FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, August 24, 2006

New Orleans' Shrinking Phone Book

The phone book has been around nearly as long as the telephone itself. And with 411 and the Web, phone books sometimes seem to be an archaic and obsolete medium. But there are times when such an artifact can poignantly illustrate changing times and point the way to future trends.

Nearly a year after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, new phone books are being distributed throughout New Orleans. This year's edition, however, is notably smaller than those from previous years, reflecting the city's shrunken population. The yellow and white pages have been combined into one volume; many of the most prominent yellow page ads are for contractors, electricians and roofers, while ads for sellers of luxury goods have declined.

Currently, New Orleans holds only 45% of its pre-Katrina population of 485,000, and only 47% of homes have had electric service restored.

Source: MSNBC