Monday, February 2, 2009

Not Worth The Paper It Was Printed On

Flickr.com Photo

So that Star Tribune story that I caught wind of, click here, actually did appear in the paper, talking about proposed legislation aimed at curbing (hee hee) unwanted phone books. But the lame article was, er, nothing to write home about...

First of all, the proposed legislation is nothing but a requirement the phone book companies would have to distribute "opt out" information along with the mounds of dead trees they deliver uselessly to our doors, including the doors of obviously vacant houses. I'd link to the article but, you see, it has always been my policy to refuse to link to Star Tribune stories because the links are scheduled to go dead.

Some may go dead sooner than planned. Every time I see an issue of the Star Tribune, I wonder if it will be the last. I used to love that paper...and I still do, kind of...but their current owner, Avista Capital Partners, is the devil and there's no way I will pay money or create links to support the devil.

In any case...the legislation is an inadequate half-measure. Under this proposed legislation, we would not only continue to get unwanted phone books, but--additionally-- yet another useless piece of paper about how to opt out; which the phone book companies will simply ignore. Worse yet, the article contained a link about how to opt out of phone books, but guess what?

The link didn't work. The link merely directed you to a website where you could, if you liked, get lost all (expletive) day looking for the specific part of the website to opt out of phone books.

Star Tribune...that was LAME. Ed Kohler called the article a PR piece, and he's right.

The article did mention Ed Kohler's consistent advocacy for "opt in" systems instead of "opt out," but I don't see what the point was of interviewing Ed...everything the article said about Ed could have been said without interviewing him, and what little they did say was just a backhanded critique of Ed's noble and revolutionary act of returning a Verizon phone book to the company's headquarters, right on their (expletive) putting green, baby.

(Should have linked to Ed's video, Star Tribune, then your article wouldn't be so LAME. But, hey, print is dead and guess what? That also means the Star Tribune, not just the phone book)

On the bright side, Ed's idea about "returning" phone books seems to be spreading, click here.

4 comments:

Kevin said...

We should do something like this when we do our Clean Sweep this spring - pick up all the phone books at boarded properties and make a nice, big delivery to some suburban site. I'm up for it.

AJ said...

Getting those phone books left on your doorstep really seems to agitate people (judging from the comments on the original article). I think that people will start taking advantage of the opt-out simplicity and start using online resources like
WhitePages.com

jhop said...

The Opt out is easily found on the bottom of the main page.

Most professional websites offer a sitemap, usually a link or on the bottom of every page.

I understand the frustration with the useless phone books -- I opted out via the site (it was slow, btw) --lots of request presumably. Point is, a little patience will pay off.

Kevin said...

A boarded house doesn't have the option to Opt Out. There aren't any people to doing the Opting Out. See our frustration?