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May 6, 2000

Empowering Communities of Consumers

The coming economic era and precepts are emerging as totally different from industrial capitalism. We're learning that e-businesses and their networks destroy many of our basic concepts of production, marketing and distribution. Jeremy Rifkin [1] notes that in this "Age of Access" we are entering an era in which lifelong customer relationships are the ultimate commodities market. This provides a different, more positive, and perhaps more likely view.

FIRST MONDAY is one of the first peer-reviewed journals on the Internet, about the Internet. First Monday expands the frontiers of academic publishing by combining the traditional values of peer review with publication on the World Wide Web. To read the full contents of “The COMsumer Manifesto”

INTRODUCTION

The COMsumer Manifesto:
Empowering Communities of Consumers Through the Internet

The coming economic era and precepts are emerging as totally different from industrial capitalism. We're learning that e-businesses and their networks destroy many of our basic concepts of production, marketing and distribution. Jeremy Rifkin [1] notes that in this "Age of Access" we are entering an era in which lifelong customer relationships are the ultimate commodities market. This provides a different, more positive, and perhaps more likely view.

The Internet is changing business models and empowering consumers to create new communities that combine the power to aggregate rich sources of individually personalized data in real-time activities. Large-scale data aggregators are emerging to navigate and mediate info markets. While information records are proliferating, new standards for content capture and management are appearing. Most companies continue to hope they will control their customers' information assets. However, what if this is not true or becomes impossible? What if consumers decide to band together and control their own personal information? Are you ready to freely give your customers their data records? Are you prepared to live up to the COMsumer Manifesto?

This article offers a disruptive antidote to the hierarchical, closed, supply-system, explicit, knowledge-driven, "We Know What You Want" data mine world where many customers feel powerless. This is a world well beyond 1999's "Net Worth" [2] and 2000's "The Cluetrain Manifesto" [3]. Infomediaries are not just trustworthy agents which sit between the vendor and the customer [2], and markets are not just conversations [3]. In this new world, communities sense needs, desires, and wishes for the future and create new data markets - to which organizations must respond or die! We are closing in on the "tipping point" [4] where COMsumers take complete control of their destiny by collectively owning their personal information assets

The COMsumer Manifesto

We, the people who live in an interconnected, on-line, real-time world, declare that:

* We realize that the most important thing we own is information: data about our purchases, our preferences, and ourselves.

* We want instant connections - no delays! - to others in the network via systems which are invisible to us but controlled by us.

* We expect all suppliers to us to recognize the common courtesy of automatically and invisibly providing our information accounts with records of our transactions.

* We insist on free access and maximum transparency in all transactions on the network. This implies the free exchange of open information standards and our involvement in their ongoing development.

* We determine at all times if we participate in the network ("opt-in") or withdraw ("opt-out"). We will agree to timed commitments for the data aggregation processing and expect that these agreements will be "rolled-over" (say, semi-annually) in normal circumstances.

* In short, permission remains with us. We determine the level and degree of privacy we desire and we will share our data with those we trust.

* We have no desire for data about us to be stored in some remote inaccessible corporate databases which are "mined" for the benefit of the owners rather than ourselves.

* Therefore, we resolve to take ownership of our personal data ourselves and in conjunction with info fund managers maximise the value that can accrue to us.

* We recognise that the number of uses and opportunity grows as the network grows and will tend to infinity.

* Collectively, we realize that all of us have the potential to be better than any one of us in generating new ideas / knowledge.

* We believe that new wealth is created through the collective sharing of our largely tacit knowledge and codifying this with others of like interests into new potential market needs.

* We believe that enormous efficiencies will result when what groups of consumers want is more easily articulated and understood.

* We call ourselves COMsumers and believe in investing our information for the common good of the planet. We will share what it is important to share and keep private those details that might empower outsiders to interfere in the lives of individuals in our community.

As we grow in number so will the wishes and desires of our community. We commit to capturing our collective wish lists of wants, desires and dreams and monitor how these change from time to time. After all, the willingness to dream reflects our desire to make these things come true. This is the best possible hope for our collective future.

