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iCitizen 2008: Doc Searls


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Keynote: Doc Searls—Harvard Fellow at the Berkman Center, Coauthor, The Cluetrain Manifesto

Next on the Open Horizon
Web visionary Searls isn't much interested in making the current ad-centric "attention economy" more engaging. He wants to replace it altogether with an "intention economy" that matches consumers' intent to purchase a specific product with any and all relevant brands. Is this nirvana for marketers or does this economy render them obsolete? And will Searls's Vendor Relationship Management get us there?

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iCitizen 2008: Doc Searls

  1. 1 What’s next on the open horizon Doc Searls Linux Journal • UC Santa Barbara • Harvard University •Twitter • Blogs • Various window seats
  2. 2 I believe in Duncan Watts. But I also believe in tipping. And we’re going to tip something big before this is over. So don’t leave.
  3. 3 What’s next is fulfilment of The Cluetrain Prophesy: 1. We still don’t give customers the respect Cluetrain demanded more than 9 years ago. Because we can’t. That will change. 2. The Net is an open source project. Markets are too. Understanding the former will help us make the most of the latter. 3. Markets are relationships. Relating is the new frontier. And customers will take the lead. 4. The customer is the new platform. It’s time to take sides with ourselves, and our own intentions, and not just those of sellers. 5. The Intention Economy will grow around what we actually want. Not just guesswork about that. Demand will drive supply. Personally.
  4. 4 First, we have some unfinished Cluetrain business. - Chris Locke
  5. 5 How can customer reach exceed vendor grasp?
  6. 6 We can take our clues from free software and open source. They’ve been building a whole new world for us. Their way.
  7. 7 Open source developers have practical motivations. They want to build stuff. That can be used, and re-used. By anybody. For anything.
  8. 8 Open source code is a product of human nature. Its wild and free environment is the Net. Which it also helps build. Making it even more wild and more free.
  9. 9 Open source and the Net share two ideals: 1) Nobody owns it 2) Everybody can use it Plus one more…
  10. 10 3) Anybody can improve it
  11. 11 There are now more than half a million open source code bases. All of them grew on the Net. Which also embodies the same NEA principles: Nobody owns it, Everybody can use it, Anybody can improve it.
  12. 12 The Live Web is branching off the Static Web. Think of the branching as one between space and time. Space (Static) Time (Live)
  13. 13 Relationships will grow on the live web. Here relationships between customers and vendors will be two-way. Power will be much more symmetrical.
  14. 14 The Live Web is where we’ll drive The Intention Economy. The Intention Economy is what we get when we are no longer “seats”, “eyeballs”, end “users” or “consumers”. You have customers who are ready to buy.
  15. 15 Intention in a markeplace is what you get when the customer’s mind is made up. It’s also virgin territory. Mostly because we’ve spent too much time and energy on marketing, And not enough on what happens in markets when buyers are ready. Attention Intention Decision
  16. 16 We can explore The Intention Economy with Searls law #14: It doesn’t matter what car you want to rent. You’re going to get a Chevy Cavalier.
  17. 17 The car rental business makes an excellent study of intention-deprived markets. There they are, all lined up against the same wall…
  18. 18 …or worse, on the Web: Where they are all marketing silos. And where United replicates the all-silo airport experience.
  19. 19 I like to rent from Budget, because I might get a Ford Focus They still say their compact is a Ford Focus, “or similar.” But, like the rest of them, what they rent you mostly is…
  20. 20 What good would it do the car rental business to know what any customer’s intentions are, outside the silos? They would spend less energy trying to trap and hold customers And more trying to meet demand and improve service. And enlarging the whole marketplace.
  21. 21 A few things companies will need to know about independent customers They have lots of relationships that might also be good for you. Most of what they want isn’t in your CRM system. They have more good ideas for you than anybody inside your company.
  22. 22 I should be able to express global (and logical) preferences outside of anyone’s silo. For example, IF I am calling for tech support, THEN I don’t want to hear a commercial message. AND I am willing to pay X to reach a human in <60 seconds.
  23. 23 I should be able to manage my own health care data. Instead of risking my life when I fill out manual forms with names of diseases I don’t know how to spell.
  24. 24 I should be able to inquire and relate to whole markets, on the fly. For example, send a message from my moving car that I need a stroller for twins somewhere in the next 300 miles on I-40 eastbound… — without going into a silo, or giving any more than the required information… — which mainly consists of being trustworthy and having money to spend.
  25. 25 I should be able to manage my relationships with vendors. That means “agreements” need to go both ways. No more 10,000 word piles of legalese from Verizon saying they can cut you off for no reason at all. It means real relationships between truly consenting patries. Whether those relationships are enduring or transitory.
  26. 26 We’re calling this VRM, for Vendor Relationship Management It tests the belief that markets can be truly free and open. And in control by customers as well as vendors. We’re building tools that equip customers to be both independent of vendors, and better able to engage with them. We’re doing this at Harvard’s Berkman Center. And in groups around the world.
  27. 27 Our first project is a new business model for free media. (that isn’t advertising) Free media include… Public broadcasting Blogs, podcasts Music… Anything that’s either free on purpose or too easy to “steal”
  28. 28 Our first tool is the relbutton: It says, “I want to pay… what I want.” And/or, “I want to relate… on my terms… and not just yours.” “This is my code’s way of letting your code know that. Even if you’re not listening. Yet.”
  29. 29 The relbutton can represent three different states. 1. Intention to relate (and to pay). 2. Intention to sell, but also to relate on your (the buyer’s) terms, as well as mine. 3. Existing relationship.
  30. 30 There’s no limit to data types stored on both sides. These can include intentions, transaction records, preferences, memberships, “social graphs”, shopping lists, existing agreements, whatever. Selective disclosure is key.
  31. 31 Here’s where you’ll see it first. On a radio tuner for the iPhone and other mobile Internet devices.
  32. 32 That provides a new business model for media. Starting with noncommercial sources. And growing to include everything. Starting with the music business, probably.
  33. 33 Q&A Doc Searls