Author Archives: Gerry McGovern

Making the customer part of the culture

A constant stream of unfiltered customer comments fill large screens placed in busy areas of the Fidelity International offices in London. Close by are white screens and markers and chairs and tables. Staff will regularly be found congregating around the screens, discussing what they are seeing from customers, coming up with plans for how they can improve the customer experience.

In a lot of organizations I deal with, digital is building walls between teams and customers. Even many UX professionals are busy with everything digital, and not busy with being with their customers. Support, the one group that has daily interaction with customers is either outsourced, or if it is part of the organization, is located in some cheap office space in a distant town, or else put down in the dungeon part of HQ. I have seen situations where weekly reports from Support containing tremendous customer insights are totally ignored by all parts of the organization, including the digital team, who are often too cool for their own good.

Alex Hamilton, Head of Digital Research, Analytics & Insight for Fidelity International, understood the need to bring the customer in, to make the customer part of the daily life and culture of the organization. At Fidelity, you can now ‘meet’ the customer as you’re going to have a coffee and realize that what they’re complaining about is something you can help fix.

“The most importance outcome of all this is that customers are now an intrinsic part of everyday conversations for multiple teams,” Alex explains. “Even teams that may be three steps removed from customers, they see and feel the customers’ perception. It’s about bringing the customer experience to life at all levels, letting it wash over our colleagues. At all levels our colleagues see it and it resonates with them at a human level.”

This is so crucial. Customers are humans too. Not just dry users, visitors or traffic. And because customers are now constantly communicating about their needs, they have much more of a place at the table. “It helps us to become much more focused on the things that really matter to customers,” Alex states. “And the things that matter to us might not matter at all to customers; they might be regulatory, but the customer doesn’t know or care. They just want their experiences to be good.”

“It’s helped teams do better things for customers. Now that the information on the customer experience has been democratized out, teams can make much more informed decisions.”

Knowing the customer better helps establish balanced priorities. “Having this ongoing sanity check makes teams realize things they do are having real impacts on customers. Let’s say you’ve got forty things to deliver but you’ve just descoped twenty of them to make a deadline, you now know what descoping these twenty will mean for the customer.”

Digital can be a window or a wall. How many windows are you creating into the world of your customers? Windows where you can see real lives, real experiences, real people trying to get stuff done as quickly as possible, so that they can be in time to collect their kids at school, or have time to watch their favorite series after a long hard day at work.

Digital contributing to climate crisis

According to “The Cost of Music,” a joint study penned by the University of Glasgow and the University of Oslo, greenhouse gases were recorded at 140-million kilograms in 1977 for music production activities (vinyl; plastic packaging). Moreover, they were at 136 million kilograms in 1988 and 157 million in 2000. In 2016, the age of streaming, greenhouse gases were estimated between 200- and 350-million kilograms in the U.S. alone.

“Storing and processing music online uses a tremendous amount of resources and energy,” Dr. Kyle Devine, an associate professor in music from the University of Oslo explained, “which has a high impact on the environment.”

Furthermore, I read an article a while ago, which said that the amount of energy consumed by a voice assistant while turning the lights off or on is significantly greater than the amount of energy required for a human to get up and turn the lights off or on.

Additionally, smartphones are particularly villains when it comes to energy waste. “In absolute values, emissions caused by smartphones will jump from 17 to 125 megatons of CO2 equivalent per year (Mt-CO2e/yr) in that time span, or a 730 per cent growth,” Lotfi Belkhir from McMaster University stated. Consequently, since much of this energy is used up in production–combined with the fact that smartphones have extreme obsolescence strategies seeking to establish a habit that you must change them every two years–it results in a willful and deliberate waste of energy.

Every text message, piece of content, photo, email, or chat contributes to the climate crisis. We need to consider our digital carbon footprints and seek out how we can reduce it because the digital world is a parasite on earth’s energy and resources. As designers, we should design in an environment friendly manner and be as digitally green as possible.

It’s one thing for a useful piece of information to consume energy through production, publication, and presentation costs. This information could potentially be carbon neutral by helping those who consume the information to consume less energy. A smart home, for example, could identify waste and reduce it.