January 6, 2003

Blogrolling & Ryze

Access to hotlists like Napster and Kazaa accelerate my learning about music. When downloading one track I often check the users hotlist. It stands to reason, if they have one song I like they will likely have others that interest me. The same thing is happening with blogrolling, and as a result I am making new connections seeing new sources for material and meeting new friends. Though the strategy with blogging connections is not always the same. Where in music... I would just highlight all the tracks and let them flow onto my disk drive --- when looking at anothers blogroll list I'm interested in those that are different to mine. (Except I would like to be able to share my Kazaa index! like an Amazon wishlist)

And this is where the blog is different to RYZE a community for business networking. In Ryze (see below) I can join tribes and list friends. Makes me wonder... Is there a point where the numbers, content, reputations, and readers suggest that S & J & B should blog together? The semi-smart mob blog is already here. Be neat to know where new conversations are being sparked.

Do I need an interactive blogrolling list? One that presents and learns from interactions with visitors and my visits to other sites. When I add someone to my blogroll, it means I'm learning from them, want to stay current with their thinking. My current list is small. I can currently only sort it on those that are recently updated. If we use the Tipping Point (book insights) then I should expect to have a list of about 150. Most of us would say that's too long to be useful at least at a glance. May as well be random without some metrics and linking suggestions to make it more useful. Focused list options and personalised matching would prove interesting. If Ryze is worth $10 per month then so is this.

I took a complementary step today by finally joining Ryze and surfing around in this emerging community for business networking. My page, and the initial tribe Blogs & Bloggers that via Ross Mayfield provided the incentive to go the extra step. I really would like to see the statistics, just like they show on Live Journal

For some additional KM links see The KMconnection Knowledge Management Product Guide - REV 1.6, December 11, 2002. KM Forums Collecting and 'annealing' the important KM watering holes. This page is part of KmWiki. Started by DenhamGrey

March 27, 2003

Identity Circles

I’m sharing this emergent - thought piece today. I can’t vouch for the approach or the technology. In a nutshell it ’s a speculative identity solution, using a nice metaphor “Circles”, P2P (peer-to-peer) underpinnings and posing an ownership approach that looks like a cooperative. Is it off the wall? Perhaps it can't be done. Objections? Thoughts? Abandon?

IDENTITY CIRCLES CIRCLES enrich and enhance life’s many connections. Whom you know has never been so important. Professional, Business, Community, Friends, creating circles of trust that you control. Now you can be more connected and share what and when you want. In CIRCLES you can discover a whole new range of connections, intersections where you connect for fun, influence, advice, learning. Today’s world is connected. Sometimes for fleeting moments or maybe for a lifetime. We move, we change addresses, our contacts change from year to year. Yet serendipity still strikes.

We meet friends in unexpected places, and find old work or college colleagues when we least expect them. CIRCLES let’s you grow and learn from whom you know. So together we travel many different circles and through many different roles. Collectively we learn we have a lot more to offer, when we don’t always know what we can do for each other. Cooperatively we learn together, individuals can create more value from their profiles that they can individually seeding them at many different destinations. There are valid reasons for public and commerical interests. Under Circles you control access.

So what’s different? Safe and secure in your circle, you are part of a many circles environment that makes up “many trusted circles”. CIRCLES guarantees your privacy and the privacy of your friends. Under Circles there is no more spam. The information is yours alone to share and trade as you wish. Circles is merely a commerical and public broker of information. Tomorrow's Post Office. How is it done? see the extended entry....

You begin by building your profile with your own circle of trust. This P2P based component puts your profile on your PC or personal mobile device (on or off whenever you like). When you open your account you will be required to find three friends to secure your profile and join the network. The friends provide backup (secure keyed) in case your encrypted data is lost. They can’t see your data, however their systems can broadcast for you should you be offline for any reason. (We see something similar in music with Kazaa).

