‘s just came to my attention, thanks to this tweet by , who adds “Needs more symmetry of power for consumers though”.  All due respect to Andrew’s efforts (and he deserves much), I think the only way to get symmetry of power for consumers is by turning them into full-power customers—with their own tools. That’s what we’ve been working on in the VRM development community.

Several years ago I put up a list of ten principles of VRM. That was before we had most of the tools in development today. So now I’d like to post instead a list of characteristics that define VRM tools. As usual, these are provisional:

  1. VRM tools are personal. As with hammers, wallets and mobile phones, people use them as individuals,. They are social only in secondary ways.
  2. VRM tools help customers express intent. These include preferences, policies, terms and means of engagement, permissions, requests and anything else that’s possible in a free market (i.e. the open marketplace surrounding any one vendor’s silo or walled garden for “managing” captive customers).
  3. VRM tools help customers engage. This can be with each other, or with any organization, including (and especially) its CRM system.
  4. VRM tools help customers manage. This includes both their own data and systems and their relationships with other entities, and their systems.
  5. VRM tools are substitutable. This means no vendor of VRM tools can lock users in.

So, tell me how to improve the list, or suggest a better one.