A Cloud of One’s Own is both the title and topic for my EOF column in the March issue of Linux Journal. In it I unpack a bit of what clouds are (they may have your data but are not yours), and the opportunities that might await if we turn around our orientation toward the rest of the world. A pull quote:
True: the PCs of today might be a lot smarter than the dumb terminals of computing’s mainframe and minicomputer ages, but in respect to clouds, they’re still terminals. That is, they are still remote: architecturally peripheral to the cloud itself.
Now, we could argue about what clouds are good for and have deep digressive exchanges about the premises (or even the facts) in that last paragraph, but instead, let’s address this question: Why not have your own cloud? That is, why not be what Joe Andrieu calls the point of integration for your own data and the point of origination about what gets done with it?
I point to The Mine! Project, about which I say, “Although not exactly a cloud of one’s own (which may be a contradiction in terms), it’s close enough to obey RMS’s admonitions. That is, it gives you control of your data and what can be done with it by others.”
So will other projects, in different ways. We’ll be visiting those at IIW/10 in May, where VRM topics and developers will be well represented. You can register here.
The Mine! Project is closer to my personal ambitions for VRM — developing base-level open source tools that give individuals both independence and constructive means for engaging with others in the world — than any other project I know. It’s also living proof that a user can get geeks to do what she or he wants. The user in this case is Adriana Lukas, and the geeks begin with Alec Muffett and fan out from there.
You can see some of those geeks sharing their work and progress at BarCamp Antwerp yesterday, in these videos:
The Mine! Project at BarCamp Antwerp 2010.
Now I’ll see if I succeeded in embedding video, something I rarely do. [Later...] Nope, failed. Still, follow that link to learn about the project and its progress from Alec & friends.
Lots of VRM Hub action. Here’s the page for the one coming up on 30 March. Be sure not to miss the related VRM Labs. Here’s a review there of chi.mp. VRM Hub last night and this post by Graham Sadd both report on the latest. So does Jake at omelette.es.
Nic Brisbourne sources Joe Andrieu in If You Love Your Customer, Set Her Free. Joe also sees $300 million in the One night stand use case.
Also in London, The Mine! Project has a developer meeting coming up next week. In a parallel way, other VRMers, including Iain Henderson (coming over from the London hotbed) will be coming to SXSW in Austin, where we plan to bring VRM up at a Barcamp there.
Jeff Jarvis brings up VRM in his end of a volley with Richard Edelman. (I had posted a long response here, but half of it got lost and I yanked it off the blog. Maybe I’ll give it another try soon.)
Live From Gartner CRM Summit UK: Customers Take Ownership. No VRM, but “social CRM” and “customer managed relationships.” Via Graham Hill. Geoff finds no VRM here, either.
Get ready for “fourth party” services. An intro to user-driven services. A new category driven by customers. Brings up PayChoice. So does Echovar.
Here’s a podcast of a call in which I explain VRM to skeptics.