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The Information Valet Project:

Blueprinting the shared user/value network

December 3-5, 2008
Reynolds Journalism Institute
Columbia, Missouri



A senior-level strategy session designed to blueprint the law, ownership, management, marketing and technology of a shared-user network for user-centric demographics, privacy-protected purchasing and advertising exchange and compensation. Come help make the market for digital information.


Subject to change. Check this page for updates. IMPORTANT: All proceedings of "Blueprinting the Information Valet Economy" are "on the record." Some sessions at the hotel and in the Fred W. Smith Forum (Room 200) will be video or audio taped.

  • Collaborators and participants fly in on Wednesday, Dec. 3, and register at the conference hotel venue, the The Hampton Inn.


  • 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. -- Tours of Reynolds Journalism Institute and Futures Lab available by request. (Please email your interest)

At the Hampton Inn hotel . . .

4 p.m. -- Registration available (at hotel)

4 p.m.-5 p.m. -- Pre-summit discussions (Hampton Inn)

  • Open house for participants who have special projects they want to showcase.

5 p.m.-6 p.m. -- Who's in the room, and why? (Hampton Inn: Columbia Room)

  • A circle-round convening of the member/collaborator group. Each collaborator joins us because they bring something specific to the strategic development process. Sort out goals and objectives for the IVSC; identify task groups: legal/corporate, marketing, engineering, financial/settlement, privacy/demographics, business models and others. Who's in the room, what do we bring, what do we want to take away?

6 p.m.-7 p.m. -- Buffet dinner (at the hotel)

  • Participants are encouraged to consult the registration list and choose to form shared-interest tables and begin discussion.

7 p.m.-7:30 p.m. -- "The Mizzou Role: Identifying the Problem and the Opportunity"

  • Why is Columbia, Missouri, the starting point for creating the new information economy? An introduction by Dean Mills, dean of the Missouri Journalism School; Pam Johnson, director, Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute and Bill Densmore, Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow and Information Valet Project principal convener;

7:30 p.m.-8 p.m. -- "Negotiating Privacy in the 21st Century" -- Prof. Lee Wilkins

  • Missouri School of Journalism Prof. Lee Wilkins outlines plans for research and a survey of public attitudes toward privacy. How it is valued, and how it might be traded? She'll follow with a Q&A to gather advice for methodology and questions.


Continental breakfast at the Hampton Inn; informal networking at hotel (Parking passes for the Hitt Street ramp (adjacent to RJI Building) available during breakfast)

  • 7:45 a.m.-8:00 a.m. -- Autos and shuttle vehicle(s) should leave for Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI)
  • 8:25 a.m. -- Convene in the Fred W. Smith Forum, Room 200 at RJI Building, South 9th & Elm streets

8:25 a.m.-9:35 a.m. / Risk/opportunity framing: A news-industry lenader challenges; four non-publishers respond

CHALLENGE: What’s the challenge/opportunity facing the newspaper industry and how might the Information Valet Project, and the ideas and technologies represented in this room, help? Greg Schermer, vp-interactive at Lee Enterprises, lays a challenge in front of us. (10 minutes)

RESPONSES: The Internet presents both opportunities and risks for information commerce. It permits the wildly efficient aggregation and sharing of civic, news and social information for important public purposes. At the same time, it is a channel through which invasive release of personal information can flow. Four co-participants briefly frame the range of issues for news and journalism. (Eight minutes each, followed by discussion).

        Evslin explains why the news industry may be uniquely able to start a useful network from scratch.
    • Steve Mott, BetterByDesign -- Exchanging value -- today's landscape
        Mott surveys the littered landscape of micropayments, and explains how IVP could aspire to a community-based application that's more workable.
    • Lillie Coney, EPIC -- The price of privacy / regulation and law
        Coney surveys the status of privacy regulation and policy in Washington.
        Searls, author of The Cluetrain Mainfesto, says we need to ' . . . start constructing technical solutions to the buyer's problem of getting what he or she wants from markets, rather than the seller's problem of getting buyers' attention."

9:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m. -- Networking, bio break (Room 200A)

  • Coffee/tea/snacks available at the first floor cafe

9:45 a.m. 10:20 a.m. -- Roundtable-style convening

  • Discussion: "Confirming the Opportunity: Identifying Task Groups" -- In a facilitated discussion, we confirm our initial framing of challenges and opportunities from Wednesday evening and Thursday's sessions. We then organize task group/break-out discussions to formulate a solution/development strategy. Task groups adjourn to smaller spaces throughout the Reynolds Journalism Institute for work sessions. (Discussion leader: Jane Stevens, RJI Fellow, 2008-2009)

10:30 a.m.-noon -- First Task Group work sessions

  • Every participant in IVP-Blueprint will have the opportunity to call a breakout session. We have enough rooms for eight simultaneous breakouts. Breakout rooms will be assigned on the fly based on the size of each group and whether a whiteboard or LCD/screen are needed. Breakout convenor needs to appoint a raconteur to take notes for posting. Post notes to Below are some suggested topics and facilitators for getting started on Thursday morning. Afternoon sessions will likely change, based on what's learned in the morning.