Even with useful information, waste may be involved. “Based on the information provided by HTTP Archive, the average web page size in 2010 was 702kb compared to in 2016 which is 2232kb,” an article in KeyCdn stated. So why does that matter? Because these bloated pages need to be stored and transmitted. “The gigantic data centers that power the internet consume vast amounts of electricity and emit as much CO2 as the airline industry,” a Yale article stated.

Useless information is an absolute waste. How much useless information are we producing? Can we use less text or fewer images? Can we take unnecessary weight out of our images and code?  Ironically, useless information hurts the organization that produces it because it makes useful information harder to find and use. Further, most websites I deal with tend to become much more efficient after they delete 80% of their pages. Imagine how much energy we could save if we never created those pages in the first place?

The digital environment is much more wasteful than the physical environment since it is easy to create, copy, and publish digital things. Our oceans are full of plastic. Our websites are even more full of crap. We treat our digital environment even worse than our physical environment. It’s high time we changed.

Energy Hogs: Can World’s Huge Data Centers Be Made More Efficient?

How smartphones are heating up the planet

Music consumption has unintended economic and environmental costs

Competition versus collaboration

Which delivers betters results? A highly competitive environment or a highly collaborative one? There are some signs that in our highly complex world, collaboration is currently winning.

Microsoft was a company that was hyper-competitive, both externally and internally. The strategy of pitting internal units against each other in a Darwinian struggle worked well for many years. However, as the Web matured, Microsoft began to lose ground.

I have worked on Microsoft projects over many years, mainly relating to web content and navigation. Within the company, there was a very strong production culture. Someone once told me that they had estimated that there were about 15 million pages on Microsoft.com, four million of which had never been accessed. That’s practically the population of Ireland in pages that nobody has ever even looked at.

Competition breeds production. New content, new pages, new websites, new features, new products. In one instance, I talked to a team and showed them how a huge number of their pages were out-of-date. They all agreed that this was quite unfavorable but they also all decided that nothing was going to be done about it. “If I meet my boss on Friday and she asked me what I did this week,” someone explained to me, “and if I tell her I deleted 100 pages, she’ll maybe look at me and smile. And then she’ll ask again: ‘What did you actually do? What did you produce?’”

In the last few years, Microsoft has sought to change its culture. Now, it rewards people based on three factors:

  1. What did you create?
  2. What did you share?
  3. What did you use of what others created?

Sharing and using are inherently collaborative activities. Why would Microsoft want to do that? What benefit does it see in sharing and using? That benefit would be better, more rounded and inclusive products and services. Things that are better maintained and easier to find. Less reinvention of the wheel.

In a digital environment, if you compete based on production, you’re going to very soon reach a point of glut, bloat and overload, because it is so much easier to produce and copy digital stuff.

Sharing and reusing, on the other hand, encourage evolution, maintenance and review of the produced things. For your stuff to be shared, it has to be useful. But before even that, it has to be discoverable. And you don’t want people discovering your out-of-date stuff. So, that encourages you to review and remove where appropriate.

In a great many organizations I interact with today, I hear about collaboration and, particularly, multidisciplinary and multicultural collaboration. In science, it’s less of a norm to have single author papers. In fact, there is an explosion in the growth of papers authored by hundreds and even thousands of scientists.

The world is burdened by human production and consumption. For too long, we have rewarded the gross, the volume, the shiny new thing that’s produced with great speed. This hyper-competitive production model is piling up, at least, ten badly designed products and services for every good one. The other nine get piled onto the enormous and growing rubbish pills either on our intranets or in our landfills.

Collaboration slows us down and makes us think and test more. A sharing culture only works if the ideas are worth sharing. Slowly, we are turning away from the old models. Let’s hope it’s not too late.

Service for some, slavery for others

Simplicity comes at a cost. If you look at societies wherein everything is made incredibly simple, easy and luxurious for a certain class, you are nearly always looking at a slave or a slave-like economy. The maids who look after rich people’s children cannot be at their own homes to look after their own children. A maid greatly simplifies one’s life. However, most modern societies cannot afford maids because they are too expensive. Even though they are not paid very well, they are still too expensive for most households. Only in the most unjust societies do we find that one particular group lives well, exploiting a semi-slave service class who do all the menial hard labor for them.

Is this new Service Economy a digitally updated version of the slave economy? The word “service” comes from the Latin word servitium that means “slavery, the condition of a slave, servitude;” it could also refer to slaves collectively, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. In Latin, the word servus means “slave.” In the 17th and 18th centuries, the word “servant” was used to denote a slave in the North American colonies.

