Up in Smoke, the Telephone Book

David Byrd : Byrd's Eye View
David Byrd
Chief Marketing Officer for ANPI

Up in Smoke, the Telephone Book

What a weekend! I think I cooked the entire time. Loved it! With apple wood, I smoked two chickens, a turkey, brats (bratwursts) and bacon on Saturday. I also make chicken liver paté, and macaroni and asiago cheese. On Sunday, I smoked a picnic ham, duck, salmon and more bacon using hickory wood. As a side for the duck, I made Chinese pan fried noodles with vegetables. Picking the recipe of the week was very hard. Everything was good but it boiled down to what could be made by the average reader of this blog. So, no hot or cold smoking. That left pan fried noodles or paté. I don’t prepare many appetizers so the chicken liver paté wins. If you think this sounds pedestrian or not to your liking, think again. The finished paté is wonderfully light and very flavorful. It is also a very simple dish to make using my white seasoning mixture. Normally, I might sauté onions and garlic to make the paté, but Saturday I used the seasoning mixture with surprising success. The addition of truffle oil enhances both the flavor and aroma. Chicken Liver Paté with White Truffle Oil, enjoy!

The Telephone Book, Up in Smoke

I was recently sent a suggestion for a blog regarding the demised of the yellow pages. As I read the story, I remembered another where Verizon was forcing the issue by requesting permission to limit the distribution of the white pages in Virginia. All of this takes me back to a different time. As child I remember looking excitedly for our name and number in the phone book. I also remember Steve Martin in the Jerk running up the street yelling “The phone book is here! The phone book is here!”

Today is a different world. We seldom use either the white or yellow pages to find a phone number. In the age of the Internet, it is much more important to have a web presence than to be in the phone book on the night stand, kitchen counter or, in my house, a shelf in the guest closet. Every year I dutifully replace the old white and yellow pages with the new and sent the old to recycle heaven. Verizon’s attempt to discontinue sending the white pages to everyone is quite reasonable. In this case, the State of Virginia mandates that phone companies produce and deliver customers' listing information annually. Verizon knows that many of its customers use other means to get phone numbers and wants to provide free directories to those who request them.

Interestingly, the only remaining proponents of the yellow pages are the producers of the yellow pages, Verizon (Superpages) and AT&T (Yellow Pages). In 2009 the percentage of people choosing the yellow pages as their primary source for finding a business or service dropped to 48%. It was the first such polling where fewer than half of respondents used the yellow pages. As for the either of them, I can’t recall the last time I opened the books. The white pages are of little use as most of my contacts, friends and family aren’t local. And the yellow pages have been usurped by servicemagic.com and Google searches. This is important because businesses are wasting too much money requesting directory listings from Broadvox and other service providers. We will certainly continue to offer the option while demand exists. However, Pete Sandrev, Broadvox VP of Customer Experience, states it best “We should offer to advertise a number in a number of different on-line directories for no charge…and try to kill that stupid book.”

Enough said.



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