You have to be one tough hombre to live in Seattle. It can be one of the most depressing places to live and work. The city averages 226 cloudy days and 155 days of rain a year. That maybe one reason why the city needs some 9,000+ coffee shops just to help you make it through the day. It’s also not a cheap place to live: compared to the rest of the country, Seattle’s cost of living is 42.60% HIGHER than the U.S. average. I think it may even have some green envy since Portland, not Seattle, was named as one of the top 10 most eco-oriented cities in the world, mostly because of a comprehensive plan to reduce CO2 emissions and aggressive green building initiatives. And since I found all of these depressing stats on the Internet, of course they must be true.
So can we really blame the city for wanting to be first at something? Why not try to pick on print yellow pages. Their unique but ultimately illegal attempts
to force a city run opt-out program and recycling fees on yellow page publishers
have been well documented here:
- Lost in Seattle: Hello. Print Yellow Pages Aren’t Your Problem
- Yellow Page Publishers Vow to Continue Fight Against Seattle Required Opt-Out Law
- Local Search Association Responds to Seattle Ordnance
To show you how misguided its civic leaders are, consider this recent stroke of genius: to try to get Seattle residents and businesses to follow their opt-out jihad on phone books, residents have been urged by mail through a yellow postcard from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) on how to stop receiving “unwanted phone books”.
During July, yellow post cards (ironic choice of color for the card don’t
you think) were sent to 280,000 residence and business addresses so that
Seattleites who “….don’t have Internet access can select their phone book
delivery preferences by mail.” In the ultimate in hypocrisy, the program coordinator:
“….acknowledged the irony of sending out mail to encourage people to stop junk mail but he pointed out that the mailer, which will use four tons of paper, is expected to help 28,000 more households and businesses stop 168,000 phone book deliveries, saving 150 tons of paper….”
How many of those 280K post cards, or 4 TONS OF PAPER do you think will be recycled?? And the outcry from all of those “green” champions who despise Yellow Pages? Haven’t heard a peep out of them yet. Zip, zilch, nanda, zero. So junk mail is ok now in Seattle??
But wait. It gets better. King County has initiated a new online service to help eliminate junk mail for those live outside the City of Seattle. As King County
Executive Dow Constantine acknowledged, “…recycling is great, but reducing
waste at the source is even better…” Perhaps the city of Seattle should take note.
Or even just do a little research before they plunged headlong into this ridiculous effort. For example, if they had just bothered to look at the recent research from Market Authority which conducted 185,000 interviews on how American’s search for a local business.
They would have found irrefutable data, analysis and reporting on how
people look for a local business when making a local buying decision. The
research fully dispels the prevalent “urban myth” that the Internet has taken
over the local search arena:
“The Internet is gaining ground but surprisingly, overall it is a long way from dominating print Yellow Pages as America’s primary search option,” says Deanna S. Helsten, Director of Research Market Authority, Inc. “We
determine and prove print versus Internet sage…actuality and perception, smart phone ownership and usage, Internet connectivity, etc., market by market, all organized by today’s ever growing imperative – age groups,” states Steve Sitton, CEO Market Authority, Inc.
The research detailed the often remarkable difference between metropolitan,
suburban and rural markets. In nearly every market in America, print yellow pages is still very strong.
But Seattle is clearly intent on going in a different direction. I assume they missed this annoucement since it didn’t come in their junk mail……