FAQ updates, and Executives Are People Too ™
I am through migrating a surprising number of the FireWall-1 FAQs. While I’ve done a fair amount of the work myself, I also have helpers in Robert Graham, Ray Lodato, GuyR, and Kurt Falde. Maybe I can be done in the next week or so, then I can start working on a VoIP FAQ.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with Jeffery Williams, whom is an executive with Broadvox Direct, a Voice over IP provider that I’ve talked about a little on my site. His participation within the VoIP Forums on Broadband Reports has generated a lot of interest in their upcoming residential/SOHO VoIP offering. While the vast majority of the forum users were very happy to have “an executive” participate (not necessarily to market his companies product, but educate on VoIP in general), a few thought his presence was, well, just stealth marketing. Jeff’s comments on the VoIP forums and on Voxilla have definately been informative (I’ve learned a lot), but there are occasionally “glimpses” of the Jeff outside of his role as an executive.
I’ve interacted with a number of executives both within my current employer and my prior ones. My fondest memories with executives are outside of the “business environment” in a restaurant, training class, or some other non-office setting. Outside of the office environment, you’re more apt to find out a little bit about these “high-up” people you work with. While you’re not likely to find out “deeply personal” stuff, you can at least associate something more “human” with them. You can relate to them on a level beyond business. When you can “talk” without talking shop, they suddenly become less intimidating and more “human.”
Because I’ve been able to establish a human connection with Jeff, I’m quite likely going to be a loyal customer of Broadvox Direct, all other things being equal. A similar human connection is the same reason I keep going back to Judy to cut my hair and why I take my son to have her cut his hair. Yes, of course she does a good job, but so do a lot of other people. I relate to her as a person. That matters.
I think if we took the time to make a human connection with each other every now and again, we’d be happier, more connected people. It’s too easy to de-humanize our interactions with one another due, in some part, to technology and the evolution of society. It’s too easy to be isolated. It’s too easy to be connected, yet not. Take a few minutes and get to know someone new.