Here's a shortcut to the ProjectVRM list. More details are under #10, below.
VRM stands for Vendor Relationship Management. VRM tools provide customers with both
- independence from vendors, and
- better ways of engaging with vendors.
The same tools can also support individuals' relations with schools, churches, government entities and other kinds of organizations.
For individuals, VRM tools and services provide or increase personal autonomy and agency.
For vendors and other service providers, VRM is the customer-side counterpart of CRM (or Customer Relationship Management) and other systematic means for engaging individuals.
In commercial contexts, VRM tools provide customers — that's all of us — with ways to operate with full agency in the marketplace. This includes the ability to control and permit the use of personal data, to aassert intentions in ways that can be understood and respected, and to protect personal privacy. VRM tools also provide ways for each of us to bear bear our own side of relationship burdens, and to have the same kind of scale across many vendors as vendors have across many customers. (An example of scale: being able to change one's address, phone number or last name, for every entity with which a customer deals, in one move.)
VRM relieves vendors of the perceived need to "capture," "acquire," "lock in," "manage," and otherwise employ the language and thinking of slave-owners when dealing with customers. With VRM operating on the customer's side, CRM systems will no longer be alone in trying to improve the ways companies relate to customers. Customers will be also be involved, as fully empowered participants, rather than as captive followers.
VRM development work is based on the belief that free customers (and citizens) 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 proffer their own terms of engagement—and to have auditable records of all contracts to which both sides agree.
- Customers must be free to express their demands and intentions outside of any one company's control.
In the "Markets Are Relationships" chapter of the 10th Anniversary edition of The Cluetrain Manifesto, Doc Searls writes this about the goals of VRM efforts:
- Provide tools for individuals to manage relationships with organizations. These tools are personal. That is, they belong to the individual in the sense that they are under the individual's control. They can also be social, in the sense that they can connect with others and support group formation and action. But they need to be personal first.
- Make individuals the collection centers for their own data, so that transaction histories, health records, membership details, service contracts, and other forms of personal data are no longer scattered throughout a forest of silos.
- Give individuals the ability to share data selectively, without disclosing more personal information than the individual allows.
- Give individuals the ability to control how their data is used by others, and for how long. At the individual's discretion, this may include agreements requiring others to delete the individual's data when the relationship ends.
- Give individuals the ability to assert their own terms of service, reducing or eliminating the need for organization-written terms of service that nobody reads and everybody has to "accept" anyway.
- Give individuals means for expressing demand in the open market, outside any organizational silo, without disclosing any unnecessary personal information.
- Make individuals platforms for business by opening the market to many kinds of third party services that serve buyers as well as sellers
- Base relationship-managing tools on open standards and open APIs (application program interfaces). This will support a rising tide of activity that will lift an infinite variety of business boats plus other social goods.
These are ideal characteristics of VRM tools:
- VRM tools are personal. As with hammers, wallets, cars and mobile phones, people use them as individuals,. They are social only in secondary ways.
- VRM tools help customers express intent. These include preferences, policies, terms and means of engagement, authorizations, requests and anything else that’s possible in a free market, outside any one vendor’s silo or ranch.
- VRM tools help customers engage. This can be with each other, or with any organization, including (and especially) its CRM system.
- VRM tools help customers manage. This includes both their own data and systems and their relationships with other entities, and their systems.
- VRM tools give customers scale across multiple vendors. This means customers can express an intent, or save a setting, or change an entry in a form (e.g. phone number or email address), across many different vendor systems, with one action."
- VRM tools are substitutable. They don't lock individuals into any company's silo.
VRM Development Work
The list is too long to put here. So go to the VRM Development Work page.
We also have a Cooperative_Work page.
ProjectVRM is a D&R — Development and Reserch — project. Development has always come first. For more on VRM research, see our Research page.
Also, after more than a dozen years at this, it is clear that Amara's Law applies: We tend to overestimate in the short term and underestimate in the long.
At this writing (September, 2022), Doc Searls, who started and runs ProjectVRM, is (with his wife Joyce) a visiting scholar with the Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University, working on a VRM project called the Byway, which will be researched closely as it rolls out in Bloomington, Indiana, home of the university. This is the first time Doc is working directly on a VRM development project, rather than just encouraging many projects.
Conference Call archive and audio links can be found at the Community Portal page.
The two events where the VRM community is gathered and maintained both happen in the same weeks, at the same location, twice per year, Spring and Fall. Those are VRM Day and IIW, the Internet Identity Workshop. VRM Day happens on the Monday preceding IIW, which happens the next three days (Tuesday through Thursday), at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, which is at the center of Silicon Valley, midway between its two main airports (SFO, for San Francisco and SJC, for San Jose).
The purpose of VRM day is to prep for the following three days at IIW. Note that IIW is an unconference, so its topics are whatever those participating choose. VRM is always one of the main topics.
- VRM Day 2022b
- VRM Day 2022a
- VRM Day 2021a
- VRM Day 2021b
- VRM/Me2B Day 2020a
- VRM/Me2B Day 2020b
- VRM Day 2019a
- VRM Day 2019b
- VRM Day on Monday, 22 October, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.
- Internet Identity Workshop — IIW on Tuesday-Thursday, 23-25 October, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.
