Andrew Bogusky‘s New Conscious Consumer Bill of Rights post just came to my attention, thanks to this tweet by @jamiedsmith, who adds “Needs more symmetry of power for consumers though”. All due respect to Andrew’s efforts (and he deserves much), I think the only way to get symmetry of power for consumers is by turning them into full-power customers—with their own tools. That’s what we’ve been working on in the VRM development community.
Several years ago I put up a list of ten principles of VRM. That was before we had most of the tools in development today. So now I’d like to post instead a list of characteristics that define VRM tools. As usual, these are provisional:
- VRM tools are personal. As with hammers, wallets 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, permissions, requests and anything else that’s possible in a free market (i.e. the open marketplace surrounding any one vendor’s silo or walled garden for “managing” captive customers).
- 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 are substitutable. This means no vendor of VRM tools can lock users in.
So, tell me how to improve the list, or suggest a better one.