Zumbox reading

Joff Smith had mentioned the possibility of using Zumbox for city bills at the City Council meeting on Tuesday (see 8.43 mark).

San Francisco and Newark only just rolled it out in September,  and NYC and Minneapolis in October, so I’m not sure how they’re seeing a six-figure savings as yet; see their blog for press releases about these and other municipalities.  I would also be a little concerned about a company whose CEO is a member of the board of the Direct Marketing Association.  Would they want to sign people up for the Zumbox service so that they could then sell that list to various mail marketing people?  (See the comment to this post for some thoughts on that.)

It’s unclear from their website whether municipalities will always be able to use this service for free.  This blog post says that it’s free for municipal organizations, and that for others, it will cost 5 cents.  When their investor funding runs low, will they begin to charge cities a fee?

Pitney Bowes is suing them for copyright infringement.  Beyond articles about the lawsuit, every article I find about this company is akin to a press release (like interviews with the director of marketing).  Part of that is, I’m sure, that it’s a new system and that their client list is limited and new.  But I for one would be concerned about using a new company that seems to have a heavy marketing ethos (I know, startups need to, but I think it’s relevant when you’re talking about a mail-delivery system) and who has just recently started expanding its client base to some decent-sized cities.

This would be a great topic for someone to research further…

What I Learned From Blogs This Week

I’ve put up a couple of items on the Virtual Assignment Desk for next week.  I also need to do a better job of pulling together the citizen journalism from blogs — though I welcome any nominations for someone else to do a roundup.

Jeff has done a great job chronicling the Park on North Lake Ave saga.  (here, here, and here).  He also discusses the liveblogging that Tracy, Jeremy, and I were doing on Tuesday night.

Tracy has been discussing Race to the Top (RTTT) — here, here, here, and here.

No Drumlins shows us why Scott Brown sounds so familiar.

Bill wrote about DirectAir numbers, when the CVS on Park Ave is scheduled to open, illegal sign installation, and who got a contract for the wet lab at Gateway Park.

Pink Granite has contact information for donations for Hebrew Cemetery repairs.

Paulie reminded business owners about Sprout’s offer of wreaths.

And I wrote about the Canal District Streetscape project and interviewed T Jablanski.

I would love to see more people blogging, especially about topics and events that the news media doesn’t cover.  So, if you’re on the fence about whether to start a blog, consider taking an event from the Virtual Assignment Desk (or something that I’ve missed) and writing about it.  Be sure to contact Jeff so that you can be included in the Worcester Blogroll.