    • Legal/corporate form -- Michael Cook, Todd Eskelsen, Jon Hart, Tom Moody (via Skype)
        Can the Vermont L3C work with a co-operative ownership?
    • Marketing -- Steve Chase, Magid Associates; Chuck Peters, Gazette; Martin Langeveld, News after Newspapers
        How do you create the network from scratch? Via consumers or B-to-B?
    • Advertising -- Greg Schermer, Martin Langeveld, Jim Bursch -- User-reward model, from inference to shared
        How can a system directly reward users for their attention, and compensate their "valet" too?
    • Content -- Syndication opportunities -- Tom Stites, Banyan Project; Howard Saltz, MediaNews; Randy Picht, AP
        How will the network reward publishers for sharing their content?
    • Privacy/demographics/identity -- Lillie Coney, Charles Andres, Lee Wilkins
        How can mainstream media adapt to user-controlled demographics?
    • Business Models/Financial -- Steve Mott, Elizabeth Osder
        What are the closests comparables in terms of financial risks/rewards?
    • Technology / IP rights -- Rick Lerner, Jeff VanderClute, Cynthia Typaldos, Abe Abreu
        How can the IVP service be built and with what technologies?

(Plus any other breakouts determined on the fly at 9:45 a.m. session)

    Noon-12:30 p.m. -- Check in back at Smith Forum, Room 200

    • Are we on the right track? One-minute summaries from each breakout raconteur. Then, optional tour/discussion about the RJI research newsroom and testing facilities with Mike McKean. (Can also start walking to Reynolds Alumni Center -- about four blocks)

    12:30 p.m. -- Shuttle leaves for Reynolds Alumni Center for lunch

    • For anyone who can't walk.

    12:45 p.m. -- Lunch begins at Reynolds Alumni Center

    • LUNCH BRIEFING -- Scaling to the Network -- An Overview -- Elizabeth Osder, principal, The Osder Group
      It's tought to comprehend the technical and organizational challenges of building a distributed network with tens of millions of users. Elizabeth Osder will relate her experience at Yahoo! -- and at news organizations -- to the potential IVP challenge.

    1:45 p.m. -- Walk / shuttle back to RJI's Fred W. Smith Forum to reconvene

    2:00-3 p.m. -- Facilitated Discussion -- What did we learn in the AM?

    • Each breakout leader or raconteur presents morning findings and explains agenda for continued afternoon breakout, if any. We look for patterns, synergies, overlaps, compatibilities among the findings in order to redirect afternoon breakouts. (Discussion leader: Jane Stevens).

    3:00 p.m.-3:15 p.m. -- Next-step breakouts -- We call breakouts for "next step" action determination

    • Morning leaders reconvene, or fresh breakouts are called. (Facilitator: Bill Densmore)

    3:15-3:30 p.m. -- Bio break (Food/coffee available ($$) at J-Cafe, First Floor)

    3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. -- "Next step" breakouts convene: Action steps formulated.

    • Action steps are formulated for overnight consideration and presentation on Friday morning. Focus on concrete, achievable actions and commitments.

    *5 p.m.-6 p.m. -- Shuttles make roundtrip to the Hampton Inn for those who need to get to their room before supper.

    • This is also a time for informal meeting/networking in open breakout rooms.

    Networking with National Newspaper Association board members

    6:00 p.m. -- Pre-dinner networking - RJI Lobby (Room 100A)

    • For the evening, we are joined by members of the National Newspaper Association board of directors, who are scheduled to meet separately on Friday. "Blueprinting" participants explain proposed action steps and seek feedback.

    6:30 p.m. -- Buffet dinner in RJI Lobby (Room 100A)

    • A varied buffet designed to allow the option of eating while standing (to facilitate conversation). There will also be tables, however.

    7:30 p.m. -- 8:30 p.m. -- Friday preview

    • During dessert and coffee, rapid-fire headlines from breakout leaders reporting on proposed action steps, pending overnight consideration and exchange. This will last for up to an hour.

END OF THURSDAY PROGRAM -- Drive/shuttle back to Hampton Inn, or . . .

  • There are an array of student-oriented nightspots within a few blocks of the RJI. We'll provide a handout guide.


Breakfast again at Hampton Inn; Shuttle to the RJI's Fred W. Smith Forum.

8:30 a.m.-10 a.m. -- "Laying out the Blueprint"

  • In a facilitated discussion, break-out designated reporters/raconteurs confirm their recommendations for next steps; we build consensus for action (or not) and responsibilities. Consider next meeting(s), virtual or physical.
  • 10 a.m. -- Optional adjournment for those who need to make the 11:25 a.m. Northwest Airlink departure from the Columbia airport.

10:15 a.m.-noon -- Task groups confirm next steps

  • Task groups meet individually or together in Room 200 to continue mapping next steps. Box lunches available.


  • Optional additional task-group meeting/discussion time (rooms available)
  • Briefing on Reynolds Futures Lab initiatives, capabilities