This provides a built in redundancy and back-up using your friends, so you can store all your data safely. Effectively you have a duplicate safe deposit boxes for your key personal information. Your information profile is secured on your PC and controlled – served- only by you. Similarly accounts for family members may be stored there. (Freenet)

Within the P2P network that makes up Circles (think close friends) you can connect with friends of friends (buddylists/Friendster/Ryze Friends). You can look up friends knowing a phone number address or name and request that they add you to your contacts list. As a consequence you will never have to update your address book again. Some connections will also be temporary (eg Child’s sports team parent list). Circles makes these easy.

Within Circles, the Jabber IM solution (?) automatically lets you chat and talk to friends. You can send messages, share files or simply VOIP, while also enabling new conversations and searches to connect with friends of friends. Circles helps those important introductions. Similarly, Circles will keep you private if you don’t want unwelcome intrusions. You control the access to your profile. This becomes even more important as your profile becomes increasingly mobile with you.

We expect many of your current relationship providers will want to expand your profile. For example, a corporate profile (that depending on the company and policies may want to keep public or private) and similarly a health record. As Circles is an Open Source project we expect these profiles to be standardized over time.

While Circles enable you to enhance and grow your network we are also working to create commercial opportunities you profit from while putting an economic value on your attention.

Who Controls Circles, who’s in charge?

Circles approach is to create a cooperative connectivity system. Imagine the post, phone fax and e-mail service owned by you and me. First and foremost you serve your own information. Circles simply provides the enabling and verification service for public and commercial access, those not in your friends list, and all commercial contacts. To activate this opportunity you create a verified contact account at the Circles Common. Correspondingly your employer may open and verify an employee account.

When you activate your CIRCLES account you join our cooperative and are paid for your attention dependent on the commercial and pubic content consumed. (Paypal Account). It’s simple really. Imagine a world without mailboxes at your front door, and yet someone wants to send you a letter or a video or a voice message. Where do they send it? It’s easy if they have your address. It’s hard if you don’t! Economically you can make it cheaper for direct mailers, your key bill providers and others to reach you. When you reduce their costs, you can make money. That way Circles earns it’s transaction fee (Visa) on each delivery. That is the economics of attention. The sender pays, not the receiver.

You participate already, each time you see an add on TV it costs you thirty seconds. With Circles activated it is on your terms and timetable. Alternatively it can be set by your employer for certain hours as part of your “attention contract”. Remember not all offers are bad, and as others learn your interests you are more likely to get information that is useful to you. This goes for the organization as well, (however the organization will be paid for those interruptions).

Similarly, small commercial transactions (eg the plumber, lawnmower, acccountant etc) may request to sign and leave a commercial greeting card. (Think Ryze guest book) Your rating and reference will then be available for other friends etc in the neighborhood. (Xpertweb??)

To fund Circles growth and the market for the information assets you are prepared to share …..

1. Circles Members receive a monthly attention payment dependent on the collective rate schedule as determined from time to time. The rate schedule for personal accounts will be set to recover the costs of your broadband connection over the course of the year based on average participation levels. Thus as a cooperative our aim is to make digital connectivity available and free for all.

2. Each Circles member becomes a shareholder, vesting overtime based on participation. Each member will be deemed fully vested at 60 years of age and must have participated for a minimum of 5 years. Circles will buyback your shares at that time based on the value of the collective income pool adjusted for current vesting levels.

3. Your shares in the coop will represent a “life time” information asset, which after 50% vesting you may sell at any time. This reflects the collective value you have created for the community overtime valued at the point you sell it.

4. We aim to grow the market for your information assets. Our success is dependent on your participation. Once we have basic accounts up and running we will enable opt-in opportunities. We all know one consumer interested in buying a car won’t save much. However, 10000 consumers wanting to buy a similar car could save a lot. Information brokers chosen and acceptable to you can act on your behalf in ways that are not dissimilar to priceline and accompany (now defunct).


Benefits:

  • Only you control access to your information.
  • Circles brokers introductions and eases personal, social, business and professional exchanges.
  • Circles creates a valuable economic asset, that grows with the collective value of shared information assets in the community.
  • Circles aims to “connect” everyone on earth digitally, just like the original post and telephone, but this time for free.

