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[icon] Retro reference redux - Patti
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Subject:Retro reference redux
Time:12:13 am
Earlier today I asked about phone books. Here are some followup questions:

Poll #1457254 Phone Books Redux

Do you have current phone directories in your home?

Yes, white and yellow pages
26(42.6%)
Yes, white pages only
0(0.0%)
Yes, yellow pages only
5(8.2%)
No, but I have out-of-date ones
2(3.3%)
I have no idea
6(9.8%)
I have no dead tree phone books at all
22(36.1%)

When was the last time you used a payphone?

In the last week
0(0.0%)
In the last month
1(1.6%)
In the last three months
3(4.9%)
In the last year
4(6.6%)
It's been more than a year
14(23.0%)
It's been more than three years
39(63.9%)
Never
0(0.0%)

How long do you think it will be before phone books stop being distributed automatically?

It's already happened where I live
2(3.3%)
Less than five years
36(59.0%)
Less than ten years
10(16.4%)
More than ten years
11(18.0%)
Never
2(3.3%)

How long do you think it will be before phone book printing stops entirely?

It's already happened where I live
0(0.0%)
Less than five years
7(11.5%)
Less than ten years
16(26.2%)
More than ten years
31(50.8%)
Never
7(11.5%)
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violet_tigress1
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-14 07:26 am (UTC)
I think you only get phone books if you have landline.
(Reply) (Thread)


andrewhime
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-14 07:27 am (UTC)
Nope. They drop them at every door around here. They go in the recycle bin immediately. Well, if I bother to pick them up.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


dmorr
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-14 01:47 pm (UTC)
I have no landline but get regular phone book deliveries. I keep the most current one on the theory that maybe someday I'll lose both phone-based and cable internet and want to look something up. Doesn't sound all that likely, does it?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


jnala
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-14 10:14 am (UTC)
There was a tall stack of phone books when I moved in. I assume some of them are current, but I really don't know.
(Reply) (Thread)


rmd
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-14 01:08 pm (UTC)
they'll keep printing phone books, at least with yellow pages, for a while as long as advertisers think it's a way to spend money. i expect the last printed phone books will be the sort of single-town books that are full of "welcome to the town" sorts of local information. particularly for tourist towns. (i'm thinking of cape cod, at the moment, because that's where i still see those kinds of books.) and also, other phone book publishers will be heavily biased towards places with older people.
(Reply) (Thread)


wild_irises
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-14 02:23 pm (UTC)
I had similar thoughts when I saw our phone books last week.

I'm glad to have them, because there are a couple of things they do better than the web (putting everything I might want in one place for some particular thing, and offering coupons). Nonetheless, I would be very happy to have an option not to get them, and would take it in a heartbeat.

I checked "never" for how soon they will go away, which (of course) is a meaningless choice. Someday the sun will go nova. Long before then, we'll have tectonic cultural shifts. But the reason I chose it is that the phone companies' financial model is completely dependent on the phone book advertising, and I'm pretty sure the reason they still exist now is that no one can think of a way to have phone companies without them. Even if web advertising becomes a lot more saleable, it still won't be possible to have web pages as widely seen as the phone book, at least not by putting the phone book on line. So to get rid of them altogether takes a major re-vision of the whole process, and that seems unlikely to me.
(Reply) (Thread)


prock
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-14 03:07 pm (UTC)
Remember, phone books are junk mail. So they'll stop being delivered when the advertisers stop supporting them.
(Reply) (Thread)


chrishartman
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-14 03:40 pm (UTC)
Absolutely correct. We have the phone book that the phone company puts out, and two competing(!), unofficial phone books here.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


rhiannonstone
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-14 03:39 pm (UTC)
We don't even let phone books into our home. When they show up on our doorstep, they get trashed immediately. Mostly because space is such an issue that there's nowhere to put them. ;)
(Reply) (Thread)


chrishartman
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-14 03:42 pm (UTC)
I should note, in addendum to my previous comment, that Fairbanks is a "small" (~80k people in the entire area) town, so our phone book contains both the white and yellow pages, and is the size of a large format paperback. This is why I find it convenient to carry one in the car, for instance.
(Reply) (Thread)


freelikebeer
Subject:Totally unrelated
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-14 05:35 pm (UTC)
Fairbanks is remarkably green on teh googly maps.

Do you have a nice story that I can tell a math-for-non-math-majors class about the four-color theorem? Talking about coloring the US map is not inspiring me [I get to talk about graph theory in a couple of weeks].
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


chrishartman
Subject:Re: Totally unrelated
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-14 05:54 pm (UTC)
I don't know that they'll care, but I find it impressive that we (seem to) have a good history of the problem. The wikipedia article covers it pretty well, but it was apparently a real map maker (Francis Guthrie) in 1852 who realized it only took four colors to color the counties of England. He asked his brother who was studying mathematics under De Morgan, and thus the conjecture was born.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


violet_tigress1
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-14 06:08 pm (UTC)
Sometimes it is easier to use the phone book than to try & find exactly what you're looking for on the net.
(Reply) (Thread)


whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-14 06:09 pm (UTC)
Really? When? I've not found that to be the case.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


prock
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-14 11:01 pm (UTC)
For me it's taxis. And only in the past 2-3 years has finding restaurants become easier than with dead trees. Even then, Zagat still does a better job than yelp most of the time.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


housepet
Subject:Honestly?
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-14 07:13 pm (UTC)
I like having the current paper copy of the yellow pages delivered to my home. I put it in my car immediately for those things I need unexpectedly when I am out and about.
(I do not have a web-enabled cell phone)
(Reply) (Thread)


bldrnrpdx
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-09-15 04:47 am (UTC)
At work, we duct-tape the hell out of them and use them for seat boosters and foot rests for some of our kids with mobility issues. We used to use them for doorstops too, till the fire marshal cracked down on it.
(Reply) (Thread)

[icon] Retro reference redux - Patti
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