Category Archives: ivp-blueprint-summit

Blogging from and about the IVP-Blueprint summit, Dec. 3-5, 2008 at the D.W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Report: News orgs must help users with identity, privacy; consider non-profit collaboration to share tech, users, content

BRANSON, Mo., Aug. 4, 2011 — A non-profit collaboration to share technology, users and content could help news organizations find new revenues and become better at serving the public, according to a report by a Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute researcher at the University of Missouri.

The report, “From Paper to Persona: Managing Privacy and Information Overload; Sustaining Journalism in the Attention Age,” was published on Thursday and presented to the annual meeting of the Newspaper Association Managers Inc., meeting in Missouri.  It’s the result of more than two years of study by a Reynolds fellow and consultant, Bill Densmore, a career journalist, publisher and entrepreneur.

“As news and the economics of newspapers come unglued, what will sustain journalism?” Densmore asks. “The answer involves a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is how to do a better job of helping the public find knowledge they need, amid a glut so huge that the scarce human commodity is now attention, not information. The Internet provides the opportunity to do so.”

The report advocates forming an industry collaborative,  tentatively called the “Information Trust Association” by Densmore. It would define and foster a common technology playing field that respects consumer privacy, and makes rules for the exchange of both content and users’ identity information.

“Such a system might allow news originators of any size – possibly including bloggers – to exchange payments among each other and with public users for news information and sponsored material,” says Densmore.

Two thirds of the 55-page paper chronicles what Densmore says is the end of mass markets as a viable strategy for selling the advertising that has largely supported American journalism.  Instead, he says, the Internet is increasingly able to deliver commercial messages targeted to specific users’ interests and profiles – or personas.

As a result, the paper says, publishers and broadcasters have to learn how to use technology to become expert at personalizing information services. And that, says Densmore, requires them to help consumers with their privacy and personal information. They might help users to earn rewards, or pay for specialized information.

The last third of the paper argues that the Information Trust Association is the best way to help with this change. The idea is potentially controversial because the U.S. news industry has not typically cooperated on technology standards,  instead being buffeted and shrunk by services originated elsewhere such as Craig’s List, eBay, Facebook or Google.

“The point of the Information Trust Association would be to foster collaboration that increases convenience and choice for consumers,  allowing multiple service providers to compete on a common playing field,” says Densmore.  The paper offers nine examples of industries where this has occurred, including railroads, cable TV, the electric grid, electrical equipment, banking and stock exchange, and the Internet itself.

The genesis of the paper was Densmore’s 2008-2009 “Information Valet Project” fellowship at Reynolds.

“Our challenge is no longer how to access information, but how to manage our time and attention amid the glut. News organizations have the opportunity to move from being paid to deliver one-format products (broadcasts, print stories, to providing trusted multimedia, personalized services with unique insight, knowledge, curation, and aggregation. They can help users manage their privacy and identity — their persona,” says Densmore.

The white paper is now available to view and download online. Rich with more than 230 live links to additional resources and reading, “From Paper to Persona” can be found HERE.   A subsequent report, “From Persona to Payment” (2015) is found HERE.

To comment, join a discussion or learn more about next steps for the Information Trust Association idea, read Densmore’s blog post at:

Web would benefit from indentity service not ‘owned by a single company’ says Google chairman

Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt

Writing at the All Things Digital (ATD) tech blog site, John Paczkowski quotes Google Chairman Eric Schmidt in seeming to support the premise of a non-profit Information Trust Association consortium — creating a new web infrastructure for trust, identity and commerce that isn’t controlled by a single company. Schmidt was speaking in Q&A format at a May 31 event organized by ATD. He was responding to a question from Kara Swisher about why Google had not partnered with Facebook.

“”Facebook‘s done a number of things which I admire. Facebook can be understood as a great site to spend time with your friends and photos and postings and social updates. But another way to understand it is that it’s the first generally available way of disambiguating identity. And identity
is incredibly useful because in the online world, you need to know who
you’re dealing with. Historically on the Internet, such fundamental
services are not owned by a single company. They’re multiple sources. I
think the industry would benefit by having an alternative to that. From
Google’s perspective, if such an alternative existed, we would be able to
use that to make our search better, to give better recommendations for
YouTube, to do various things involving friends.”

Paczkowski’s post is HERE. Schmidt was at the D9 Conference at Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. There are video exerpts, but the part quoted by Packowski of the Schmidt interview by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher didn’t make the edit for the video archive.

June 23-25 “congress” gathering aims to establish trust, identity, commerce services for news

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Three U.S. newspaper trade groups and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute are teaming up to seed ideas and a possible solution to how news and other information can be managed and sold online.  “From Blueprint to Building: Making the Market for Digital Information,” is being billed as a three-day “action congress” to discuss issues of trust, identity and Internet information commerce.

 The June 23-25 event at the University of Missouri-based research center will include unveiling of a 148-page business plan for a proposed news-industry collaborative, according to Bill Monroe, director of the Multistate Digital Task Force, an ad-hoc group formed by state press associations in Missouri, Kansas and Iowa with support from several other state trade groups.

 Details of the public event, and links to participant registration, are at .

 “This is not a conference, or a summit,” says Bill Densmore, a consulting researcher to the Reynolds Journalism Institute. “ It’s a public congress of news and information service providers — organized by U.S. state press associations. The intention is to move beyond talk, and to launch one or more enterprises or collaboratives.” Reynolds is an ideas-experiments-research center affiliated with the nation’s oldest journalism school, at the University of Missouri.

 Densmore said the gathering has two intentions:

  •  Consider establishing a non-profit collaborative that will specify standards, platforms and protocols for a digital information marketplace; supporting investment and partnering with operating companies and,
  • Define and start raising money for an operating company or association that answers to, and primarily serves and benefits, all America’s newspapers — and is focused on profitably sharing, protecting and managing their digital content. Monroe, who is working from the Iowa Press Association in Des Moines, said the working name for the new entity is the American Newspaper Digital Access Corp.

“Newspapers are working to make the transition from a product-based culture — the daily paper — to a service-based one — helping people manage their privacy, identity and information needs in a web and mobile ecosystem awash with more information than we can intelligently assess,” says Densmore. “News organizations need to become our trusted  information valets  rather than our information gatekeepers.”

“From Blueprint to Build,” is an outgrowth of a December, 2008, summit also convened by the Reynolds Journalism Institute as part of a fellowship undertaken by Densmore called the Information Valet Project.

Blueprint summit — Lee Enterprises’ Greg Schermer sets the stage

Greg Schermer, vp-interactive for Lee Enterprises, opens the first day of the two-day Blueprinting the Information Valet Economy, summit at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia, Mo. Then the 40 participants work to frame the opportunities and risks for online information commerce and try to define the term InfoValet.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Blueprint — Thurs. Part 2 — Problem, value and structure

After framing the issues in the first hour, participants in “Blueprinting the Information Valet Economy” seek in discussion to reach consensus on what problem will be solved by the Information Valet Service, its key values to consumers and how it might be owned and organization. Conversation took place Thurs., Dec.3 at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia, Mo.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Blueprint Day 2: Defining the values, participants and purposes

Participants in “Blueprinting the Information Valet Economy” define the purposes, participants and values of the InfoValet Service during a session Fri., Dec. 5, 2008, in the Smith Forum at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia, Mo. Moderator is RJI fellow Bill Denmsore. Details: Speakers include Greg Schermer, Steve Mott, Randy Picht, Martin Langeveld, Elizabeth Osder and others.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Blueprint Day 2: Crafting a Development plan

Participants craft a development plan for the InfoValet Service during “Blueprinting the Information Valet Economy” summit at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia, Mo. This segment occurred Friday morning, Dec. 5, 2008 in the Smith Forum. Details:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Friday AM: Conference Wrap-Up

Click to view photos of Blueprint summit

Click to view photos of Blueprint summit

Friday morning the group was back at RJI to synthesize its ideas and advice for the IVP. Elizabeth Osder recommended brainstorming six user personas and writing a use case for how each would use and benefit from such a system. Jeff VanderClute urged thinking about immediate “tactical maneuvers” and business models, and Steve Mott created a chart on building the IV service with existing components (Information Card, Clickshare, etc.) to answer the question of “what is it we would be build if we could and what would we do if we could build it. 

Continuing a discussion from the previous night about an IVP development plan, the issue of content was hashed out, with questions that included what types of content would be involved, how it would be priced, how it would be filtered, and the role of journalism. As far as privacy, questions included what the rules would be for exchanging and repurposing of information, as well as how transparency could be stressed. With regard to the business model, participants noted that the size of the network involved would be the biggest factor in determining the IV’s value; they also had questions about vendor relationship management versus customer relationship management and how to start the IV in a simple way right now.

Before the conference adjourned, a number of participants offered closing advice for the IVP.

Among the suggestions:

  • Focus on “convenient and secure”—the marketing should go in that direction.
  • Is it too much of a stretch to combine the goal of privacy with that of providing quality journalism?
    <li.Assume the technology is going to be there; focus on how to get the early adopters and find a way to make it fun for consumers.

  • Most revenue will come from advertising or commercial content creators; they need to be in the room.
  • It’s an uncomfortable marriage in some ways: giving up information for marketing purposes in exchange for media content would change the relationship with the reader, which might be a sale job to some news organizations.
  • How to create/preserve a “civic space” such as the one maintained by journalism. 

    Also mentioned: Video: EPIC 2014

  • Thursday PM: Defining the IVP

    After lunch, the conference participants met up again at RJI to hash out a working definition of the Information Valet—formulating a “simple proposition” that a consumer would buy into. What I think we ended up with was this:

    Information Valet = A permission-based ecosystem assuring privacy that allows you, in a trustworthy way, to share personal information so that content providers and partners can create a structure to provide you with content, applications and incentives tailored to you and your needs.

    (See also: other versions of the definition discussed at the afternoon session)

    To make the concept more concrete, the discussion that followed centered around existing (or now-defunct) web companies that provide at least one of those technologies, though not in an integrated platform such as the one envisioned by the Information Valet Project. These companies included OpenID, Google Checkout, PayPal, Clickshare, and eRewards.

    Charles Andres of the Information Card Foundation gave a presentation on the Information Card, which would enable people to prove who they actually are on the Internet. (See this video.) It was agreed that the IV should be able to establish a “trusted identity relationship” with its customers.

    Also discussed Thursday: Blueprint “Next Step” Task Areas

    Thursday AM: Presentations and Breakouts

    This morning we met at RJI and heard a number of short presentations by speakers on what their companies are doing to address the challenges to and opportunities for interactive media. I’ll try to provide links here rather than attempt to summarize.  —ES

    -Greg Schermer, vp-interactive at Lee Enterprises: How newspapers can preserve growth through an online “social enablement” mission
    Tom Evslin (via Skype) — The value of networks, large and small
    -Steve Mott, BetterBuyDesign: Online payment platforms
    Lillie Coney, EPIC: surveying the status of privacy regulation and policy in Washington
    Doc Searls, Berkman/Harvard — (via Skype) IVP and the Intention Economy

    Following the presentations, three breakout discussion groups were formed; each will discuss how their topic could factor in to the Information Valet Project; reconvene and summarize after lunch.

    1) Business Models/Legal/Marketing

    2) Content/Syndication

    3) Advertising/Privacy/Demographics/ID