June 13 2007 Meeting notes

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Conference Call Notes

Drafted by Joe Andrieu, June 13, 2007


  1. vrm at chat.freenode.net

Other Calls

Category:conference call


  • Joe Andrieu
  • Dean Landsman
  • Doc Searls
  • Chris Carfi
  • Sean Ammirati
  • Alan Mitchell
  • Iain Henderson
  • Whitney McNamara



Any WP hackers out there? We'd like to get some things set up with the VRM blog, but it seems to be a bit challenging.


Good review from Dean Landsman. Fluid and open, yet gives me control at the level I want. Most of the time. There are a few spots where it advances through where I didn't want to, but generally pretty good. Sxipper comes out of the Identity community and, in some ways, is essentially an interface between user-centric identity and legacy identity, which means password management. They are VRM-y, so check them out and give some feedback. http://www.sxip.com


An unconference VRM workshop will be collocated at the SuperNova conference. Good news is that it will likely attract some new people. We probably won't have to do much--the beauty of the unconference/Open Space format. Date: Tuesday the 19th. Wiki: http://www.socialtext.net/sn-openspace/index.cgi?supernova_2007_open_space

London Report & Events

Last week, we had a meeting with JP Ragaswami, Adriana, Iain Henderson and...

Out of that came the desire to host several workshops focused on particular use cases in VRM.

Health Care

J&J and Revolution Health Care (where Doc's son and Steve Case, formerly of AOL, now work). Both companies are interested in having more conversations, as they are both focused on user-centric approaches to medical care.

In Doc's latest health care experience at Berkman. He got great service thanks to the Harvard system, but as his data travelled with him from the clinic to Mass General, every single data contact had errors: spelling his name wrong, something.

Dean describes that he gets super spammed for diabetic products and services.

Alan asks how do we start to tackle some of the boundary issues about how different jurisdictions and organizations fit into a viable center.

Talking with Ray Jordon at J&J, he went straight to the hardest problem of all: putting control in the hands of the customer as the goal. Rather than look at all of the insurance problems and the legal framework problems and the morass that "solving health care" has always been... just start with that would be good for the patient to have. What do we want a patient to have as they walk into ER or the doctor's office or the blood bank. If we are going to store this data, where should it live?

So, start with the user. Start with the patient. And go from there. Even if it isn't technically possible, lets map out the goals.

It's clear that the only viable point of integration between all of these systems and jurisdictions, is the patient. Or more largely, the user is only point of integration that makes sense in a lot of systems.


Building access infrastructure from the edge in.

VRM in General

We are getting to the size where we can hold our own event.

User-Centric and Unconference VRM Workshops

We want to make this different in two ways:

  1. Unconference format
  2. Keeping the focus on user-centric solutions rather than vendor-centric approaches. If we take care of the individuals in a way that is productive for vendors, we will also address vendors needs by the time we build out the system.

Evangelism Corner

Dean's been getting good results describing VRM by explaining how you are in control of what information you give out and how it is used. Controlling access and limiting data mining. Control over how much of your identity that you give out.

We also run into challenges about the perceived integration costs for handling this new system. Even if it is integrated at the user side, it still seems like a burden to the vendor. This has to be trivially easy for them to access it.

Two issues: meta-data agreement and system interfaces (hardware/software).

Turns out there is a company USB device for local medical records.

Fortunately, OpenID has been successful largely because it has been both easy to implement, and reduced the complexity/frustration/support costs for websites that have adopted it.

Additional Use Cases

In the retail channel, there are a lot of "private" SKUs customized to particular retailer. So identical products often have multiple UPC codes, making it hard to do is compare & contrast this type of thing.

It would be useful to have some sort of VRM transparency for the user to understand what is really available in the market.

How do we engage the vendors?

If vendors want to engage in quality, then they will need to adopt transparency.

It's about getting under the skin, under the branding, so customers can specify what they really want.

Dummond Reed (via Doc) is convinced there is going to be convergence amongst XRI/XDI, Higgins, etc., that will allow, at the meta-level, reconciliation at the meta-level of SKUs at different retailers.

It is the potential of making this information available that may influence vendors to adopt transparency. This is particularly true in the higher-end products, where people are doing the work to find out what they really want.

You can often find this information today, if you want, at various different websites. These websites are serving some of the information processing task of helping users figure out what is really going on, "under the skin" as it were.

So, perhaps what we can do is provide some "DNA" injected into the process to facilitate users contributing and accessing a shared understanding of product reality.

see http://www.wesabe.com for some approaches:

  • wesabe is personal finance mgt. web site
  • classic example of this for wesabe is bank charges
  • people dispute a particular charge with their bank...
  • flag that change as bogus in wesabe...
  • and when another person gets that charge on their bank statement, wesabe points them to the other person's note on the problem with it
  • specifically cases where banks are applying questionable transaction fees, etc.
  • allowing the collective to benefit from one person's work
  • you might never bother to check that $1 charge...
  • but because someone else did you find out that it's suspect automagically


what who when status
---------- ---------- ---------- ----------
open id on wiki david no date
static website development doc, dean, joe, chris no date
group blog/RSS to wiki (venus) doc no date up, talk to doc if you want to author
project VRM definition doc 1 week still working on it
brainstorm Initiatives all ongoing

Action Items

what who when status

Next Meeting

Wednesday June 20