Yes, there are other voices in the industry that clearly understand how absurd some of the commentary has been on the whole opt-out discussion, as well as the totally anti-small business politics that local legislators have launched in San Francisco & Seattle.
One such voice is Dick Larkin who writes the TheCommando newsletter which focuses on small business. His most recent summary carrying the title of “The election didn’t solve this” outlines the key issues and misstatements in a clear, concise, yet powerfully review: http://conta.cc/avfOyB #yp
The thing that the politicians miss is that directories drive substantial local business activity, and curtailing directories would suppress the local economy.
Let’s hope (an overused word these past few years) that the 99% of those who understand the value of the print directories, and the millions of small businesses that use the products to promote their businesses, can help change (another totally abused word) those local legislators that don’t get it and are bowing to a small group.
As Dick suggested:
I’d love to see exactly how Senator Yee spent his campaign funds and what measures he took to ensure that he did not print, mail, or distribute his campaign message to San Francisco residents who were not interested in hearing from him.
Now that would be a real useful opt-out program. The volume of crap I received during this last election was easily 2x the volume of paper used in the local directories that I receive once a year. But somehow groups lead by Seattle City Councilman O’Brien are more focused on the 3% of the waste stream (their calculations, not mine) that they say (EPA pegs it at just .3%) print directories are causing.
But I’m sorry, we’re talking about politicians. They get to play by a separate set of rules don’t they?
In a ruling which may show improvement in the classical disconnect between publishers wanting to update their print products and the local telephone regulatory bodies, the Vermont Public Service Board has reversed its ruling from 2005 that required SuperMedia (the local telco affiliated Yellow Page publisher) to separate the FairPoint Yellow Pages and the FairPoint White Pages directories in Vermont. The directories will be now combined into a single telephone directory beginning with distribution of new books in May.
As Todd Sanislow, regional vice president at SuperMedia noted in its press release (link):
“Consumers have been asking us to switch back for years. It has long been our position that requiring us to publish separate White Pages and Yellow Pages directories was not the best solution, as it is less environmentally friendly and also put us at an unfair disadvantage with our competition. We are pleased to provide the convenience of having both Yellow Pages and White Pages listings in the same directory once again…..”
Local regulatory groups has traditional fought the elimination of residential white pages believing that if will increase the costs for local subscribers that need to access directory assistance/411 services to get listings information.
Critics of the industry claim that publishers are not being eco-oriented, yet they fail to understand that many of the publishers are required by law to publish the white page books.
We welcome the decision by the Vermont regulators and the efforts by SuperMedia to encourage residents to recycle outdated directories in curbside recycling containers. Those that don’t have curbside recycling, can click here to find a recycling center near them. Those recycled directories can be used to make new paper or many products such as environmentally friendly cellulose insulation, packing material, animal bedding, compost, tissue-grade products, wallboard, envelopes, hydro-mulch and roll cores.