Continue reading "Identity Circles" »

April 22, 2003

Musings - Rich Profiles

Tom Portante and I have held many conversations over the last few months, testing them, working them forward.  He's posts a collection of examples today. It's a little long in this format. Note this.   

"An unintended consequence of all of these possibilities -- once you establish a system that allows e-mail recipients to charge for their attention (by way of a token 17-cent 'postage' rate or some other fee structures) ...

...spam goes away."
There are three good example of how the knowledge innovation boundaries will be stretched. 

You will see the common themes.

  • Economics of Attention
  • Relationships, trust, circles,
  • Personal Knowledge Management

Look more closely and you will see the emergent knowledge sharing opportunities, the benefits of rich profiles, and database technology that with redefine connectivity.  If you were a corporate you may see that as KM is individualised the relationships become more personal.  As the number of relationships grow the organization has new opportunities.  Real links with the outside world have always been treasured. The difference is every employee will add 150 and probably more like 1000. Each of those links will add to brand value.  The organization can once again become / have a conversation..... 

The last observation for tonight.  Is certainly one I've been experiencing today.  Websites for companies appear aggregated - centralized.  Well I've got news.  The new tools are decentralizing, not top down, no one controls all of them.  If you just look at this blog.  It's personal, it uses MT,and all the ecology items I just added add functionality.  Some come with a cost.  The KM field failed to centralize knowledge.  At the end of the day it's knowing 'who' to call.    

May 7, 2003

Exchanging Trust

There's an interesting discussion around trust fueled by Pierre's blog and Mr G's follow-up on the Global Trust Exchange. It began with a question "What for?".  Somehow I think some posts are at cross purposes, when everyone could really be eating cake. 

It's not surprising.  Trust is not a simple word to define. Trust is situational, it is also mine.  Do I trade trust? And what's a trust exchange? If we are not sure of motives -- when trust's involved we are even more likely to jump to conclusions.

In a trust vein we looked at adding friends on Ryze.  "Will you be my friend?" and concluded we stopped asking questions like that long ago.  We've learnt that trust has many different faces.  In one instance I may ask you to be a referree on a job.  However, it's still possible that while I trust you with that reference, I may not trust you to cut down a tree.  Similarly I may be happy to refer you but conditions may be attached.

The problem here is in the name GTX not the concept. What's needed are illustrations.  In GTX connections between parties are defined by layers of permission and access.  These are friend to friend and not generic.  The brilliance in Net Deva is in the definitions and ultimately the simple way in which it makes connections, referrals and introductions. while paying attention to affinities and the type of relationship you have. 

Consider Pierre, Joi, William and Mr G.  Pierre asks Joi to be a financial reference and provides "Nickel Exchange details" plus general contact information etc by providing access to a rich profile format on GTX.  Joi is pleased to be a referee and accepts putting the minimum amount of information relating to himself into the system. He adds no further contacts, but over time others contact him, linking their business cards.  Similarly Pierre secures other referees.  For he's learnt that there are connections between us that hold hidden value. 

Example at a networking event or a conference when meeting someone new we cross-reference on books, people, places, and names possible connections pop up.  These are ones we sense might be worth sharing a little of our social capital on and making an introduction.

Now William is in the GTX and is looking for a connection and introduction to the Nickel Exchange. Without GTX it may take forever to find someone who knows his work and may provide an introduction.  With GTX he keys in his request and gets a list back of possible connections.  He's pleased to see Joi is on his list.  Now there are many levels, dependent on all the relationships that each have with each other.  If William is merely an aquaintance of Joi's the next exchange will be very different from finding out one of his partners (Joi possibly) knows Pierre. 

Now imagine you have a plumber come to your home.  On completing the job he asks if you might be a local reference for him - valid for a year. You are pleased with his work.  You say yes.  Now a neighbor is looking for a plumber (of course you don't know this).  Rather than waiting to ask friends they key into GTX, and find there are three people they are connected to via their daughters school class.  Three of them have the same plumber listed by name.  A fourth has a connection to a plumber but the name is not visible.  One parent you know very well.  Rather than calling them you call the plumber direct..... For the plumber has given access to his business details (super yellow page listing) though his trusted business referrals.  It's quite possible that the same plumber doesn't enable the same visibility via his church group.  Although members of his church group may be someone the neighbor could connect with who knows of a plumber. 

