The Global Village
VRM Scenarios - "The Global Village"
The customer owns her own information, and does with it what she pleases. In some cases, anonymous transactions are conducted, but most interactions happen with trusted vendors with whom the customer has dealt over time. The customer chooses vendors based on interpersonal empathy and affinity, as well as technical capability. Relationships grow over time, and vendors evolve beyond being simple suppliers of goods and services and into confidants (and sometimes friends). Customers pay somewhat higher prices, but look at interactions with vendors holistically, feeling that price is only one aspect of the true cost of a good or service. Customers and vendors work together to come up with new products and services. Competent and personable vendors succeed, scam artists are quickly outed and ostracized. The same is true for customers, as both vendors and customers belong to interconnected offline and online communities.
"For the term 'village' (as in 'electronic village' or 'virtual village') to be applied to an online scene with any accuracy at all, this blending of business and pleasure must be present. Because that's what a village is: a place where you go down to the butcher or the blacksmith and transact your business, and at night meet those same neighbors down at the local tavern or the Friday night dance." - John Coate: