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.

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

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  • 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

    First Day of Conference, PM: Introductions and Lee Wilkins on Privacy

    After dinner at the hotel, the conference participants introduced themselves—quite a diverse group, with professionals from the worlds of journalism, advertising, law, technology and education. Pam Johnson, executive director of the Reynolds Journalism Institute at MU, also said a few words about the RJI fellows and their role in finding solutions to sustaining trustworthy journalism in the future.

    The evening’s highlight was a very engaging talk by MU professor Lee Wilkins on the critical issue of privacy as it relates to the exchange of information on the web. She outlined philosophical perspectives on privacy as well as traditional legal definitions, and how those could be reconciled in a research component as a means to building a better understanding of how privacy is changing in the 21st century—and ultimately, how such a theory could help the IVP succeed.

    In philosophy, Wilkins said, the notion of privacy has long been regarded as a positive force that protects people while also helping the individual form notions of his or her own community. By contrast, in its legal application privacy is regarded as a limiting force, e.g., what government may or may not do with regard to public surveillance.

    Wilkins introduced the concept of “contested commodities,” i.e., the notion that the market commodifies some things incompletely (an inexpensive but treasured wedding ring being an example). Privacy could also be thought of as a contested commodity—some people will gladly give it up in exchange for a certain good (peeing in a cup for the sake of getting a job), while others hang on to it more tightly. Wilkins is currently researching attitudes about privacy among differing age groups, and will be advising the Information Valet Project on matters of privacy.

    A dynamic discussion followed, with conference participants commenting on the possible negative consequences of disclosing personal information, the importance of context in the utilization of users’ personal information, the often unconscious exchange of privacy for convenience (the iPhone’s GPS function being an example) and Facebook’s function as a communal courtyard in which users have proved themselves to be comfortable revealing personal information.

    Emily Sussman

    Tom Stites Discusses the Banyan Project

    The IVP-Blueprint Conference hasn’t officially begun, but those of us who were here got to hear Tom Stites talk about his Banyan Project at RJI’s weekly Lunch Storm meeting. As with all the conference events I’ll be covering for this blog, what follows is by no means an exhaustive summary—just some highlights.
    —Emily Sussman

    Stites described the Banyan Project as an entirely “new model” for online journalism, rather than a minor adjustment. The aim is to build a media outlet with no structural conflicts of interest, i.e., one that is not dependent solely on advertising for revenue, but instead functions as a “co-op” and is owned by its readers by way of a small monthly user fee.
    The “theoretical framework” of Banyan is the “integrity economy” in which the reader owns the content and thus has a hand in determining what that content is. In other words, according to Stites, Banyan sites would present journalism that “rises up from its readers” (service journalism, for example), as opposed to being targeted at a specific (demographically desirable) audience. Most newspapers, Stites pointed out, are edited for the top two quintiles of the socioeconomic strata—leaving at least 57 million Americans without media content that has significant “relevance” to their lives. “If you offer a site with information that matters to people, they will come,” Stites said.
    Audience questions and comments for Stites mainly revolved around how technology could accommodate and enrich a Banyan-like media outlet. How could audience participation be encouraged and coaxed into a productive conversation rather than contributing to polarization? What’s the skill set required to be a meaningful reader-participant? How could stories be presented in an atomic (as opposed to pre-packaged) format? How could integrity be preserved throughout the site? How could news stories and statements of fact be tagged in such a way that facilitates sharing and searching on the web?

    Resources mentioned:
    Ellen Hume’s “Tabloids, Talk Radio and the Future of News”
    Newstrust.net

    Welcome to the IVP-Blueprint Conference… Live from Columbia, MO

    Hello and welcome to the ‘Blueprinting the Information Valet Economy’ conference.

    Whether you’ll be be joining us for this three-day event virtually or in the flesh, you’ll be able to follow every bit of the action right here on this site. My name is Emily Sussman; I’m a second-year master’s student here at the Missouri School of Journalism, and I’ll be live-blogging the conference straight from the school’s new Reynolds Journalism Institute.

    The conference will officially begin tomorrow (Wed.) evening and continue through Friday morning, so be sure to check in for regular updates.
    Also, please feel free to post questions and comments on this site.

    Enjoy the conference!

    —Emily (ews8tb@gmail.com)