The trust issue is more I fear more of context here.  The examples are possible.  It's been done and there's an initial prototype. I've viewed Net Deva and want to see it rolled out.  It deserves further funding.  Ultimately a trust exchange may emerge.   

 Possible applications. 

  • An enterprise wants to intiate a socially innovative client service and business development strategy
  • An enterprise wants to lower the cost of human capital acqusition, finding new recruits though their network of employees, suppliers and key customers.
  • A jobseeker wants to build a network of trusted referrals which will help get a new job and bring more value when newly employed
  • A small company links to a multide of professional free agents, their access to talent just went up exponetially.   
  • An individual wants to find someone who lived in Holland in 1983.
  • A non-profit wants to raise money. They want to direct their volunteers to target specific organizational accounts.  Who best to reach out and approach? What groups could be put together? 
  • that's enough for now

The real issues for "this trusted rich profile exchange" is in securing the numbers, ensuring and controlling access, security from spam and simply managing expectations.  In my view there's an organizational / enterprise model and a public model.  Usability must be kept simple.

So has the Global Trust Exchange just been miss-interpreted? Is it the language or the concept? We all exchange information all the time for value creation. See the applications.  The real question is what's the value of your missed opportunities? Can you afford not to experiment in this space.  If you are a large enterprise, a professional networking community or non-profit foundation, Net Deva is a nugget that may reframe how you do business. 

 

December 8, 2003

Wrinkles for Skype Hype

Thoughts on Skype, Skype Problems, Skype Limitations, Skype Hype, Skype Product Development and Viral Marketing. A few things pushed me towards this post.

  • Continuing comments re the proprietary nature and performance
  • My son's Skype usage
  • Impact of potential Skype conferencing features
  • Continued "phone" perspective.

    Continuing Comments:
    Useful perspective was added by David Beckemeyer advocates taking a broader perspective. This market is changing quickly. There's a lot more in play than just POTS and calling granny. I'll take him up on his challenge to take a look at Free IP Call. So far I've not had much success with these types of services. I've not had the trouble that Robin writes about. I'm happy to try new things. The biggest pain is getting functional buddy lists. In organizations that can be forced. As an independent that just means run them all.


    I want to encourage you to think about employing a SIP-based solution, if not now, please keep it in the back of your mind.

    The advantage of SIP for all of us is that it is an interoperable standard, being embraced and adopted by many vendors. SIP is like the 802.11b of VoIP. It means we can (soon) buy phones at Bestbuy and like email, if we have a SIP address with one provider, we can still make calls to people on other providers.

    Skype, on the other hand, is like Compuserv. It is a proprietary closed system. It might even be that Skype today offers a better overall product experience in practice, so I can understand why people use it. SIP-based products and services have to compete........ (read it)
    Unbound Spiral Comment:


    There is no reason not to SIP. Just the functionality that most SIP phones are giving me are less that what I'm seeing over the horizon on my desktop. Instead concentrate for a moment on what my 15 year old son does.

    Gaming:
    He's recently become addicted to playing America's Army. This is not about whether it is good or not it is about the impact that it has. He's found that double teaming with his buddy using Skype increases their chances of success. So he's running the full game sound and listening to his buddy while in the action. I know now that they can't wait until Skype offers a conference capability. The pack mentality of young men on Skype is a scary thought. This won't just apply to America's Army. He plays "Warcraft" etc. The difference is he will be able to choose who is on his team. He's never managed to do that with Socom a PS2 Game.

    In a post on why "Skype Growth is Slowing" I noted that the always on number had slowed while downloads continue apace. Today some 3.5 million downloads.

    Imagine a little scenario for a moment. Skype announces a conferencing capability (see CNET) and provides the first 5 hours free. My son patches in his friends. They win games together. When his five free hours are up his buddy starts the hosting process. Ultimately they will either buy it themselves... or get Mum and Dad to buy it. If as expected this is less than the price of a new game for a year... they will be into it.

