The Residential Phone Book Goes the Way of the Dodo Bird

It looks like the telephone companies have finally seen the writing on the wall… or online. The old “reach out and touch someone,” certainly isn’t happening through the whitepages anymore.

Dodo birdIn the past month alone, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania approved Verizon Communications Inc.’s request to quit distributing residential white pages and regulators are giving the approval for them to do so. Since 2007, states that have given the go ahead to stop quit printing whitepages or that have requests pending: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

“Anybody who doesn’t have access to some kind of online way to look things up now is probably too old to be able to read the print in the white pages anyway,” joked Robert Thompson, a pop culture professor at Syracuse University.

Even Link Hoewing from Verizon understands;

“You probably have a better chance of finding a name quicker if you can just search for it in a database than try to look it up in the white pages.”

He’s also Verizon’s vice president of Internet and technology policy.

The phone companies argue that most people use the internet to find people. I think they’re right. Quotes from AP Article

After posing the question “When was the last time you used the yellow pages?” on Twitter, here are some of the responses I received:

@AdamChlan: over 5 years. mine goes directly from my front porch to the trash.
@Amyschnabi: Other than to prop things up?
@beckami: we take ours camping. Phonebooks make excellent kindling.
@Kmueller62: what’s interesting is the yellow pages are now focusing on their online version. I’m LESS likely to use that than the real thing

You can opt out of receiving the residential phone book. YellowPages Opt Out Thanks @AdamChlan for the link.

I also agree with KMueller62. When I search for something I want to see the result. I don’t want to have to go to another site where I have to search again or click through something else before I get my result.

Google also has phone number look up built into their search engine. Just type in one of the following before the name you are searching for:

bphonebook: search business listing
rphonebook: search residential listings
phonebook: search all phone listings

I really believe that the paper phone book is dead and the paper yellowpages is on it’s way out too. What do you think?

Do you need help transitioning your company from using the yellow pages to getting found online? We can help! Get a Free Quote

Cable and Phone Companies Crying Like Babies.. Again

Just read an article put out by the associated press. “Summary Box: Broadband funds draw complaints

“THE COMPLAINTS: Some phone and cable companies complain that the money is sometimes being used to fund networks that will compete with services they already offer.”

So, the phone and cable companies complain that other company’s are using their networks to make money and they should be allowed to filter this traffic the way they see fit. Their argument is that they are building expensive networks and others are making money on their networks while they alone carry the burden of building and supporting the networks. But, really, this is a way they can filter out and kill their competition. Then they receive money from the government to support their “expensive networks”, but that’s not enough. Now they are whining that the money is creating competition for them. This just has the stink of monopoly all over it. Especially since many of the companies have regional monopolies or near monopolies.

Related articles:
Comcast vs. Net Neutrality: Why is Comcast So Scared?
Net Neutrality Takes a Blow
Net Neutrality — A Letter to US Senator Arlen Specter

Apple and iPad Not Revolutionary at All – Part 1

Ok, I know the title will instantly make some people hate me. If you made it past the title, then maybe we can talk.

Let me start with this, yes I do own an iPhone and I do like it. I bought the 3gs version last summer, kind of by default. Here’s why I don’t believe that the Apple is not really an innovator when it comes to hardware or software.

First the iPhone. When iPhone came out it was touted (by the Apple community) to be the greatest thing ever. In fact I had a PC phone from HTC that I bought in 2006 that had more features. For pete’s sake you couldn’t even cut and past until the 3gs. Plus the HTC browsed faster than the original iPhone. I ran a head to head test with a my HTC and a G1 using Google to search for the same term. The HTC won by a long shot. They were both on AT&T’s network. Cause I know that was your next question. Last summer I finally broke down.. mostly because my 3 year old PC Phone did too.. and bought the 3gs. The final selling points were #1 I believe HTC stumbled with their latest version of the PC phone by putting their top heavy software over the phones, which slowed it down and made it unstable. I also was not a fan of the Blackberry’s. So, by default the iPhone. #2 The app store. This is important later.

apple ipad 1st generation

Now we have the iPad. I keep hearing people saying things like it is going to revolutionize how you read and that the print media industry is hoping for a revival because of the iPad. Really? Have we already forgotten the Kindle. That has revolutionized how we read. It is also much easier on the eyes because it is not back lit. Plus, you get free 3G wireless coverage, although limited. Everyone I know that has one, said they wouldn’t give up their Kindle for an iPad. Another thing I’ve heard is how it’s going to change the way we surf.. now that could be true. If developers bow to Apples command to use Html 5. A standard that’s not even finished! Is this Apple’s arrogance? Incompetence? Maybe a bit of both. My guess is… well two things. One, Adobe made them made. Two, they had issues with implementing it on their devices and well, it’s easier to blame someone else than it is to fix the problem. I really thought that Apple learned their lesson back in the 90s when they almost went bankrupt, but here we are again where everything has to be created/approved/sold by Apple to work on their machines. There are also a number of other limitations, such as always needing to have the docking station with you. I was happy to see today that HP is coming out with a competitive device called the Slate.

In my next post I’ll explain in what ways I think Apple is an innovator.