Citizen complaint of the day: Enough with the phone books already

Phone books by the side of the road

An annoyed citizen complains about the scene on Mt. Vernon Street on Beacon Hill:

Verizon phone books left on street; who uses them anyway!!!!

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Comments

The reason Verizon still prints and distributes

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paper phone books has nothing to do with whether or not they think people still use them. Have you noticed that they now sell advertising space in those phone books?

Like the ongoing saga of Globe Direct, we have yet another example of how society's willingness to cater to the marketing types trying to use every way imaginable to shill their wares on the public is a huge waste of resources and is environmentally un-friendly.

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Isn't it a waste of money

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Isn't it a waste of money for companies to be advertising in something that nobody looks at, and that for all intents and purposes lies abandoned and unopened on the street?

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Ain't really a free market, though

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If it were a free market, the producers and spammers of such materials would not be externalizing the costs of their disposal on the consumers and communities.

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Free Market is

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..a funny myth of our time brought to you by a Glibertarian near you.

It is up there with silvered unicorns that poop skittles on demand..

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The city is missing an opportunity

The publisher loads the books into a truck at the printing plant or distribution center, drives them around the city, and drops them at people's doorsteps. Next, the homeowner picks them up and moves them several feet to the recycle bin. Next, the city pays a contractor to empty the recycle bins and transport the contents to the recycling center.

Wouldn't it just be cheaper and all around more efficient for the city to simply pay the publisher to truck the books directly from the printing plant to the recycling plant? Maybe that could be a contractual add-on next time the trash pick-up contract is put out to bid?

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Land lines are still being

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Land lines are still being used, so there is still a high demand for telephone directory phone books, especially for the elderly and the poor who cant afford a cell phone or the billing charges that come with a cell phone, but as the years linger on and the older generation 65 and over crowd start to fade away from earth, I think the telephone book will follow.

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If a billion people in the

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If a billion people in the 3rd World can own cell phones and the elderly and poor here in the USA cannot, then we have a big problem.

What does owning a cell phone

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What does owning a cell phone have to do with not using a phone book?

A smart phone, maybe. But people with cell phones still need to look up business phone numbers, just like people with landlines.

They are still sort of handy

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. for looking up plumbers or locksmiths and checking on similar things that are less web friendly, format wise.

For example, book form field guides are still more useful for identifying birds and such than trying to use web searches.

Their efficacy at advertisement is probably a crap shoot but lots of older small biz owners don't trust the web ad model and must have something tangible.

Ad rates for paper are still higher than web ads. But that may not last much longer.

"Impression ads" like billboards or phone book pages have always been speculative. Coupons function as tracking devices.

When I delivered phone books in Everett, Lowell and Lawrence in the 80s they were popular because of the pizza joint coupons and such.

An industry homily from some ad agent archetype runs like this..

"I know half of my ad budget is a waste of money, I just can't figure out which half."

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ya

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As tech-friendly as I am, I still use the yellow pages in occasion.

There's something about flipping thru sections of that book that even an identically setup website (i.e. YellowPages.com) cannot replace.

but then again I'm old..

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Plenty

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There are many people over the age of 55 who still use the White/Yellow pages. Not everyone has an Iphone or access to the Interweb. If you don't use these directories, throw them in your recycle bin and stop whining.

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Don't forget about the

Don't forget about the vertically challenged who need a little boost. Without phone books to help them out, they'd have no reason to live.

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They're parked at a fire

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They're parked at a fire hydrant!

Give them a $100 ticket. Or drill a hole in them and run a hose through.