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Along with the population explosion goes a reduction in the number of pages in the phonebook:-
In Manhattan, the population in recent years has been growing at an annual rate of about 10,000 people, to about 1.6 million residents now. But the 2007 Verizon White Pages was 142 pages smaller than the 2006 edition. At 1,796 pages of listings, it is the smallest residential phone book for Manhattan since Verizon began publishing them in 2001.
Anyone still use the phonebook, or, if they're not on the web do they basically lose your business?
In additional to more people relying on cell phones, more people are changing from landlines to to VoIP (which doesn't get included in white pages, AFAIK). Also, as more people are concerned with their privacy, I'd assume more people are getting unlisted numbers.
Although I've used online white pages looing for people out of the immediate area, I can't remember the last time I cracked open a paper white pages. I pretty much already have contact information for the people I want to contact. I suppose if I lost my PDA and address book, I might need to go to the white pages to lookup someone. Then again, I'd probably go online first. :)
The UK alternative is Cable, but even that tends to be bundled with a phoneline as I'm guessing it costs so little to chuck into a package.
Will we ever see the day where whitebooks are opt-in and actually cost you money to have delivered? Maybe, either that or you'll have to buy one at a bookstore or newsagent in 10/20 years time.
However, I DID come up with one example where a yellow pages could be useful (for its intended purpose): your computer dies (so you can't get to the Internet) and you need to find a computer repair shop. :)
As for whether the internet does it better... it is faster and more convenient. But it still misses out looking up a number and finding a business name - which would be trivial to implement.
As for the decline in residential listings,VoIP and cell phones are not listed and I, like so many, do not list my home phone, which I like the fact the charge you $1.50 a month NOT to do something.
This phenomenon would be better described as "Death of the residential landline."
Yes, I can see that. I lumped the two together because I can only express how I feel about it personally.
I use the phone book for neither residential nor business numbers. If I can't find a business online, they don't get my trade. If I can't get a residential number by calling a couple of people I know, I don't call them - I email someone that I know they know instead.
I asked my self this question about 4 years ago, when creditors started to be really booo, ongoing calling, almost 15 times daily. I couldn’t understand what the .... is going on, why do they call.
Apparently some one had raked up a lot of money thru CCs and took off outside of the country or something like that.
And here comes the kick… the persons name was 'Maria Innocent' and it was in the phone book under that number. So after we figure out what's going on it became a household joke, –‘ARE YOU Innocent, again?’. We end up dropping the land line. That was so long ago.
Why bother getting a home phone number?
The only way I would even consider getting a phone number for home these days is if the phone company can guarantee me that the number has not been used. They have this thing with recycling phone numbers and in the past, I've received a recycled phone number that was previously a fax number. Every morning at 0200, I'd get incoming faxes, you know, spamming via fax? It wasn't long after that when I decided that I would use my cell phone in place of the home phone, I didn't need the home phone number any more.
I'm sure there are many in the same situation as evidenced by comments in this topic. Now I have my un-recycled Vonage number(s) that I can take with me wherever I go. :)
I take the phone directories I get and throw them in my field to decompose.
It takes around eight years for them to become soil depending.
Newspapers degrade much faster.
Web sites/pages can vaporize pretty fast, and don't leave any waste or add to my soil content.