It’s not often that I LOL when reading anything. The other day I did when the author used the phrase ‘treeware” as in hardware, firmware,software and for the archaic paper component “treeware” very funny….I intend to steal that phrase and claim it for my own. For years I have called yellow books ‘dead tree products’ and the process of moving the book from my front door to recycling is often the only exercise I get. The accumulation of treeware on door steps is symptomatic of the crazy mess the yellow books find themselves in. Most people are somewhat aware that yellow pages have been suffering horribly with the decline in their core business over recent years. What most don’t realize that central to their problems are greatly exacerbated by the debt they accumulated a decade or more ago when times were great and many groups went on buying sprees to build huge publishing groups. Now the advertisers have gone but the debt remains. I read the other day that in order for Dex to complete their deal with SuperMedia either their debtors will have to agree to a restructuring or both of them will have to go bankrupt (again) to complete the deal. Similarly Hibu in the UK (formerly Yell) have suspended debt repayments until they restructure their financials causing their stock to plummet by over a third.
It’s not all bleak news. The yellow book industry has just proved that they are able to deliver an elegant end to end online experience through the recent launch of www.yellowpagesoptout.com. It’s a bold move and one which the Association of Directory Publishers is to be commended for making.Simply by registering I was able to opt out of receiving the five yellow books which litter my front yard. A couple of clicks and I was done….I’m now a treeware free zone!