I recently stumbled upon this brilliant article written by Greg Beato, a writer for dozens of publications, including SPIN, Wired, Business 2.0, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
The article pays tribute to telephone directories and their subtle, yet remarkable impact on society since 1878, the year the first phone book was published. Beato begins his discourse with a startling fact: Hollywood’s $10 billion in revenues last year (a record year at the box office, mind you) was only 66 percent of what the U.S. yellow pages industry generated last year. I don’t know about you, but living in a society that is largely driven and dictated by the internet, specifically Google, and also working for a digital publishing company that partners with A LOT of yellow pages publishers, I am deeply fascinated by and oddly proud of that statistic. Go Yellow Pages! Needless to say, I kept reading what Beato wrote with intense curiosity.
I will leave my commentary at that, for I don’t want to spoil Beato’s wisdom and eloquence in advocating the cultural impact of the telephone directory.