Intentcasting

What’s a Good Customer?

For awhile the subhead for our site was, It’s still a timely thing to say, since searches on Google for “good customer” are at an all-time high:   The year 2004 was when Google began keeping track of search trends. It was also the year “good customer” hit at an all-time high in percentage of appearances in books Google scanned*: So, What exactly is a “good customer?” The answer depends on the size of the business, and how well people…

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Thinking Outside the Browser

Even if you’re on a phone, chances are you’re reading this in a browser. Chances are also that most of what you do online is through a browser. Hell, many—maybe even most—of the apps you use on your phone use the Webkit browser engine. Meaning they’re browsers too. And, of course, I’m writing this in a browser. Two problems with this: Browsers are clients, which are by design subordinate to servers. There is a lot that can’t be done with…

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The business problems only customers can solve

Customer Commons was created because there are many business and market problems that can only be solved from the customers’ side, under the customer’s control, and at scale, with #customertech. In the absence of solutions that customers control, both customers and businesses are forced to use business-side-only solutions that limit customer power to what can be done within each business’s silo, or to await regulatory help, usually crafted by captive regulators who can’t even imagine full customer agency. Here are…

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How customers help companies comply with the GDPR

That’s what we’re starting this Thursday (26 April) at GDPR Hack Day at MIT. The GDPR‘s “sunrise day” — when the EU can start laying fines on companies for violations of it — is May 25th. We want to be ready for that: with a cookie of our own baking that will get us past the “gauntlet walls” of consent requirements that are already appearing on the world’s commercial websites—especially the ad-supported ones. The reason is this: Which you can also see…

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The Only Way Customers Come First

— is by proffering terms of their own. That’s what will happen when sites and services click “accept” to your terms, rather than the reverse. The role you play here is what lawyers call the first party. Sites and services that agree to your terms are second parties. As a first party, you get scale across all the sites and services that agree to your terms: This the exact reverse of what we’ve had in mass markets ever since industry won the industrial revolution. But we can get…

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New Rules for Privacy Regulations

The Wall Street Journal has an informative conversation with Lawrence Lessig: Technology Will Create New Models for Privacy Regulation. What underlies a change toward new models are two points: the servers holding vast user databases are increasingly (and very cheaply) breached, and the value of the information in those databases is being transferred to something more aligned to VRM: use of the data, on a need to know basis. Lessig notes: The average cost per user of a data breach…

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Omie Update (version 0.2)

We’re overdue an update on the Omie Project…., so here goes. To re-cap: We at Customer Commons believe there is room/ need for a device that sits firmly on the side of the individual when it comes to their role as a customer or potential customer. That can and will mean many things and iterations over time, but for now we’re focusing on getting a simple prototype up and running using existing freely available components that don’t lock us in…

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For personal data, use value beats sale value

There’s an argument that goes like this: Companies are making money with personal data, and They are getting this data for free. Therefore, People should be able to make money with that data too. This is not helpful framing, if we want to get full value out of our personal data. Or even to understand what the hell personal data is. Stop and think about this for a second: Everything on your hard drives is personal data. So is every thing…

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Meet Omie: a truly personal mobile device

This is Omie: She is, literally, a clean slate. And she is your clean slate. Not Apple’s. Not Google’s. Not some phone company’s. She can be what you want her to be, do what you want her to do, run whatever apps you want her to run, and use data you alone collect and control. Being a clean slate makes Omie very different. On your iPhone and iPad you can run only what Apple lets you run, and you can get only…

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The Promise of the Personal Cloud

The term “personal cloud” is only about a year old and has a wildly disparate set of meanings.  For some, services such as Facebook, Dropbox, and SugarSynch are personal clouds.  For others the gold standard is iCloud, which stores data and media and manages your apps from all your devices – as long as they are all from Apple.  I find myself agreeing with Jon Udell who writes in Wired, “I see signs of the personal cloud in services like…

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