Many of us in Internet identity like to joke about how we all work for Doc Searls, since he’s the one who initiated the Identity Gang and the whole current movement towards user-centric identity. But we may all seriously end up working for Doc in the new industry he’s setting out to create: VRM (Vendor Relationship Management). You can get a feel for it from the VRM wiki at Harvard’s Berkman Center, and there’s already a serious set of bloggers explaining how it will be the next big thing.
All I can say is: VROOOM! We can’t get to the starting line fast enough. As powerful as you think this idea might be, wait until the rubber meets the road and VRM services and solutions start hitting the market. It’s going be a tangible example of what Kim Cameron calls the “identity Big Bang”.
Like the Cluetrain Manifesto, I don’t think anything short of crawling inside Doc’s brain can really explain how much VRM will change marketing and CRM as we know it. But I plan to do everything I can to help, and with luck that will be plenty, because this is EXACTLY the kind of application for which XRI/XDI infrastructure was conceived.
I’ve added VRM as a category to my blog, and plan to attend Doc’s VRM development workshop before his Mobile Identity unconference at the end of January, so watch for more stories on it as the New Year unfolds.