It’s just a matter of time until the cloud hype of “everything massively scalable” of the recent years gives way again to something more personal. Just like massive mainframes were eclipsed by personal computers.
Some people call this the Personal Cloud (e.g. Jon Udell’s recent post)
In order to be successful managing my relationships online the way I want, I need to be able to do that from a point in the cloud that I have a sufficient amount of control over.
That point could be called the Personal Cloud. Just as the Personal Computer gave us control over what what software to run and what data to process, the Personal Cloud gives us control over which information we exchange with others, and how.
Some people need/want more control and some less. So some will be fine to take whatever Internet BigCo offers. Others will want as much control as adding new kernel modules or home-grown peripherals to their PC. But architecturally, the whole continuum needs to be supported.
An important part of this is commercial relationships aka Vendor Relationship Management (VRM) because so many of our relationships are commercial in nature.
And the whole reason we are having a privacy and “do not track” debate is that many people do not believe they have such a point that they have enough control over, so they cannot manage their relationships (usually with vendors) to their satisfaction.
In a way, I’ve been working on aspects of this all of my life. Now it might actually be possible.