Service, maintenance and support have long been viewed as inferior occupations. The pay in these sectors is poor, and respect is feigned. We feel compelled to tip the service staff because we know they are paid meagre wages to serve us. (We don’t feel compelled to tip doctors, do we?) And now, we’re quickly becoming a service economy, which (if we follow the logic) means that we’re becoming a low-wage slave-based economy (in digital double-speak, it’s sometimes called the Gig Economy).

Complexity created the middle class. It created millions of jobs that require training and intelligence in order to be carried out. It’s a complex task to make a car, manage financial accounts, build a motorway and educate a child. Thriving societies need to strike a balance between complexity and simplicity—enough complexity to create lots of decent paying jobs, and enough simplicity so that society can run smoothly and efficiently.

The business case of so much modern technology is slavery. Technology entrepreneurs promise a toxic combination of cheapness and simplicity. For instance, Uber seeks to ride to a mega IPO on the backs of its slave drivers. Do you think for one moment that if Uber was paying its drivers more than they would get in a traditional taxi company, would it be valued anywhere near as much as it is now? But, we don’t care because Uber makes our lives easier, more convenient and cheaper. We’re all squeezed for time and money, so why not also squeeze someone lower down the ladder than us?

In modern societies, we least value those who interact with other humans the most. Those who interact with and serve humans the least (developers, financiers and so on) are the ones reaping rock star rewards. To serve is what servants do. And, the job of technology is often to monitor and closely manage servants and pay them as little as possible, so that the management can achieve their unrealistic short-term targets and pocket their fat bonuses.

The current service economy makes the middle class the working class and the working class the working poor. Meanwhile, our tech gazillionaires obsess about how they can dodge paying any tax, so that they can build the biggest phallic yacht yet. So, the next time you use an app that makes your life simpler and more convenient, spare a moment to wonder whether it’s making someone else’s life much more miserable.

Is the Internet hollowing out the middle class?

What good is the Internet? No, really—what good is it? Is society better because of it? Are people healthier, wealthier, or even happier? According to the OECD, the middle class is now a part of the global species extinction phenomenon. Other reports show that the data centers that feed the Internet’s voracious hunger for energy are fueling global warming at a ferocious pace.

On a global basis, “The share of people in middle-income households in developed countries fell from 64% in the mid-1980s to only 61% by the mid-2010s,” CNN reported. In the United States, Israel, Germany, Canada, Finland and Sweden, these declines have occurred at an even faster. Sounds like Internet countries. In the United States, for example, just over 50% of the population is middle class.

Middle-class incomes have essentially flatlined over the last thirty years, while living costs have done nothing but escalate. For instance, in 1985, the middle class spent an average of 25% of their income on housing. By 2015 it was 32%.

The elite, more and more of whom come from the technology industry, have never had it so good. Since the 1980s, the income of the top .1% in society has increased sevenfold faster than the income of the bottom 90%.

The world is overflowing with despots, dictators and the worst possible type of leaders—many of whom are elected with the help of social media. Information wants to be free. Misinformation wants to be free. Many tech companies make fat profits from misinformation, hate speech and general nastiness.

I’ve always held this notion that the Internet was a force for the good. But then, it’s just another technology, and there’s nothing inherently good or bad about a technology. Or is there? It seems one of the darkest side effects of the network effect is that the Internet facilitates massive concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a tiny elite class. In fact, 26 people own as much wealth in this world as the poorest 50%, as revealed by a 2018 Oxfam report.

Technology is fueling the growth of global wealth, while facilitating its concentration in fewer and fewer hands. And, we haven’t seen nothing yet. Wait until the Internet’s cousins grow up; wait until robotics and artificial intelligence mature. Previously, the rich used to hire some of the poor to protect themselves from the poor. With robotics, they won’t even have to do that.

Leave it to the nerds, we’re told. Don’t regulate. Don’t touch. The nerds will just tweak the algorithms a bit and everything will be alright. This laissez-faire, libertarian attitude is the foundation of Silicon Valley culture. There is indeed much that’s laudable about Silicon Valley, but deep inside its soul lies a bullying, macho cruelty that celebrates grinding people into the dirt with relentless work hours and then throwing them into the trash in pursuit of the next big thing. There is no pity in Silicon Valley.