    In the theoretical world above, our kids become the first "visible society" members. By staying visible they get called into a game, added to the team. Having persistent identities easily shared within their circles closes the gap between individual PC pursuits and group online action. There is much more Skype could do with games if they would just open up their API. 3-D sound, player positioning etc. That's being promoted by Diamondware who has just won an award for this type of technology. I'm sure they understand player velocities and location. The release confirms tested by the military.

    Conferencing:
    This little scenario also illustrates the opportunity that exists in the business world. Many of us have adopted headsets for interviewing, and typing away at the PC. Using the Skype interface the conference addition could include conferences that your buddies are in and their topic when not private. There are some neat refinements possible to that solution which really impact on the virtual office. In the physical world I'm used to walking down the hall and we have some peripheral sense of where people are. That's not true in todays virtual world. The Diamondware publication above confirms this belief and opportunity. When conferences become visible then collaboration and project management is almost sure to be accelerated. Note this is different from chatrooms for it is difficult to monitor more than one at once. And the one you are monitoring you are participating in, idle or mute.

    Yesterday's post on Accidental Communities begins to illustrate the power of this peripheral vision in another way. To date it was only in the hands of the smartest site managers and network analysts. No more. Those connections can be pushed to personal desktops and become part of PKM - Personal Knowledge Management. This will enable the smart caller id systems and other RSS transport of content and connection information.

    Phone Thinking:
    On the phone we make "connections". With the exception of a few individuals no-one is really experienced in the multi-connect impact of conference calls that can be done on a whim. The phone paradigm and the IM paradigm is built round 1 to 1 and not many to many. Microsoft can offer an option tomorrow for their IM system. Select "text based" or "phone based", similarly so can the others. However, why add to the central server system to handle conference calling. Advantage Skype and P2P telephony, until MS and AOL adopt a similar approach. Could Passport become the Skype cloud?

    I should be able to do other things too. Like drag and drop invite buddies into conversations. See that other meeting rooms are occupied and see the topic. So I can text in... "when you talk about customer x" pull me in. I'm afraid that the telephone discussion only serves to make the course of action that Skype or its followers take even more disruptive. Let's make it a practical example. I'm using Spoke to ease my way into making a new business contact. Spoke locates my best connection and then waits until the "connector" has approved that they will do a voice introduction. Then when all of us are online together and available... the system initiates a call. This has major benefits. No e-mail requests. No connection, message waiting, an easy "yes lets extend this conversation. This can be extend further when an additional caller comes on line while 3-D sound helps the memory by placing them in a location. That is something I've never had on a phone call and am yet to see. This will make for a nice pictorial circle.

    Communicator Connect:
    Skype may not be the answer for this. However, get their conferencing capability running and enable the "ID Exchange" companies to plug in and they will create a new demand where there was none before. Before you know it social networking software may really have value. Ask yourself. Can Skype plug in Friendster, Tribe, Ryze, Spoke etc? See Skype Social Networks / Yellow Pages. Maybe a deal with Match?

    Viral Pricing:
    I'd like to close with an observation. Many may urge me to make a second post at this point. I won't. I want to suggest a viral aspect for the potential conference calling premium package. I found myself testing Glance the other day. They have a one day trial offer. In fact for me the first trial didn't go all that well. It was too slow. However I wrote them and suggested I was just the type of guy to test this product out. They generously extended the trial and I have had some better experiences with it since. However, I don't really have a regular use for it. So how should you charge to enable the viral aspect to take hold? You simply create a scale. A user that uses it infrequently, maybe two or three times a month remains free, unless the sessions are talking hours. Each time they use it they have the potential to infect others. I'm assuming the real target is "sales presentations, training etc". A new user that become a heavy user quickly will find themselves paying for the service. Make 20 presentation in two days and on the third you will be paying... Make 6 in the first month and then the 10th in the second month... and you start paying.

