Long before there were today's social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, there was the electronic bulletin board. These BBS', as they were known, really paved the way for people to share ideas and documents. The USPS also had their own version of a bulletin board, which was known as RIBBS - the Rapid Information Bulletin Board. RIBBS ( still exists today and is very much a "postal underground" of essential files, information, and a shared repository of data.

While the interface has certainly improved over the past decades when it was an MS-DOS version, RIBBS can still be somewhat daunting to navigate. That is, unless you start working with it and become familiar with how the information is organized. Upon arriving at the web page, which is hosted by the USPS National Customer Support Center, you will see some important news such as the latest on Intelligent Mail barcodes, Folded Self-Mailers, and eDoc authorization for software vendors. Hold that last item for just a moment.

On the left side of the page, you will find a navigation bar that can take you to a wealth of information on Intelligent Mail Services, Address Quality, the release schedule for essential USPS data, information on MTAC (Mailers Technical Advisory Committee), and operational changes. With so much going on in the mailing industry these days, there is a lot to read and research. Fortunately, the NCSC added a much needed "Updates" section. With this feature, you can quickly browse through a table listing of all the recently updated files on RIBBS. It is an incredibly useful feature and many regular RIBBS users sincerely appreciate the USPS adding this essential feature.

RIBBS is an excellent resource for mailers to stay informed in an ever-changing postal landscape. It has search tools, documents organized alphabetically and by topic, and links to external resources to keep mailers current on all mailing industry issues.

As for eDoc authorization, noted earlier, RIBBS now provides a listing of all TEM-certified software solutions. As you prepare for the Full Service IMb requirement effective January 2014, and yes it is going to happen, you can peruse this listing to see if you current solutions is fully prepared.