Daily Archives: April 25, 2012

Reasons The US Post Office Isn’t That Important

The US Post Office is important, but the recent cut-backs aren’t as bad as some people are making it out to be. One article on the subject that recently caught my attention was 10 Reasons the Post Office is Important to Us over on Change of Address because it didn’t really give the full picture.

For example:

  1. There are other ways to get medication to housebound patients.
    Private Shipping Services and Local Delivery Companies do the job just fine. Not every country has six-day mail service. Canada has five-day mail service and we survive.
  2. The economy will rebalance.
    The $1 Trillion dollar mailing and shipping industry won’t go away, the work will just go to the providers who can do it the most cost effectively.
  3. It’s not ending the postal service.
    There is just not as much need for as many offices or for six-day mail service now that so many documents can be delivered electronically and other private services provide other options.
  4. Shipping companies can still use the postal service.
    And they can partner with other companies that offer complementary services.
  5. Physical Goods Can Still be Delivered
    Just not on Saturdays.
  6. Publishers can still get their print publications out.
    They just have to adapt to no Saturday service and different printing deadlines to make different drop-off deadlines. Not a big deal.
  7. Rural Americans will still get their mail
    The Post Office isn’t taking away this service, and since most private delivery companies don’t operate in rural areas, this market will exist for years to come because of
  8. The Universal Service Option
    which still applies.
  9. Most communities with a sense of community have a community centre.
    That is independent of, and does not rely on, the post office.
  10. Major carriers can provide security as well.
    UPS and Fedex and similar companies are setup to track shipments along every mile and every individual who has access to those shipments because they import and export and this is a requirement to be in that business (10+2, etc.) and they use the same system across their business.

There’s nothing wrong with right-sizing an institution to stem massive bleeding, and while this will, unfortunately, result in some job layoffs, as the article notes, the need for document and parcel delivery still exists and it’s a given that the private sector will expand to meet this need and create new jobs to balance most of those jobs that are lost. It’s sad that the Post Office took so long to take action, and now has to take a massive action, but the Post Office is not going away and the mounting losses are more important than losing a day of service. Let’s just hope that they rebalance their operations the right way and don’t have to do this again.

I Still Can’t Find My Marbles … But I’m Sure I Know Who Hid Them!

Twitter Bird

A few years ago:

Follow Me! Follow Me!
Who are you?
I’m the Twitter Bird!
What’s a Twitter Bird?
It doesn’t matter. Follow me! Follow me!
Whatever. Have a nice day.

A couple of years ago:

Follow Me! Follow Me!
Back again little bird?
Follow Me! Follow Me!
You’re persistent, aren’t you. But I’m not much of a ornithologist.
Who cares? Follow Me! Follow me! Everyone else is!
I find it hard to believe everyone is following a little thrush. You’re cute, but not worth much more than a passing glance.
Follow me! Follow me! Join millions of people around the world.
Millions of people? I think you flew into a patio glass door a little too hard.
Celebrities. Scientists. CEOs. They all follow me. Twitter.com Follow me! Follow me!
Okay, I’ll check you out.

Let’s see. A centralized website for sending 140-character blurbs to hundreds, and even thousands, of friends and “followers”. Mass SMS, or, for those of us who are UNIX, a web-based write command that has been around in UNIX operating systems in one form or another since at least 1969! Potentially useful for getting quick messages out, but so is e-mail and SMS. Possibly useful for consumer goods companies wanting to send quick product announcements or, more likely, quick “special of the day” announcements to consumers (if they will actually follow the company) and for gossip-mongers. (I can’t wait for Perez Hilton to tell me what Lady Gaga is thinking right this second! I need to know now!) But for the rest of us? Those of us in the enterprise market? Those of us who don’t give a damn about celebrity rantings? Those of us who actually want to have a real conversation? Doubtful.

Sorry little bird. You’re not my style.
You will follow me! Everyone will follow me! I’m the Twitter Bird! And even the fail whale can’t stop me!
Maybe you should see a veterinarian. Obviously you never quite recovered from that encounter with the patio door. Goodbye

A few months ago:

Follow me! Follow me!
Back again little Twitter bird? You certainly are persistent.
Time to Follow me! Time to Follow me! Four score and twenty million users sending more tweets per day than there are people in the U.S.A can’t be wrong!
That’s a lot of followers. Not Facebook level, but a lot of followers.
So follow me! Follow me! Popularity awaits!
I’m about knowledge. Knowledge isn’t about popularity. It’s about truth. And those who seek shall find.
They’ll find it faster if you follow me! Follow me!
Knowledge isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. And journeys take time, like the acquisition of knowledge.
Follow me! Follow me! I’ll lead you down the yellow brick road!
I’m not looking for courage, a heart, or a brain, as I already possess all three, and I don’t believe in a magical wizard who will solve all my problems. I think I’ll keep going down the road I’m on. I’m joined by thousands of readers making well over a hundred thousand visits per month in their mutual quest for knowledge.
But it’s not millions! Follow me! Follow me!
I’m writing about Supply Management. You could count every practitioner on the planet and you wouldn’t reach a million. And if only 1.5% of people on the planet are on your network, that’s not many more readers for me.
They will follow me! You’ll see. Follow me! Follow me!
You never did see that veterinarian, did you?
Follow me! Follow me!
I’ve tried to be patient and polite with you, little bird, but enough is enough. I swear that as long as I have my marbles, I’ll never follow you!
See you in a few months! Then you’ll follow me! Follow me too!

About a week and a half ago.

My marbles! Where are my marbles! I’ve lost my marbles! I don’t know what to do! How can I make sense of this crazy world without my marbles?

This is an automated e-mail message from the Facebook borg. Resistance is futile. You will join us. You cannot resist.

I … cannot … resist. Friend me.

Look at all the pretty pin boards you can make! Web works of art. It will change the way you bookmark.

I have no idea what a pinboard is or how to make one. But the borg say I can’t resist. So why not? Pin with me.

I’m back! Now you will follow me! Follow me!
I know I shouldn’t. I really, really shouldn’t. But without my marbles to connect my logic centre to my action centre, I can’t stop myself. I … must … follow … you! Follow me!.

And, while you’re at it, don’t forget to:
Card Me,
Circle Me, and
Link With Me*.

Damn you! Damn you to hell Twitter Bird!
I know you hid my marbles. I don’t know how you got them, but I know it was you! Someday I’ll get you for this! Someday!

*Assuming I know who you are. Otherwise, Friend Me first. I believe in keeping my LinkedIn Network limited to those people I have actually interacted with at some point.