    What is the learning? Provide conferencing free for limited periods. Those that use it irregularly will infect others and get an even bigger feel good factor. It will make them even less likely to turn it off. Turn conferencing off or make them pay immediately and they simply won't. They have to become comfortable using it first. Watch out WebEx.

  • December 9, 2003

    More on Web Presence

    Following last nights web presence posting; a follow-up discussion


    Enterprise collaboration faces a number of challenges in the years to come. IM systems today are where e-mail was back in the late 1980's islands of common use separated by protocols, vendors, and the network itself. Test Center Lead Analyst Jon Udell and Senior Analyst P.J. Connolly debate whether Web services will be the catalyst for the transformation of collaboration, and how......
    InfoWorld: P.J. Connolly and Jon Udell

    November 11, 2004

    The Q-Card Jyve-Tag

    So what makes the first Skype application from Qzoxy and Jyve so very interesting? It's a smart VCard and here is a picture and of the working prototype today, a mere illustration of what will exist a year from now. If you are operating a call center, a social networking site, dating site, 900 business etc. think it through. I'D LIKE TO KNOW WHAT USES YOU SEE EMERGING?

    Marc Canter of FOAF fame? Then to quote David Weinberger "It'd integrate with other applications on your phone device. It'd know who's calling from where and spin up a web page to show you the relevant information. It'd link to everything the Net knows.". Is this part of what you want David?

    qzoxy jyve 111104.jpg
    You too can add it for free at Jyve. Click on the Jyve-Tags button. You will need a Jyve profile to participate. A simplified form is likely to be in the works. There is no charge. Jyve won't be alone offering Q-Cards, others will come to offer the Qzoxy Q-Card. Where I think an interesting immediate experiment could be made would be to provide the Q-Card with TypePad accounts substituting for the current e-mail link.

    A couple of things worth pointing out. You don't need to have Skype to send in a call request. Thus even POTS only can request a Skype call back which at your option can be executed at SkypeOut rates. In time I'm sure this VCard no Q-Card will evolve to tell you the best way to get me at any moment and how long you have to wait. Q - Que. That's more useful than Plaxo (I don't use it) which merely updates phone numbers. Then there are a lot of paying businesses that work around the "click to connect". There is a lot of opportunity here.

    The Skype API has been noted by Tom Keating and Andy Abramson of course. Still if you go back to the Skype API announcement page you will see that they missed the real story as "presence" isn't mentioned. Frankly I think it is the biggest story of all and they clearly need to get a team working on it. There's some additional client features that the developers and us users will require. The picture above should be worth way more than a thousand directory services! The fun is only just beginning.

    December 14, 2004

    Audio Video Blogging

    Just testing out Userplane's new A/V blogging tool. It's simple and easy to use. I just created a quick "testing" post. It's certainly easy to use. Beyond stop / start there is really no editing capability. Get it right or erase and start again. In this format it could be used as simple briefing and status report updates. When this converges with voice mail.. then it may be a whole lot more personable and persuasive to leave a video mail. The act of just recording a video will probably raise your energy level.

    Summary:
    Neat easy to use tool. I'm trying to insert it in a wikispace I'm working on. I'm also thinking about whether to simply replace the photo on the blog here with a short introductory video. Will have to think about the content. Alternatively it could become a little "this week I'm exploring... or thinking about". With the interests in podcasting it's introduction is timely. To do anything substantial in this area... additional functionality is required. Still the short burst have merits.

    May 30, 2007

    Blog Ping from the Past - Identity Circles

    When one gets out of the habit of blogging we can forget some of the reasons why it was so important to us. I used to use my blog continually for sending links and updates to others. It provided a steady stream of what I'd been thinking about, testing and what I'm following. Even today I get pings from the past on a post I've written. I really appreciate them.

    Hi Stuart,

    I stumbled upon an intriguing post of yours dated March 2003. It's about "Identity Circles": http://www.henshall.com/blog/archives/000182.html . Put it today, it would still be ahead of its time. It's quite amazing that you had this vision back in 2003.

