When the stack of new 2014 Hawaiian Telcom Oahu White & Yellow Pages telephone books arrived at our office this week, the first thing I thought was, “They’re still in print? How much longer is that going to last?”
More and more we’re becoming a “paperless society” with almost everyone having the internet at their fingertips either at work, home, or on their mobile devices. While it’s sad to think of for those who depend on the industry for their jobs, the fact is print is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, as is landline telephones (da’ kine you plug into da’ wall) in homes. And large mobile companies with ever-growing infrastructure (you know who) are very aggressive about taking as much as of what remains of the landline market share left as they can get, including brick and mortar businesses such as our company who still depend on landline service.
To illustrate how quickly the landline telephone listings on Oahu are dwindling, here’s a side-by-side comparison of Hawaiian Telcom Oahu Yellow Pages 2011 edition to the new 2014 edition….
The 2014 Yellow Pages has 907 pages, the 2013 Yellow Pages has 1031 pages, while the 2011 has 1,296 pages. Doing the basic math, over 3 years, that’s a difference of 389 pages less today.
Now let’s have compare the 2011 Hawaiian Telcom Oahu White Pages content to 2014…
The 2014 White Pages has 485 pages, the 2013 White Pages has 581 pages, while the 2011 has 688 pages. Doing the basic math again, over 3 years, that’s a difference of 203 pages less today.
At those rapidly declining rates, in 5 years we’ll probably have to start calling it the “telephone booklet”. Eventually we’ll get a post card flyer in the mail with a QR code pointing you to HTYellowPages.com. lol
EVERY business phone number I need to look-up is done online first (usually on Yelp), then if I can’t find what I’m looking for there (which is VERY rare), only then will I resort to the yellow pages for category professional services such as auto repair. And even then, I already have my professional services that I regularly use established. I have no need for the white pages whatsoever, both for work and personal referencing. It’s all on my phone.
Speaking of category services, it’s astounding how many attorneys there are in our Yellow Pages, making up the largest single category in the book’s the purple section.
The next largest section of course is restaurants in the pink section, where full-page ads in there can cost a very pretty penny. It is VERY EXPENSIVE to advertise in the Yellow Pages!
If you can’t afford an ad (that I personally tend to gravitate to), your business gets clustered into a long listing with everyone else that quite honestly, a Google query window seems a Godsend compared to going down such small print listings all on one page like that.
Aside of landline vs. wireless, another question today is, what’s going to get more people to your business? Pay thousands of dollars for print ads, or go the cheap to “free” route (depending who’s maintaining it for you) online with a website and social media such as Facebook, twitter and Yelp? It all comes down to demographics, as you know people over say, 70, still depend highly on print for information, while just about everyone in our society under that age gets everything on the web. If your business is say, eyeglasses or healthcare, obviously you’ll still need print. But if a you’re hip new nightclub or surf shop, I highly doubt print would be effective, cost-wise. Online social media is where you want to be seen and focus your manpower. If you know how to “work” social media, you won’t even need to pay for online advertising, as it will go viral on its own.
And ever since the internet arrived, being the younger “foodie” I was back then, I always said EVERY restaurant NEEDS a website or at least an online presence. Your menu MUST BE ONLINE. In fact, I built and maintained the original website for The Shack Hawaii Kai and Waikiki, however the ownership has “shifted” and I no longer do that, and Hawaii Kai’s site is down now. I need to get back to Andy on that.
Not to sound like this a rant on Hawaiian Telcom, as I’ve been a landline customer of theirs for years, and only gave-up the service at home a few years ago because I simply wasn’t using it anymore. Good thing Hawaiian Telcom is diversifying and offering internet and HD television service, which several of my coworkers who live in Ewa Beach (woot!) have switched to from Oceanic not only because it’s slightly cheaper, but their cable channels catch properly and reliably on Hawaiian Telcom, whereas Oceanic’s television service was frequently glitching in their area according to them. Perhaps it’s fixed now, but too late, they’re not going back. Not only that, it’s good that Oceanic has a local competitor (along with Dish), as we all know what happens when there’s a monopoly. Hawaiian Telcom also now offers wireless phone service, which honestly is news to me and good to know! If they can offer me a better deal, I’ll switch to them for the local business support!
Back to printed directories, while I now make very minimal use of the local telephone book, I do still find having a Rolodex near my desk a great way to keep business cards organized and easy to sort through of contacts I reference that are important, albeit contacted infrequently, therefore don’t want stored on my phone.
If I was really cramped for space I’d get rid of it and store the information in my Entourage eMail contacts, but I’m not.
For “old time’s sake”, I shall now thumb through the new Hawaiian Telcom Yellow Pages restaurant section and look for a good place to dine at this weekend. Toodles! ;-)
P.S. If you read the ‘Graying‘ post recently, you know I recently became surprised to find my beard grew out all gray, and that I actually liked it! Weird, right? Anyway, here’s me yesterday with my beard after 5 days of not doing a thing to it…
Except I did trim my mustache short (usually completely off), as I still want to look at least “semi clean-cut”. He he. I’m surprised it didn’t get too scruffy looking… yet. I’m thinking of letting it go one more day longer, than try and dye it blonde. Or maybe I’ll go full-on Duck Hunter/Billy Gibbons look. lol