Are these the people we want to be shaping our societies? Because these are the people who are shaping and controlling our societies.

The middle class is shrinking around the world

Interactions and complexity

“Networks are an essential ingredient in any complex adaptive system,” Eric Beinhocker writes in The Origin of Wealth. “Without interactions between agents, there can be no complexity.”

Think of a printed page in a book for a moment. It may contain complex ideas, but it is relatively simple. It is hard-linked to the page that came before and the one after. It may contain references which leads you to an appendix. However, in many ways, it is what you may call “finished” or “published”.

Webpages have a whole other level of potential. They may in fact be just like that print page if an organization has merely digitized print content and uploaded it on the Web. However, it is usually surrounded by an architecture of links. Sometimes, it may contain live data that gets updated as and when change occurs. Sometimes, it will change based on an action by the one accessing it. That is the true Web. And when it is at its most powerful, it is also at its most complex.

However, this is generally a hidden complexity. Think of Google. It couldn’t be simpler to use: a search box and a click. Its interface has become even more minimal over the years. Up until sometime in 2015, it had a link beside the search box that read, “Advanced Search.” It no longer has that link, even though, year after year, the search algorithm has been refined to become more and more complex.

Google removed the link “Advanced Search” simply because most people didn’t want to do an “advanced” search. “Why, little old me, I’d never be able to do any advanced search. Sounds very complex. Do you need a degree for that?”

Google realized it needed to perform the advanced and complex work for the customer. Thus, instead of the customer going to the advanced section and selecting an option that indicated they wanted to conduct geographical searches, Google sought to identify words in their search behavior that would indicate whether they were searching for a place rather than a thing or person. If Google noticed such “geographic” words, it would include a map in its search results.

We all want the fruits of complexity. Only a few want to undertake the labors of complexity to make things simpler for others. If you consider the history of retail – from barter to Amazon – we see an inexorable shift of complexity away from the buyer and towards the seller. The seller is constantly and relentlessly making it easier to purchase because sellers have done the math. They understand the return on investment when investing in simplicity.

Most other organizations do not invest in simplicity. They constantly calculate the costs of complexity they will incur, ignoring the returns on simplicity. They seek the cheapest ways to get stuff up on the Web (which is why we see so much digitized print content in the form of bulky PDFs on websites).

The Web is not print. It’s a much more complex, networked environment. Those who are investing in complexity, while also investing in simplifying interactions with such complex systems, are reaping the bountiful rewards.

Digital speeds up evolutionary design

“Yes, there is local pride. Of course there’s local pride. You’d be a fool to argue that local pride isn’t essential,” Paul Rouse states in a documentary about the Irish game of hurling. “But it’s not just local pride,” Rouse continues. “It’s about winning and it has always been about winning.”

Historically, the club that won the county (state) championship went on to represent the county at the national level. However, as Rouse explains, such a club “packed out its team with some of the best players it had played against in the local club championship. And you got the evolution by the bending of the rules, in the great Irish way, to the point where a new rule is made. And that new rule means it’s no longer the club that represents the county, but all the clubs who represent the county.” This was how the county team emerged.

In any healthy system, rules are always being tested. However, are they still fit for the purpose? Some rules get bent until they are broken while others give way to new rules as well as new ways of doing things.

Digital allows us to observe and participate in the evolutionary landscape in a much more nimble and flexible way. Furthermore, organizations that are thriving today can participate most effectively in this sped-up evolution. Accordingly, they have an evolutionary mindset, which allows them to start out as one thing and, where necessary, rapidly evolve into something else based on environmental feedback.

Tote failed as an e-commerce app. However, the founders noticed that people really liked one feature, which they turned into Pinterest. Glitch never took off as a multiplayer game, but the collaboration tool created to help develop Glitch was turned into Slack. SnowDevil was a snowboarding site with a cool e-commerce platform that became Shopify. YouTube started out as a video dating site.

Even the products and services that haven’t radically changed, based on feedback, are being constantly refined. Apple has been known to review up to 50 different refinements for a single hardware button. A new change happens on the Amazon website roughly every 12 seconds.

Stuck in the evolutionary mud are the organizations that see a truck of the future coming towards them from afar and still can’t get out of the way. Some organizations need to go through twenty or more steps just to change a piece of content while others have reduced costs by outsourcing flexibility. As a result, while trying to save money, they’ve become afflicted with organizational arthritis.

