VRM – The C2C aspect

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VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) is a hot topic in certain circles.

The impact of the general philosophy behind the subject is already apparent in the recent development of increased user control in social media.

EatMedia.com summarises it well.

People may not want to have a “relationship” with all their vendors, but having control over the ones they do want is important.

One aspect that has not been widely discussed yet, is the C2C aspect. How do individuals control the ever growing social relationships with other individuals? 

I have spent a lot of time thinking about the dynamics of social relationships, and how a lot of aspects support my hypothesis

Business to Individual relationships in Social Media = Individual to Individual relationships in Social Media

Feel free to criticise, but let me present some supporting evidence.

The New York times (via Commetrics.com) wrote that “People are most likely to unfriend those who post mundane or inflammatory status updates.” 

Studies have been made confirming that Facebook increases narcissistic tendencies and self-promotion.

As I wrote yestersday, social media is essentially about following (creating networks), sharing (promoting within the network) and approving (like/retweet etc).

Individuals market their lives and ideas to their peers. Often by carefully analyzing how they will come across in an status-update or tweet. 

The mechanism really is not very different from corporate strategies, thriving on audience engagement and approval. (Likes & Shares)

The amount of social media contacts will keep on growing, as will the amount of irrelevant (for the reader of the news feed) content shared by those contacts.

Where does this lead?

VRM – The C2C aspect

As our lives become more and more integrated with the web, the need to control the noise becomes more and more apparent.

One sentence is Tech Crunch interview with Spotify CEO Daniel Ek struck me.

“We are more about verbs, about what we are doing right now…”

As different services launch more and more engaging ways to consume media, and simultaneously allow real time sharing, the amount of noise will not decrease in the foreseeable future.

We are already used to filtering commercial messages. Now we are building a need to filter our peers.

The difference between a commercial, and a personal relationship is the impact of breaking a virtual relationship. In a commercial context, the company sees a dip in statistics… while in the personal realm, unfriending or unfollowing someone, may result in real life friction and false assumptions.

What we will see in the next months, is an explosion of services that each try bring new solutions to:

  1. Social Media fragmentation
  2. Increased peer generated noise
  3. Peer initiated discovery, sharing and engagement.
There are no easy solutions, but I personally believe that a VRM approach with a C2C aspect, can be key in creating the future of the web.

The players that manage to best utilize the above mentioned aspects, can potentially create truly game changing applications that put even the big time announcements of f8 to shame.

About Sakari Kyrö

Customer experience fanatic, looking for weak signals to understand the future of the connected economy.

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