I rarely use Kinko’s but I had a great experience today at a local Kinko’s FedEx office. I brought in a mac formatted USB drive and acted like a dumb consumer. I asked the lady at the front how to do it, and she walked me through the process of sticking in the usb drive. It immediately came up with a list of files on the USB drive, which was only one PDF file. It had the appropriate PDF logo on it, and it had a nice graphical interface which was easy to use. It asked me in some simple steps what I wanted to do, and for .14 cents I walked out with a color copy!
The last time I was at a Kinko’s was before they were bought by FedEx. It was a difficult process for that store to recognize my mac formatted Word file. I gave up on them for emergency printing and thought it was easier to just buy the printer. However as the years have gone by, I suspect like many people the need for printers has decreased. Since we rarely write letters, and even less need to print at home for things like coupons, I bet home printer ownership is at an all time low. It makes sense to outsource things that you don’t need very much since its much cheaper.
The last time I used my printer at home was a cheap Cannon. It worked pretty well but then I didn’t use it for about a year. After that it never worked right, no matter how many cleaning cycles that I put it through. I wasn’t mad, it was cheap after all. Still I was disappointed. Many offices have laser printers that are a decade old. Why is inkjet printing so unreliable?
The point of this article however is to just point out that it’s not a bad deal to outsource the printing in some situations. It turns out that the package that I had to mail was cheaper than the USPS as well. Private companies are really undercutting the government. I wonder how much longer the USPS is going to rely on handouts?
I read an article that stated that StumbleUpon was having problems. They lose staff, having technical issues with the service, and lots of other issues. I wonder if this is the beginning of the end for them?
As long-time readers have noticed I have often used StumbleUpon to learn many new things. I find it more interesting than randomly surfing Wikipedia. Wikipedia always seems to have a bias in the articles I read. It’s disappointing for something that is supposed to be neutral. It is also a question of readership. Why waste my time on something that most people don’t find helpful? I have noticed that my highest rated content are things I originally write. So give the people what they want right?
It seems to me that StumbleUpon’s issues are typical of many companies that don’t have a clear profit strategy. I always wondered how they paid they bills, even though they offer paid stumbling content. It wasn’t clear that people would see the value of an audience that had to spend time to find their message. I think as well that in my use of SU it has become clogged with tons of garbage. There is always garbage in life, but it makes it demotivating to use the system.
For example, I have probably viewed over 100,000 pages and liked about 4,000 of them. For me, I am starting to question if liking something 4% is a good use of my time. It is easy to use and I have found some great gems, but on the whole I don’t think SU is in my future. Perhaps others also feel the same. I have looked for a SU alternative but haven’t found a good option. If you have one, please email me in the About me and let me know and I’ll write a post about it.