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

The Week in Review: e-Life 7/31/10-8/6/10

Blog Posts

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Website Analytics Posted on August 04th, 2010

I put together a list of the top 5 reasons why you should be using website analytics to hopefully shed some light on why analytics are so important.

  1. You can’t measure what you don’t know.
  2. Track traffic sources that bring visitors to your website.
  3. Track what search engines and keywords are driving traffic to your site.
  4. Track what content is being viewed.
  5. Track sales funnels and conversions.

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Net neutrality: New Talks With the FCC, Google and Verizon Posted on August 05th, 2010

Net neutrality is very controversial pitting broadband providers against internet companies. The providers claim they are paying billions of dollars for networks that internet companies make money from and they should be able to control and charge fees for the type of data that travels over their networks.

What do you think? Should broadband providers be allowed to regulate traffic?
Or should net neutrality prevail?

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BbeS On Twitter

Did you know there’s a heck of a lot of soccer in central PA? Check out the http://centralpasoccer.com/ alpha release site. More to come! 8/5/10

In Pictures: Expert Tips For Using LinkedIn – Forbes http://bbes.us/b7Cz5m 8/5/10

I’ve been watching this play out, still seems crazy to me: UAE to ban BlackBerry services, Saudi follows suit <a href="http://bbes.us/afyAX9“>http://bbes.us/bw8EEQ 8/4/10

Is “just good enough”, really good enough? What do you think? 8/4/10

LinkedIn Makes an Acquisition: aquires recommendation service mSpoke for an undisclosed price. http://bbes.us/afyAX9 8/4/10

Makes you wonder: More & more “traditional marketers” are speaking about social media even tho only months ago they said SM was worthless. 8/4/10

Net neutrality: New Talks With the FCC, Google and Verizon

hares fighting obout net neutrality Net neutrality is very controversial pitting broadband providers against internet companies. The providers claim they are paying billions of dollars for networks that internet companies make money from and they should be able to control and charge fees for the type of data that travels over their networks.

I strongly believe in net neutrality. It is what the internet was build on and it should be looked at like a utility. The electric company doesn’t charge you more if you want to plug in a machine they didn’t make. The water company doesn’t charge you a different price depending on what you do with the water. The phone company doesn’t charge you various prices based on the language or words you use when you talk on the phone. You pay for their service/connection.

What do you think? Should broadband providers be allowed to regulate traffic?
Or should net neutrality prevail?

Read more about Net Neutrality: Source: Google, Verizon near net neutrality plan

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

Net Neutrality Takes a Blow

I just read an article about FCC’s battle for net neutrality. FCC loses key ruling on Internet `neutrality’
After reading the article, I’m again frustrated that so many people (apparently including some judges) don’t understand the severity of the issue.

Tuesday’s unanimous ruling by the three-judge panel was a setback for the FCC because it questioned the agency’s authority to regulate broadband. That could cause problems beyond the FCC’s effort to adopt official net neutrality regulations.

It baffles me that they don’t understand that the FCC is pushing an open system. The large ISPs are only looking out for themselves and instead of innovating they are trying to block other companies that have proven to be more innovative then they are. It’s like the kid on the playground that doesn’t get his way and says “I’m taking my ball and going home, so no one else can play.”

I’ve written about this a number of times. Below is my comment on the recent article. Plus check out these links for other posts on the subject:
Comcast vs. Net Neutrality: Why is Comcast So Scared?
Net Neutrality: A Letter to US Senator Arlen Specter

Comment:

It’s amazing to me to see how many people don’t understand what Net neutrality really is about. Comcast, Verizon and other ISPs want to be allowed to decide what types of data can travel over their networks. That’s would be like Ford saying well we helped build this road so we are only going to allow Fords to travel on it. Or the electric company saying you’re using our wires to power products that were built by some company we don’t like. Sorry you electric might work today.. maybe not though. Or the water company saying you’re using a Brita filter. Ok, then your water pressure is going to be a trickle. I could on, but what it really does is allows the ISPs to crush their competition. Let’s look at VOIP (voice over internet protocal) services or internet phones as an example. Where I am, I basically have two choices. Comcast or Verizon. Both companies offer VOIP. So if they were allowed to decide the speed and what data is allowed to travel across their networks they could crush companies like Vonage, or even Skype. Giving them an unfair advantage because they “own the pipes” Do you remember what phone prices were before Vonage and Skype? One of their biggest complaints is Google. First of all do you think Google is running off a dial up or pirated internet connection. You better believe they are paying to get into the network. Furthermore, look at all the free stuff they give away, and does anyone at Comcast. Or maybe they want to slow down Google’s data because they a deal with Yahoo for their search.

Bottom line allowing the ISPs to filter data on their networks is bad for everyone. Wake up people. The FCC is trying to help consumers. Stand up and let them know that you don’t want to be told what you can and can’t access online. The link below is to a letter I sent to my state senator Arlen Specter. After seeing this ruling I’m planning on sending it again. Here’s a quote from my letter:

“I commend the FCC for taking a stand with Comcast. Comcast is a huge business that in most areas operates almost as a monopoly, yet they continue to cry that their infrastructure is being unfairly used. They claim that companies and people are getting a free ride on their pipeline. I always get a kick out of how they try to justify the policy of slowing down different types of traffic just because that type is popular. One example is Google. They talked about implementing a way to slow traffic to companies such as Google and then charging them a higher fee so that the traffic will run at normal speeds. That sounds like a form of racketeering, which is not unlike what the mob does when they force people to pay for protection. ‘Protection from what?’, you ask. In actuality the money being paid is to protect the victims from the mob itself. “