So why aren't the Yellow Pages dead yet?
There’s a great amount of circumstantial evidence that the Yellow Pages should be dead.
The Internet makes everything easier, deeper, and better.
The trees yearn to live free rather than be pressed into service.
The advertisers have departed in droves (or so I hear).
The major Yellow Pages publishers (Dex, Idearc, Yellowbook, and AT&T) are suffering greatly (if not already bankrupt).
So the end of the walking fingers is near, right?
Well, there’s just this little thing about local business needing leads.
See, despite all the evidence and argument for the rapid demise of the printed product, old yeller continues to deliver necessary leads for local businesses.
It’s like the lead pencil.
With ballpoint pens, roller balls, word processors, text messages, and email, the humble lead pencil should be on display at the Smithsonian.
But the darned things provide a utility that hasn’t been replaced by technology.
If you want a reliable, cheap writing instrument that works upside down or having been left in a drawer, you can’t beat a pencil.
So perhaps the future of the Yellow Pages depends on its utility to drive leads to local businesses at affordable rates.
I predicted (incorrectly) that the print product would be dead by now.
Instead, I’m experiencing greater growth and happier advertisers with community directories than ever before.