tech Panel at Web2.0

I’m very honoured that Suw has asked me to contribute to her “panel” in Berlin on the tech gender gap (taking place on the Thursday afternoon).

Here’s the description:

“It is undeniably true that there aren’t enough women in tech, that women are not well represented at conferences, and often don’t get the promotions, rewards and acclaim they deserve. We also know that the issue of gender is not a simple one: there are complex societal and psychological pressures that influence how we all behave, men and women, and we’re not always clear on what drives us to do what we do. This participatory session will attempt to unpick some of the threads around gender and will aim to produce ideas for how we can collectively act to level the playing field.”

I have no opinion on the numbers of “women in tech” really – I don’t know enough about it at the sharp end, but I do know that I sit in many conferences listening to men (in suits) drone on, often about something that a bunch of other people have done. I find tuttle encouraging in terms of our gender mix – and there were plenty of women leading sessions at socialmediacamp last week.

But I’m also aware that these are just my perceptions and are subject to gender bias too, so I’m looking forward to exposing my views and experience to some debate and discussion that will hopefully lead to some action.

If you want to take part, of course you’ll be very welcome, but you’ll have to come along to the conference. Which means you’ll have to sign-up. And there’s no better way than to use the 35% discount code webeu08gr43 on the registration page.