Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Paperless Future?

With more people reading newspapers online, local newspapers have seen a decline in subscriptions. At our house, we receive two daily newspapers. However, many people just don't buy newspapers anymore.

About twice per year we get yellow and white telephone books dumped at our front door. We rarely use a telephone book. I know that many companies pay large amounts of money to advertise in the phone books, but that is not how I make my decision about which services or companies to contact. When I need a service, I ask my neighbors for recommendations and I search the internet.

According to the Dispatch, Cincinnati Bell will stop dumping those phone books on front doors:

...Cincinnati Bell received Ohio regulators' approval yesterday to dispense with automatic delivery of the books...
....The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio granted Cincinnati Bell's request to make an online, electronic version of the White Pages the primary directory for customers. Customers still can receive a free, printed directory by asking that one be mailed to them or picking one up at a Cincinnati Bell retail store....

I'd like to see similar moves by other telephone companies. This would save time, money, and the environment. If people need telephone books, they should be able to request one.

I'm sure that you get other advertisements in the mail or on door hangers. Here in our area, we get Papermint, ValuCoupons, and other similar products. If it were up to me, I'd like to opt out of these things. I hate dealing with them. Perhaps companies that want to advertise their services should save their money and come up with paperless advertising, like on the internet. I know I would be very grateful.

What is the future for newspapers, magazines, and advertising? Are we headed toward a paperless future?