No more phone books — please!

* Another person who is sick and tired of getting the phone book
* Shares of Yellow Pages Inc. (YLWPF.PK) are now 18 cents



  1. Mark Gisleson said:

    I find it very hard to believe that Yellow Pages are not now a fraudulent product, and one that should be investigated by state AGs to see if they provide any benefit, or if they are simply a nuisance.

    I would vote nuisance.

  2. Mark, they’ll tell you if you buy a bigger ad, then your problems will go away. That’s the ad marketers’ solution to everything — just go bigger.

  3. Bill Reader said:

    Pew Research from about 18 months ago: “Two-thirds of American adults (66%) now have a broadband internet connection at home, a figure that is little changed from the 63% with a high-speed home connection at a similar point in 2009.”

    Obviously, regular users of the Internet see little need for phonebooks, printed dictionaries, even ink-on-paper newspapers and magazines. But the 33 percent who do not have broadband at home still need phone books and local newspapers.

    “Nobody wants them” is irresponsible hyperbole. So is “Everybody uses the Internet.”

  4. Rich said:

    Arguing over how many people use broadband at home and how that translates into not using the yellow pages is silly…

    Most people I know, including myself, don’t use the broadband connection at home to look up phone numbers either, we do it on our smartphones… I can’t remember the last time I looked up a number on my “home” computer…

  5. jt said:

    I don’t have a smartphone. Lots of people don’t have smarkphones.

    Bill’s point about being aware of diverse access to technology is a good one.

  6. Bill Reader said:

    Rich — It’s just as silly to argue that most people who need to look up phone numbers also do not have smart phones, or at least smart phones with those services enabled.

    The well-gadgeted middle class really must stop making such assumptions about how much access people have to online info and their technology. Many people in rural regions, for example, cannot even get the services you and others take completely for granted.

    I like the “opt out” option for printed phone books, and can tell you that many people in this corner of Appalachia are not going to “opt out” of phonebooks anytime soon.

  7. Bill Reader said:

    Delete “do not” from “have smart phones.”

    (Yo, Jim — any way to enable the ability to edit posts?)

  8. Rich said:

    Wow Bill.. You sound bitter for some reason.. “cannot even get the services you and others take completely for granted.”

    I take them for granted?

    What about you?

  9. Rich said:

    A Pew research study from last year shows:

    The Project’s May survey found that 83% of US adults have a cell phone of some kind, and that 42% of them own a smartphone. That translates into 35% of all adults.


    African-Americans and English-speaking Latinos continue to be among the most active users of the mobile web. Cell phone ownership is higher among African-Americans and Latinos than among whites (87% vs. 80%) and minority cell phone owners take advantage of a much greater range of their phones’ features compared with white mobile phone users. In total, 64% of African-Americans access the internet from a laptop or mobile phone, a seven-point increase from the 57% who did so at a similar point in 2009.

  10. Heidi said:

    Bill – 18 months ago was 2010. So you’re saying that Internet use is rising by 3 percent every year? This year we should hit 71 percent, by your numbers.

    Then why do I, a person who has had Internet in my home for a decade and living in a major city with several different options, still get 5+ phone books a year? I opted out and everything.

    Maybe they should at least reduce the number of phone books that are delivered to each address to a reasonable number – like one?

  11. Bill Reader said:

    Rich — Not bitter. Just cautioning folks against throwing baby out with bathwater. There is still a place in today’s society for printed phone books. But Heidi certainly makes a good point that the number printed should be reduced to one or two.

    Just looking out for the minority who tend to get ignored/dismissed in these types of conversations. Even at 80 percent adoption of a technology, that means one in five people aren’t using that tech. One in five is a significant minority, one that still needs/deserves access to basic info.

  12. Rich said:

    Then I caution you not to say people take things for granted when you have no idea who they are…


  13. wubbly said:

    The company that owns the Atlanta J-C also throws this plastic wrapped package of “coupons” (read: garbage) once a week on everyone’s driveways in the metro area. Many, many individuals and groups who don’t want garbage thrown on their lawns have tried to stop this. The AJC refuses to stop delivery of the garbage no matter how many requests one makes. They claim some first amendment right of pamphleteering or something. A man was arrested for following the people who threw the garbage on his lawn — then trying to throw the offensive material back to the person who threw it at him. I for one hope they lose all their readers over this outrage.