Wrong number

‘Red book’ directory leaves out residents
Reporter Editor

Some Rockdale residents aren’t happy their numbers haven’t come up and they’re not talking about the lottery.

The new Ziplocal Milam County telephone book—referred to locally as “the red book”—contains no residential numbers.

While there are “yellow page” listings and ads, and extensive business page listings, there are no residential “white pages” in the 2011-12 Ziplocal directory.

“We’ve probably had a dozen businesses call and express their unhappiness with the absence of residential numbers,” Deedra Jacob, president of the Rockdale Chamber of Commerce, said.

“When businesses advertise in those directories, that money leaves town,” Chris Dyess, president of the Rockdale Downtown Business Association, pointed out. “It doesn’t stay in our business community.”

Ziplocal is based in Orem, Utah.

TEN PERCENT—Mike Anderson, Ziplocal’s acting executive officer, sent an explanatory e-mail citing the twin concerns of near universal cell-phone use and the desire to eliminate paper waste as factors in the corporate decision to leave out residential numbers.

“We had independent research regarding the usage of directories and the results were hard to ignore,” he said. “Less than 10 percent of consumers ever used a directory to find a residential listing. The two reasons are the quality of the data by the time the book goes to print and the ease of the Internet.”

Anderson cited an increasing number of people using cell phones as their main lines and noted “cellular companies do not share their information with us, and even if they did, people switch phones and numbers so often that it would be inaccurate data.”

PAPER SAVERS—He said the industry is also under significant pressure to do a better job elimi- nating paper waste and has “... proactively looked for better ways to reduce our page counts.”

However, the “no residence” directory contains:

• Eight pages of metro area athletic field seating charts, including Texas Motor Speedway and Cowboys Stadium.

• A seating chart of Waco’s Hippodrome Theatre.

• Six pages of “house ads” for Ziplocal itself.

• Eleven pages of “ reverse lookup” listings which do include residential numbers. But you must first know the number of the person or business being sought, then you can find the name.

COMPETITION—The directory business is highly competitive.

Jacob said a representative from another company was in Rockdale on Monday, affirming that its directories of the Austin metro area include Milam County residential listings.

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2011-11-03 digital edition

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