on Nov 4th, 2013 in OIG | 3 comments
 

Wow, how time flies. Five years ago we launched our first blog as a way to engage stakeholders and solicit input on important postal topics. We haven’t stopped blogging since – 282 and counting (and more than 670,000 views!). A lot has changed in that 5 years – not necessarily for the U.S. Postal Service but in the social media realm. Things happen fast in the social media world: Facebook went public last year and now stands at a $100 billion company; Twitter has reached more than 230 million active users; the number of blogs out there has surpassed the 180 million mark; and a constant stream of newer players like Instagram and Vine further boost the impact of social media.

Our blogging experience has changed in that time as well. Over the past year, we have noticed that overall comments to the blogs have declined, but activity on our Facebook page has soared. We post each week’s blog to our Facebook page and often find that’s where the action is. For example, our May 6 blog, “Community Connection: Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive” yielded one lonely comment on the blog, but absolutely lit up on Facebook. As of October 18, 2013, our May 9 Stamp Out Hunger Facebook post was viewed by more than 3,000 people. Similarly, using our Twitter account to mention blogs can drive activity as people retweet and favorite what we post.

No matter where you share them, we encourage your comments. Send them via blog comments, on our Audit Project pages, on Facebook, or tweet us using @OIGUSPS. Your comments have prompted audit projects, white papers, or even the need to turn something over to our Office of Investigations. We’d also like to hear your ideas on future blog topics. What would you like us to cover? Keep in mind, a blog is a small window into an idea, not the place for exhaustive research. Often, we just tee up an issue and provide the pros and cons on it and then let the public weigh in. But we are always open to ideas.

It might seem ironic that stakeholders like to comment online about a hard-copy service that is as old as the country itself. But we think the juxtaposition is apt – the Postal Service is still a valuable infrastructure in an increasingly digital world. Social media provides stakeholders yet another outlet for “informing the debate” about what our postal system should be. We look forward to hearing from you. 

3 Comments

I like that you cover a wide range of topics. Even if I don't comment on them, I do read the blog each week. I especially like when they hit on current news.

Closing the plant in Huntsville, AL has effected the mail carriers not to mention the customers... With the plant closing the mail gets to us much later in the mornings which has made management change our start time to 8:30 and for some 9:30. On average our DPS does not get to us until between 9:30-10:00.....mail is very inconsistent. Coming in to work and getting our mail late in the mornings puts us out delivering until very late at night, endangering us to all kinds of unsafe conditions. Carriers are not able to see the mail, so we have to turn on our inside lights on which cause a glare, we are on busy roads at high traffic time, it is difficult to see people in the dark and rain. There is more congestion of vehicles parked on the curb which makes the carrier get out of their vehicle to deliver the mail and puts them in danger of being hit in the dark. Also customers want to know why we are delivering mail at 7,8,9,10 and 11 o'clock at night...The customers have also said that they are scared to go to their box that late due to the possibility of falling, and in some neighborhoods there is a sense of danger. Some carriers have had the police called on them when they are delivering late at night. If we have trouble with our vehicles (whether it be and LLV or privately owned) after 5:00 pm, most businesses that could help us are closed.

Carriers and customers are in danger with mail deliveries this late. A carrier cannot drive safely after dark with an interior light on. I saw a carrier in the north Alabama area wearing a head lamp similar to what a coal miner would wear. Businesses are closed, the mail is brought back to the office, put with the next days mail, took out again for the carrier to arrive at the closed business again. It is not closing the plant in Huntsville that is the problem but poor management at the Birmingham plant and the mail arriving at the plant later and later to be processed will only make the problem worse. I am not a carrier, but Donby sayingna, print out this blog, you or one of your co-workers, or a customer, will soon need it. Someone will be hurt or killed by this mismanagement.

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