Aardvark Daily
Telecom launches Internet Yellow Pages
Copyright © 1997 to Bruce Simpson
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1 Sept 1997

It had to happen sooner or later, Telecom Directories (a separate business unit to Xtra) finally twigged to the fact that their might be money on the Internet and have launched their Yellow Pages site.

Equipped with a "critical mass" of content, including all the current listings from the print-version, the site is bound to become the first-stop for anyone looking to find products or services online, at least in the short-term.

While the site has the potential to significantly reduce the viability of many smaller Web-design and hosting businesses, it is expected that the larger and more specialist operators will be largely unaffected, or may even benefit as Telecom's entry effectively endorses the Net as a vehicle for promoting goods and services.

Dave Blyth of WebDesign says "I see the arrival of the new Yellow Pages site as a good thing for the internet. I am constantly amazed by the amount of magazine advertising that is done for a small population base that we have and see a lot of this ad spend coming to the net. I see the Yellow pages templated web pages filling the gap for companies "testing" the internet but forsee a great deal of web design work for companies like ours."

A surprising omission from the launch-day functionality is the lack of an email to fax service. Other on-line business directories such as FaxMail have been offering such services for the past 18 months. Telecom have stated that such a service will be available in around six months time.

Several other established Web designers have lamented the fact that a "templated" method of creating Web pages such as that used by The Yellow Pages will produce a rather "boring" site from a creative perspective.

Another drawback for prospective advertisers is the lack of a concise and meaningful URL to direct people to their pages. It is acknowledged that to gain maximum benefit from a Web presence, the URL should be included on all the company's stationary and promotional material, it should also be short and easy to quote over the phone - I suspect that The Yellow Pages will come up short in this critical area.

At the time this article was written, the site itself remains under lock and key however a full site review will be published in next week's Aardvark Weekly.

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