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text messaging Archive
The U.S. Postal Service posted a $8.5 billion dollar loss for the fiscal year 2010 which ended last September. There’s talk about eliminating mail delivery on Saturday (a move I support even if the economy was stronger). Post offices are closing all the time. This post isn’t about the quality of the workers we interact with when we buy stamps, mail packages or deal with our mail carriers or station agents. This post is about how, with very little effort, the U.S. Postal Service can create a new revenue stream which could be significant if executed properly.
I’ve had a Post Office Box since I was a teenager. I’ve had boxes in the largest post offices in the world and also at some of the smallest while I was an undergrad. The biggest issue with a post office box is knowing when you have mail to be collected. If you have a post office box, how many times have you walked, drove, traveled to the post office only to find an empty box. What if there was a way to know you had mail to be collected each day before you made the trip to the post office. How much fuel (and time) could we collectively save if we never traveled to the post office when we knew there was nothing waiting for us in our post office boxes?
I’d like to see the U.S. Postal Service offer a paid option for post office box holders to allow us to receive an email or text/sms message when we new mail has been delivered for that day. I’ve recently learned that the UPS Store offers this service for their box holders for $10/month. Whenever you receive a package or letter, the UPS Store sends an email to let you know something has been received. Their emails include tracking numbers and some other details where applicable. I am not even suggesting that the U.S. Postal Service offer something as detailed as the UPS Store.
Starbucks has announced the 2010 version of their 12 Days of Sharing program today. The program provides one offer each day from December 1 – December 12, 2010. To sign up, send a ext message containing the text, “12Days” to 29943. You should immediately receive a confirmation text from them stating, “Thanks for signing up to get 12 Days of Sharing Texts.”
I find it interesting that Starbucks is using “old school” mobile text messaging to send the deals instead of one of the newer check-in mobile services like Foursquare or Gowalla. Perhaps you will need to complete some other online task before you can redeem the deals. The website pushes you hard to share Starbucks on Facebook and/or Twitter.
Last year’s program was called “12 days of Wishing” and FatWallet has a list of the items that were offered. A variety of items were offered including: mugs, VIA coffee and a bunch of tumblers. I guess they can’t offer Free WiFi as part of a deal this year since they already offer free WiFi at their stores.
We’ve been “homo sapiens” for quite a long time. I don’t know about you but I often wonder what’s next after this current stage of human evolution. Guhmshoo takes a look at what might be next — Homo Textus. This evolutionary change comes from his research watching people use text messaging devices and the way they arch and position their body to create a piece of content on the device.
The Mobile Data Association, based in the UK, has released stats around mobile text messaging in the UK. The top stat is the sending of 11 million text messages per hour. This equates to 265 million text messages a day or 97 billion text messages for 2009.
The report notes that picture messaging appears to be a big hit on certain days of the year. Christmas day saw 4.5 million picture messages sent.
Some additional stats from the report:
Total number of text messages (SMS) sent in:
2009 total – 96.8 billion
2008 total – 78.9 billion
2007 total – 56.9 billion
Year on year growth (2009 vs 2008): 23% growth
The decrease in sms/text messaging pricing along with more sophisticated devices are the top reasons for the increase. I would add that there are more users and many users are becoming more comfortable using messaging versus just voice.