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11 comments

Good Riddance, White Pages

Posted November 18, 2010 12:00 AM by Kaplin

Verizon has finally received the permission they have been asking for -- to halt production of the iconic White Pages in New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania, with other states ready to follow suit. Although it is the end of an era, it is an era that will not be missed by me. For close to the past ten years, any phone books that have shown up at my house have gone straight from the front door to the back door recycling bin.

The first phone "book" was printed in 1878 and included 50 phone numbers on a single page. It has grown over the years to become the gigantic book that you probably now use as a monitor stand. Verizon hopes to reduce its own costs and become more environmentally-friendly with the move.

There are a few reasons for the huge decline of the phonebook, but the most obvious is that online directories are quicker to use for and can be updated much more frequently. Online directories also have the benefit of not being limited to your calling area.

Another factor is the surging popularity of the cell phone and the decline of the landline, since cell phone numbers are not typically listed in the White Pages anyway.

Yellow Pages Still Kicking?
Although this looks to be the end of the White Pages for residential listings, the Yellow Pages Association says that the business-side of the listings is still performing well. This seems a little bizarre to me as it is usually easier to find a business' phone number online than to find a residential number. I see this as more of a claim to entice paid advertisers to renew their advertisements.

Here are a few popular online directories for looking up phone numbers and contact info:

Does anyone out there that still flip through a thousand+ page book to find the number they're looking for? Will prank calls survive the changing of the guard?

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#1

Re: Good Riddance, White Pages

11/18/2010 12:58 AM

While I think reduced overall phone directory production is a positive development, there will always be some need for hard-copy white and yellow pages.

Not everyone is on-line, and many people don't have cell phones. So directory production will continue, albeit on a smaller scale, to meet the demands of these populations.

Prank calls?! I haven't received (or made) a good prank call in years.

I remember my mother telling me about her favorite prank call--the Prince Albert in a can routine.

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#2

Re: Good Riddance, White Pages

11/18/2010 7:31 AM

Seems to me a better alternative to halting production would be for consumers to request copies - rather than drive-by drop-offs. I agree that most people don't use the copies that are dropped off on doorsteps. However, my grandparents and handful of other people I know don't use the Internet - and never will. How will they look up numbers they need?

I also use phone books pretty frequently when I travel. They're useful in hotels in unfamiliar cities. And I have been known to rip out the little map in the front when the hotel wasn't nice enough to supply me with one...

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Good Riddance, White Pages

11/18/2010 9:18 AM

"And I have been known to rip out the little map in the front when the hotel wasn't nice enough to supply me with one..."

Ah-HA! That was YOU! Now I have a name to attach to my bilious rant when I discover this crime against society!

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In reply to #3

Re: Good Riddance, White Pages

11/18/2010 10:12 AM

Guilty as charged. I've only done it a few times. The most memorable was in Honolulu. Most of the street names look alike (and are one-way).

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#5

Re: Good Riddance, White Pages

11/18/2010 10:36 PM

Well, just another bit of evidence that the world (in my humble opinion) is going to hell in a handbasket.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Good Riddance, White Pages

11/19/2010 7:55 AM

So printing phone books is our only chance at salvation??

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#7

Re: Good Riddance, White Pages

11/19/2010 9:29 AM

Yes, print Yellow Pages are in the mix! In fact, 75% of consumers say they used print Yellow Pages in the past year, amounting to approximately 12 billion references in 2009 alone, according to Burke. Of that number, almost 7 out of 10 adults contacted or visited a business after finding it in the print Yellow Pages—a clear indication of the continued value of directory advertising.

Our industry provides local businesses with integrated marketing consulting and services, ranging from print directories to Internet Yellow Pages, mobile apps, search engine marketing, to website development. Combined, print and Internet Yellow Pages have the furthest reach for local information, and more consumers cite print and Internet Yellow Pages for trust and accuracy of local business information than search engines.

Stephanie Hobbs

Vice President - Communications, Yellow Pages Association

http://www.insideyp.org

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#8

Re: Good Riddance, White Pages

11/19/2010 10:47 AM

So what are we going to use to make Christams trees with? remember folding all those pages!

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#9

Re: Good Riddance, White Pages

11/19/2010 5:20 PM

I have not used one at home or work for too long to even remember.

My books go directly to the recycle can if I recieve them,

and I am on the 'do not deliver' lists.

I agree, Good riddence.

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Good Riddance, White Pages

11/23/2011 12:12 AM

what 'do not deliver' list?!

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#10

Re: Good Riddance, White Pages

12/03/2010 1:52 PM

You forgot to mention my new phone number web site! (boohoo!)

It's made for mobiles, www.mycall.mobi for direct calling, or
on your pc which provides a free number look-up service.

All free, the listing, searching, advertising is all currently free.
It includes, doctors and most emergency services, as well as
the usual taxi, hotel, theatre, etc.local services and entertainment.

It only covers the UK at present, with a limited database of half a million
advertisers, but for local search, one click calling of favourites, and all Free,
in my opinion it offers a lot "in your pocket" for business search.

Hope you like it.

jt.

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