- VRM Day 2017b
- VRM Day 2017a
- Personal Information Economy 2016: Achieving Growth Through Trust on Thursday, 29th September 2016 from 08.30 to 17.00 (GMT), Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG. (Doc Searls is one of the speakers, and many VRM community members will attend.)
- VRM Day on Monday, 24 October, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.
- Internet Identity Workshop — IIW on Tuesday-Thursday, 25-27 October, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.
- MyData2016 31 August to 2 September 2016, in Helsinki, Finland. (Doc Searls and Sean Bohan spoke there.)
- VRM Day on Monday, 25 April, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.
- Self-Data: The European PIMS Landscape, part of FING's Mesinfos work.
- Internet Identity Workshop — IIW on Tuesday-Thursday, 26-28 April, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.
- VRM Day on Monday, 6 April
- Internet Identity Workshop #20, (7-9 April) at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.
- VRM Day on Oct 26
- Internet Identity Workshop #21, (27-29 October) at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.
- VRM Day 2014b, on 27 October, in advance of the Internet Identity Workshop, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.
- Internet Identity Workshop (Notes) #19, (28-30 October) at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.
- VRM Day 2014a 5 May at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. Free.
- Internet Identity Workshop (Notes) #18, 6-8 May at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.
- Data Tuesday "VRM : le contrôle des données aux utilisateurs !" au 12/14, rue Henri Barbusse – 92110 Clichy
- VRM Day 2013a , in advance of IIW, below, 6 May in Mountain View, CA.
- Internet Identity Workshop #16, 7-9 May at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. IIW is where #VRM in some ways began and where it remains a huge part of what gets worked on there.
- European Workshop on Trust & Identity, 12-13 February, Vienna, Austria. The focus is on identity, but VRM is sure to come up.
- European Identity & Cloud Conference, 14 -17 May, Munich, Germany. Kuppinger-Cole, which puts on the conference, has a focus on life management platforms, which are highly relevant to VRM.
- Internet Identity Workshop #17, 22-24 October at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.
- PICNIC Festival 2012, at the EYE Film Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands. September 17-18, 2012. Register here. Big fun annual event. Doc will speak there.
- VRM pre-IIW meeting/worshop. Location TBD. October 22, 2012. Interested VRooMers gather to catch up and prep for the next three days at IIW.
- Internet Identity Workshop #15, Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA. October 23-25, 2012. Register here. This is very much a VRM workshop, since it's an unconference where many VRooMers show up and hold sessions of their own choosing.
- Datavenu, at the School of Management, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. On August 7-8, 2012. Register here. First VRooMy event in Minnesota, organized by Barb Bowen. Kaliya, Doc and Phil are speakers.
- Are Free Customers More Valuable Than Captive Ones?, by Doc Searls at South by Southwest Interactive, Austin, Texas, March 9-13.
- STL Partners Executive Brainstorm, San Francisco, March 27-28.
- Pre-IIW VRM workshop at Ericsson, 200 Holger Way (Zanker & 237), San Jose, CA 95134, 9am-5pm April 30. Our usual meeting, with a special welcome for newbies.
- European Identity and Cloud Conference, Munich, April 17-20. Craig Burton, Phil Windley Drummond Reed, Kim Cameron, Doc Searls and other VRM'ers will be there
- Intention Economy Mashup Event London, Innovation Warehouse, 1 East Poultry Avenue, London. EC1A 9PT 4:30-9:30pm, Monday, 23 April Put on by Tony Fish, Sam Sethi and Iain Henderson. Named after Doc's new book, which will be almost out then. Doc will speak there.
- VRM and CRM Inter-op London 2012 London , EC1A 9PT Tuesday, April 24, 2012 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM (GMT) Hosted by Iain Henderson, with a special invite to CRM professionals.
- IIW14 Internet Identity Workshop #14, Mountain View, CA, May 1-3. The venerable unconference where there are many VRM breakout sessions.
- IIW #12, May 3-5, Mountain View, CA
- Conversational Commerce Conference, February 2-3, San Francisco
- IMPACT/2011, March 22-23, Salt Lake City, UT
- VRM Gathering at SXSW Interactive 2011
- IIW XII (2011-A) May 3-5, 2011, Mountain View, CA
- IIW XIII (2011-B) October 18-20, 2011, Mountain View, CA]
- VRM+CRM 2010 August 26-27 Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
- VRooM Leadership Workshop took place on 31 Oct * 1 Nov in Mountain View, CA
- VRM East Coast Workshop 2009 (VRooM 2009) took place on 12-13 October at Harvard University
- VRM at SXSW 2009 were meetings during SXSW in March 2009, Austin, TX
- VRM West Coast Workshop 2009 took place May 15-16, 2009 in Palo Alto, CA.
- VRM2008 took place in Munich on 21/22 April 2008
- VRM Workshop 2008 took place in July 2008 at Harvard University
We have two mailing lists:
- Our main Mailing list. You can subscribe and view the archive here.
- Our geeks-only Open Source VRM developers list, which hasn't taken off, but we want to at least save the link, should it want to
You can edit this wiki by:
- registering up at the top of this page
- sending e-mail to the Project VRM mailing list asking to be enabled as an editor (to combat the spam problem). Be sure you provide your actual handle (username)
We encourage you to use the hashtag #VRM when blogging or tweeting about the topic.