VRM => we all have our own loyalty card

250320091143I was just reading David Weinberger’s excellent notes of Doc Searls’s Berkman lunch and realised what I was talking about at the VRM thing last November I’m sorry it’s taken so long.

What happened was I went through my wallet looking at all the different loyalty cards and coffee shop stamp cards I have and I said I want to be able to manage all of this better and from my own perspective. Maybe the people listening understood better than I did.

What I realised this implies is that we all have our own loyalty card (which somehow gets automagically updated from the cloud) which is accepted by and useful to every “vendor” that we choose to allow access, no matter what the service.

And, most importantly, I can also view, aggregate and filter all my data on there in various visualisations whether it’s how much I spent on coffee altogether this month or which coffee shops I frequented most or maybe it’s my medical record and the prescriptions I’ve had filled recently.

I was at Demos today listening to Richard Thaler talk about his book Nudge and he used just the same thing as an example – full disclosure of information from credit card companies about the penalties and extra costs on your bill which you could then feed into some analytic site on the web to understand better how to cut your costs.

I don’t know if I’ve said anything new here but it feels like *I* understand myself a little better…

There’s another opportunity to join in the fun and games defining and evolving VRM at the Open Space that I’m facilitating for VRMHub on Monday. Come & play.

2 thoughts on “VRM => we all have our own loyalty card”

  1. Hm, the idea of your ‘own loyalty card’ seems rather limited. I was rather suprised reading Doc talk about it that way – it might have been the notes though. This is mainly because there is not much you can do with a card compared to what you can do with your stuff online. And feeding your data to another site? Oh dear, that wouldn’t get us very far in terms of balancing the power between us and platforms/silos. 🙂

    The idea is to enable people own their data, have ability to manage and share it on their own terms, not according to some, often arbitrary, platform functionality. Loyalty card data is static – in CRM speak it’s, at best, an operational data system that’s merely gathering input. What is really the crux of VRM for me is, again let’s put it in CRM speak is the analytical data system, i.e. the ability to understand the data again in your own terms, based on your logic. This differs from person to person so feeding the data somewhere is not going to help. A better way is letting individuals own that data and have functionality come to them, via applications and pluggins. In short, turning an individual into a platform, rather than the individual giving up his data in exchange for some better or worse conceived functionality. This is far far more than CRM, of course, and it’s one of the reasons I have never been too happy with the term VRM. But that goes for everyone I have even talked to about VRM… 🙂

    The data ownership is important from another point of view – your data is the lifeblood of the social web/Web 2.0 and it is also the most valuable thing about you to vendors (apart from your money of course). But if you become the most authoritative source of data about yoursef, with the kind of understanding of your own behaviour and preferences that cannot be harvested from your digitial detritus, then those who need or want that data will need to treat you with more respect and attention to your needs, so you share that data with them. That means a relationships that is more equal and balanced. And that is one of the ways of unlocking the see-saw and improving the balance between supply and demand sides in markets.

    If interested in the details of what I am talking about, it might help to skim through a paper on Mine! as VRM infrastructure, which describes the technology of making individual autonomous with their data.


    And a recent paper on VRM where I deal with issues of social web, data, privacy and identity and especially what VRM is and what it isn’t…


    Hope this helps and I look forward to your open space skillz! 🙂

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