411 on 211, cont’d.

So we may be the only ones who care, but we wanted to follow up our Monday item in which we were perplexed to see Hillary pushing what looked like an alternative to the Mayor’s cherished 311 non-emergency call center, something called 211.

We spoke to a Bloomberg aide last week, who sounded as confused as we were, but Bruce Lai, the extremely well-informed analyst on Gale Brewer‘s technology committee, has cleared things up a bit.

“211 is a referral service for non-profit social services, while 311 refers people who call with social service related issues to government agencies,” he emailed us. Apparently, 211 operators need to know more than 311 operators, and is already up and running in places like Connecticut. “The City, led by DoITT, is in discussion with the United Way of New York City and other nonprofit organizations regarding how 211 and 311 could complement, not compete, with each other.”

In case you were wondering.