The Information Trust Exchange Project grew in part out of a convening at MIT in June, 2007, organized by Bill Densmore of the Media Giraffe Project at UMass Amherst and Henry Jenkins, director of comparative media studies program at MIT. A few years earlier, Densmore and Jenkins shared an email exchange in which each postulated that the web would eventually need a distributed user management system for sharing content and value. A short report resulted from the MIT convening. That report began:
Consider this premise: To sustain democracy and journalism, the Internet needs a user-focused system for sharing identity, exchanging and settling value (including payments) for information (text, video, music, game plays, other entertainment, advertising views etc.) One challenge might be to create a system that can be ubiquitous yet never be owned or controlled by either the government or a dominant private, for-profit entity. It should to be massively distributed and — in some fashion – might ideally be collaboratively owned.
The Information Trust Exchange could be that system.