Old and outdated management models are based on the false assumption that the manager has an answer. Good managers today possess tools and methods to get answers by creating, testing, and refining hypotheses in the most rapid, collaborative, multidisciplinary, and iterative ways possible.

Digital is speed. Digital is fluid. To keep up and stay ahead, don’t try and invent the future or have an answer, and rather, watch, listen, learn, and do. Never stop doing based on what you’ve learned. The game changes faster today than it ever did before. So embrace uncertainty and be prepared for randomness by being as flexible and nimble as possible and always reaching out beyond your discipline, peer group, and comfort zone.

Digital dehumanizes work

As is the case in many countries, in Australia too, there is a banking crisis. The primary cause for this crisis, like other places, is the greed of senior management. The money that senior managers have managed to amass has ballooned over the last forty years, not because these bankers are more talented now, but because their greed has become immeasurably greater.

While this greed of bankers is the primary driver of the global banking crisis, there are other reasons as well. Digital technology is dehumanizing work. It is removing all connections between the producer and the consumer.

“Let’s remember that 50,000 people come to work every day at ANZ,” Australian ANZ Bank Chief Shayne Elliott explains. “Less than 20 percent of them ever see a customer. They don’t see a customer. Most of these people don’t work in branches.”

The problem is becoming worse. Today, far fewer banking staff work in branches than ten years ago. In another ten years’ time, who knows if branches will even continue to exist.

“So, we kind of dehumanize the work, and we’ve compartmentalized it, so it’s very unclear to me, the impact of what I do,” Elliott explains. “It’s easier—and I’m not excusing it, I’m not rationalizing it—to say, ‘Well, I can put up a bit of a mask and revert the rules saying I have to do this; the rules say I have to repossess the farm. It’s difficult for me to emotionally engage in that situation.'”

Humanizing work is expensive. You are not going to reach your aggressive, unrealistic, short-term targets, which your fat bonuses depend on, if you allow too much humanizing. Technology is cheap. Humans are expensive. Isn’t that how the thinking goes?

The new breed of bankers looks at technology from the perspective of cost minimization. It’s all about saving time and money. They hollow out their organizations into technological shells, in which the staff spends far more time interacting with numbers, code, and content than they do with their customers. After all, looking after customers requires spending time with them and caring about their needs.

If you want to rise in the ranks of senior management in banking today, you must be a predator. I have watched people, who have tried to sell me dodgy products, get promoted, while people, who have genuinely helped me, remained stagnant in their careers. That’s the reality of banking in Ireland, Australia, everywhere, and it is driven by a toxic combination of cost-minimization, technology, and senior managements’ greed.

One problem for banks is that an increasing number of their customers have started noticing that they are dealing with predatory institutions whose only loyalty is to that fat bonus they can make. As these banks hollow out their organizations, making them leaner and meaner, they hollow out their futures.

Relationships are hard to build, but loyalty is still a great concern. Trust is very important when it comes to finances. There are still opportunities for banks that genuinely care about their customers, who believe that the best way to be successful is by making the customer successful.

That requires a completely different culture and mindset. It requires thinking about the long term. It requires ensuring that as many employees as possible have regular, real experiences of what it is like for their customers to experience the products and services that these employees create.

Banking royal commission: ANZ chief says many employees ‘dehumanise’ work as ‘they don’t see a customer’

Humility in the age of complexity

Humans love answers. If certainty is heaven for most people, then randomness is hell. However, as complexity increases, so do uncertainty and randomness. One of the best ways to deal with complexity is with humility.

In our complex world, we’re bound to be more wrong than right. Our gut instinct is woefully inadequate for dealing with most of the challenges we face today. We have two basic choices.

Firstly, we can lie. We can pretend that we know. We can boast. We can strut. It works. Many people love a good liar because if there’s one thing that terrifies them more than not knowing the answer, it’s the knowledge that nobody else has the answer. Someone else must have the answer because there must be an answer.

In the long run, the only person who benefits from lying is the liar (and perhaps their close network). Everyone else gets exploited because the nature of a liar is to exploit others’ weaknesses.

The other strategy is to be humble—humble about ourselves and our leaders. To constantly question the answers and challenge the beliefs we hold dearest. To learn how to digest and interpret evidence. We need to be prepared for the pain and anguish that comes when a fact we cherish is proven false. In the messy world of uncertainty and randomness, the ability to adapt, research, and interpret is a crucial skill.

