People helping people with phone trees

Financial Services - Insurance Customer service information, phone numbers and contact details

Gander the link above -- my jaw dropped as my paradigm shifted. Yes! Customer service contact info belongs to the people, not the actual line owners -- here's the blossoming of the crowd moving through the three stages of Friendship in one fell swoop.

Didn't know there were three stages? Aristotle wrote about it pretty clearly in books 8 and 9 and I guess 10 of the Nichomachean Ethics.

I am finding that almost everything he wrote about the nature, source, and behavior of friendship beautifully cross-applies to the better class of social media. Now really, put down that "Art of War" and consider these rules laid down by a contemporary of that author --rules not of conflict but of attachment and affinity. How can you argue with such ideas? 1. Goodwill (not friendship, but the start of friendship) 2. Concord (not 100% agreement, but a general alignment of views), and 2. Benificence (You are bettered by the friendship).

And here we have a case of a site that races through all three, even when a stranger approaches. First, Goodwill is demonstrated by the fact that the message, the layout, the design, and the visual style of the site are all effective at separating the site from the "corporate" entities that have such support desks -- it's Them, not Us (and the visitor is included in Us).  Second, Concord is achieved by that lightbulb of alignment that snaps on as soon as you realize the purpose of the site -- how to find a person to talk to in a corporate entity for help with the corporate -- thing, product, service, relationship. This point of view -- I need to find a person -- is so universal that I don't think we need go any further to find concordance. Third, my goodness, follow the links -- they actually have the numbers and the advice.  I wonder if this is an iPhone app yet...by god, it will be. 

I ran across it while I was working with the marvelous tool Google Squared -- it's a smart mashup tool that takes all the content on the web simmering in its context as its data source.  If you know your stuff, you can steer it gently and it's a powerhouse resource.  But in looking for missing info, I ran across this lovely little illustration of ancient Greek philosophy.

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