How the white page companies are like spammers

On the Senate floor in California is a bill to make the white pages opt-in only, reversing a 1995 bill that mandated the distribution of these books as part of universal service.  What’s ironic about this bill is that the process of getting it passed and then shared with the California population is that they’ll kill plenty of trees in the act of printing notifications.  That is almost as if spammers were to broadcast to their entire email list that they’ll not spam anymore.

Makes you wonder when the next shoe will drop for the yellow pages publishers— though they’re claiming that things are dandy. Notice that RH Donnelly has exited bankruptcy?  The CEO of the new company, David Swanson, now called DEX One, said this:

“There’s a shift to these other media — Internet, search engine, mobile or voice, but it is a slow evolutionary process. It’s not nearly as radical a change as I think many people would like to believe,

And I would have to agree– this shift will take time, as technology is not the limiting factor.  Yell echoes the same sentiments.

So spam is not dead by a long shot, whether it’s those unwanted books at your door, irrelevant emails in your inbox, or misleading ads on your Facebook.  These guys will continue to make money and perhaps evolve into more sophisticated players that begin to deliver personalized advertising with enough relevance that people actually want it.  Stay tuned!

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