    I'm curious if that was your wishes at the time or you actually worked on it to realize this vision. Any company that you are aware of which has achieved a good part of your grand vision? It would be interesting to know. Do you have any plan to have a follow-up post on the current status for this space?

    Thanks and best regards,

    Joshua

    Thank you Joshua! Sometimes we need reminders. I believed then in the core ideas for Identity Circles and have been working on in this area although I'm learning there is still a long way to go. I'm going to give some thought to your request for a follow-up post. In the meantime I thought I'd just republish a segment of it.

    IDENTITY CIRCLES enrich and enhance life's many connections. Whom you know has never been so important. Professional, Business, Community, Friends, creating circles of trust that you control. Now you can be more connected and share what and when you want. In CIRCLES you can discover a whole new range of connections, intersections where you connect for fun, influence, advice, learning. Today's world is connected. Sometimes for fleeting moments or maybe for a lifetime. We move, we change addresses, our contacts change from year to year. Yet serendipity still strikes.

    We meet friends in unexpected places, and find old work or college colleagues when we least expect them. CIRCLES let's you grow and learn from whom you know. So together we travel many different circles and through many different roles. Collectively we learn we have a lot more to offer, when we don't always know what we can do for each other. Cooperatively we learn together, individuals can create more value from their profiles than they can individually seeding them at many different destinations. There are valid reasons for public and commercial interests. Under Circles you control access.

    So what's different? Safe and secure in your circle, you are part of a many circles environment that makes up many trusted circles. CIRCLES guarantees your privacy and the privacy of your friends. Under Circles there is no more spam. The information is yours alone to share and trade as you wish. Circles is merely a commercial and public broker of information. Tomorrow's Post Office. How is it done? see the extended entry....

    You begin by building your profile with your own circle of trust. This P2P based component puts your profile on your PC or personal mobile device (on or off whenever you like). When you open your account you will be required to find three friends to secure your profile and join the network. The friends provide backup (secure keyed) in case your encrypted data is lost. They can't see your data, however their systems can broadcast for you should you be offline for any reason. (We see something similar in music with Kazaa). READ MORE


    What I still believe is the control must rest with the individual. That we must own our own identity, that it must be both private and secure. It won't happen without open standards.

    Perhaps in this last line "Circles creates a valuable economic asset, that grows with the collective value of shared information assets in the community. Circles aims to "connect" everyone on earth digitally, just like the original post and telephone, but this time for free."

    This partially serves to highlight why I thought Skype was such a big thing when it launched. Yet today the world of networks and communications is many times more complex. Identity Circles will only emerge when we have an abstract identity layer in place. When you and I can have one name for all communications with complete control over what we share and who has access. So in a way nothing has changed, we still need this.

    October 8, 2007

    Facebook Profiles

    I hope this isn't true! Structuring profiles eg (business or professional vs personal) is so limiting and isn't representative of the flow that exists between different relationships. If elements of a profile are to be limited then the controls must be much more precise. To go from one to two profiles leaves me with the same problem. Are they both on... is one on, are they both off. Profiles are outputs of how we group and tag information... and then grant access to it.

    This issue is another facet of Stowe's message re groupings. You must enable it so I can assign more than one tag. Group Tags may have different access to different information. If you are a member of more than one group you may have access to more or less profile information. Eg you can be my Friend and my Colleague.  This may also relate to time of day, my state (what I'm doing) and how I perceive my relationship with you. In reality we can't manage every piece of information on a per user / per relationship basic. However, we should also remember that just because we make it available... others may choose not to subscribe.

    Laughing at Facebook’s “older” users « Scobleizer

    IBM has about 20,000 employees on Facebook. We’ve explored how that can be used for internal communications/engagement objectives, and have discovered that there’s real potential - though many prefer to keep their “personal” and “professional” lives separate (I call it the “do I want my boss to see me in my bathing suit?” problem.) If Facebook can solve this - and the reports from last week that they’re developing a way for users to have dual profiles suggests they’re trying - FB’s value for networking will increase considerably.
    Where Facebook can really innovate is in the controls area. Tags should also have controls that determine what's shared, how long, privacy, expiry, etc.

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