Doc Searls is starting up a project near and dear to my heart – but he is a calling it Vendor Relationship Marketing – which I have previously called Consumer Managed Marketing.

We are on the same page though in terms of definition – allowing consumers to manage vendors content back to them in some manner.

The problem is how and where to start.

IMHO Project VRM is floundering on both of these issues – in particuliar on where to start.

Net Worth by John Hagle III, and Marc Singer was written back in 1999. It has a good background as to what is possible when consumers are able to aggregate themselves into groups to the point where merchants will consider the group as a channel.

Project VRM would like to see a distributed approach where consumers put out an “RFP” (somehow), publish it (somehow), and merchants discover it (somehow) and then have merchants respond (somehow) without revealing the identity of the consumer (somehow).

I had to be negative about it – but I see so many holes that I have to shake my head! 

That is a lot of “somehows” and although there are plenty of ideas – I think getting some direction started will be like herding cats! (Myself included!)

I brought up the subject of Interac, and coalition loyalty programs like Airmiles (as well as new comer Aeroplan) – but nobody seemed to took notice of these and hoiw they might relate.

Doc’s latest post was for fundraising for public radio programs and making it easier to contribute.  In my past life, I had a propsal in with PBS out of Spokane – and management rejected the concept. 

I wonder if I need to resurrect the old program, and give it another try – perhaps with Sliverlight, and SQL Server 2005 I could add enough bling to make it happen?????

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