Science is seen as a bastion of facts, when in fact it is a bastion of hypotheses. Science does have more solid facts than many other disciplines, but it is far, far from the land of certainty. “A large number of scientific findings have been disproven, or become more doubtful, in recent years,” Brian Resnick wrote in an excellent article on humility published in Vox in January 2019. “One high-profile effort to retest 100 psychological experiments found only 40 percent replicated with more rigorous methods.”

Science often falters in the face of complexity. It doesn’t have nearly all the answers. Sometimes there are no answers. Sometimes the answers change as circumstances change. We have to learn how to better live with uncertainty because it is here to stay. So is randomness.

We have an ever-increasing access to research tools and data today to develop hypotheses and to test them. We have a huge capacity to observe what is happening in real life. We can rapidly iterate and adapt on the basis of the constant feedback we receive from our environment in a way that was hardly possible before.

That requires humility, inquisitiveness, and a flexible, nonjudgmental mind. Accepting that we are wrong is hard. Accepting that we don’t know the answers is hard. We will be up against boastful, arrogant, vain, bullying, liar-spouting certainties. Our humble arguments may not win most of the time. Yet, we must keep arguing. We must keep collaborating, reaching outside of our comfort zone, outside of our peer group, outside of our belief system.

Because if we let the liars win, we will all suffer greatly.

Intellectual humility: the importance of knowing you might be wrong by Brian Resnick

Diversity, polarization and connectivity

At one level, the Web facilitates diversity. At another, it encourages uniformity. Paradox and contradiction seem to be the hallmarks of complex, interconnected systems.

In politics, the Web has allowed those of similar views to flock together. The center struggles as the wings and peripheries bulge. Tribalism and groupthink are flourishing. “The divisions between Republicans and Democrats on fundamental political values – on government, race, immigration, national security, environmental protection and other areas – reached record levels during Barack Obama’s presidency,” as stated by Pew Research Center in October 2017. “In Donald Trump’s first year as president, these gaps have grown even larger.”

However, there are countercurrents. “Today, more than one-third of marriages start online,” according to an article in Technology Review. Online dating is now “the second most common way for heterosexual couples to meet. For homosexual couples, it is far and away the most popular.

Online dating has also led to a significant increase in interracial marriages, particularly in the United States. “It is intriguing that shortly after the introduction of the first dating websites in 1995, like Match.com, the percentage of new marriages created by interracial couples increased rapidly,” said researchers Josue Ortega (at the University of Essex in the U.K.) and Philipp Hergovich (at the University of Vienna in Austria).

In addition, according to a Pew Research Center analysis published in 2017, “In 2015, 17% of all U.S. newlyweds had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, marking more than a fivefold increase since 1967, when 3% of newlyweds were intermarried.”

“In 2008, about 27% of OkCupid users reported that they would date someone with a vocal racial bias,” a datingadvice.com article stated. “In 2014, only 10% of users said they’d be willing to entertain a racist date.”

Perhaps the trends of polarization and diversity are not that far apart as they might have initially seemed. Where we are born is an accident of geography and race is essentially an illusion. In 2016, Scientific American wrote that, “the mainstream belief among scientists is that race is a social construct without biological meaning.”

Consequently, Paul Reynolds, a Republican National Committeeman from Alabama, stated that “If I’ve got a choice of putting my welfare into the hands of Putin or The Washington Post, Putin wins every time.” Reynolds is, by no means, alone in his views. A 2017 Morning Consult-Politico poll found that 49% of Republicans considered Russia an ally.

The idea that a significant percentage of U.S. citizens would prefer to be ruled by a Russian who shares their worldview rather than a fellow U.S. citizen who has a different worldview is not really surprising. Nationalism is a flag of convenience for most, and patriotism, as Samuel Johnson once stated, is often “the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Most nations are no more than accidents of geography. People may be physically close but emotionally and attitudinally miles apart.

Given time, the Web will remake nations and states and create a new geography where the like-minded find each other: where those who share the same values and outlook on life come together and coalesce.

The Partisan Divide on Political Values Grows Even Wider

The Strength of Absent Ties: Social Integration via Online Dating

7 Surprising Online Dating Race Statistics