Cracks in the walls of the online advertising castle

On the advice of @SteveLohr and @michikokakutani ’s review in The New York Times, I just ordered Dave Eggers‘ The Circle — a tale of the dystopian present taken to its future extreme: a world where we are all fully devolved into data, and one big company serves us exactly the poop it knows — and helps — us want. [Read More →]

Posted in freedom, Future, Problems. Comments Off »

Identity is personal

It’s as simple as that. Identity is not corporate. That means no company is going to “win” at personal identity, any more than any company can win at being you or me. It makes no sense. But meanwhile, there’s this big war going on over identity, that Mike Elgan of CultOfMac covers (from the Apple [Read More →]

The VRM perspective

The VRM perspective is independence. This isn’t new. In fact, it’s as old as the Net. It is also nearly forgotten. Billions have never experienced it. When the Net first came into common use, in 1995, independence was what anybody felt who started up a browser and surfed from place to place, or who built [Read More →]

Posted in personal informatics, Problems, Scenarios, social, VRM. Comments Off »

Wanted: a handshake across the paywall

For five years I was a loyal subscriber to the Boston Globe. When I was out of town, which was a lot, I’d read it online, because the print subscription covered that too. This academic year I’m out of town more, so I canceled the subscription, because I didn’t want to pay $3.99 per week [Read More →]

VRM in 2013

Two positive pats on the VRM back greeted the new year and got me thinking. The first is Jim Harris’ Small Data and VRM — his prediction for 2013 in the @DataRoundtable blog. He writes, One of the reasons that vendors are getting geeky over Big Data is because they claim that they want to use it to become more [Read More →]

Posted in Demand chain, Problems, user-driven, VRM, VRM+CRM. Comments Off »

The identity problem

Robin Wilton (@futureidentity) has been wrestling with identity issues for longer than I have, and deeper in the trenches. It is from one of those — IGF2012 (The Internet Governance Forum for Sustainable Human and Economic Development) — that he issued a deep and thoughtful post today on the topic of identity. His central distinction: 2. [Read More →]

Time for subscribers to fix the broken subscription business

I love the New York Times. I’ve been buying and reading the Times for most of my life, and consider it the best newspaper in the world. And, now that I’m spending more time in New York, I want to subscribe, to at least the digital edition. But trying to do that is a freaking [Read More →]

Scaling business in parallel

Companies and customers need to be able to deal with each other in two ways: as individuals and as groups. As of today companies can deal with customers both ways. They can get personal with customers, and they can deal with customers en masse. Without the latter capability, mass marketing would not be possible. Customers, [Read More →]

Let’s fix the car rental business

Lately Ron Lieber (@ronlieber), the Your Money editor and columnist for the New York Times, has been posting pieces that expose a dysfunction in the car rental marketplace — one that is punishing innovators that take the sides of customers. The story is still unfolding, which gives us the opportunity to visit and think through some [Read More →]

Sovereign-source vs. administrative identity

You know who you are. So does the IRS, the DMV, and every Website you’ve ever made up a login and a password for — so it could “know” you. But none of those entities really knows you. What they know is what the techies call a namespace. What they have isn’t your identity, but [Read More →]