Talk:Telephone directory

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Telephone directories have been with us for a long time. What was their original purpose and has it changed overtime and has it been achieved?Charlee1 06:31, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Added Feist v. Rural, which is a really important fact for anyone writing an open-source encyclopedia.

Reverse searching[edit]

I've added a bit about reverse directory lookups being illegal in the UK, but now I'm not certain that's actually the case - it may just be prohibited by the phone companies themselves. Anybody know the exact position? I'll do a bit more research myself shortly. sjorford →•← 15:06, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I called the Swedish directory assistance provided by the Swedish Eniro directory company, and asked them to give me the name and address for a Northern Ireland phone number I had. They did give this information. But then, this was in Sweden, not in the UK, but it was a UK phone number. So perhaps people also in the UK can get reverse directory information by calling a directory assistance company in another country!
Jpalme 18:32, 14 November 2007 (UTC) /Jacob Palme

External links[edit]

The article used to have dozens of links to online telephone directories. They were all recently deleted. I agree with that, but the wholesale deletion took out one possibly useful link that was mixed in with them: the link to an image of the First Telephone Book. It's against Wikipedia policy for me to reinstate that link, because it's on my own website. If anyone else agrees that it's worth including, please do so. Gwil 22:59, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree. If someone does add links to actual free services, please include Canada and other countries you may find.Canoe1967 (talk) 16:57, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

I found two, tested as working for free, and added links.Canoe1967 (talk) 18:07, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

This may be handy to add, if tested as free- http://www.phonebookoftheworld.com/

http://www.whitepages.com/ and http://www.whitepages.ca/ , both tested as free by looking up myself, friends, and relatives.Canoe1967 (talk) 18:51, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

It seems someone has removed the external links again. I am going to the the ones we reached consensus on back again. Please do not revert again without consensus.--Canoe1967 (talk) 18:29, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • The one link remaining has a list of services. I don't think we need any more.--Canoe1967 (talk) 20:11, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

types of numbers listed[edit]

The following paragraph is not completely correct, "Under current rules and practices, cell phone and Voice over IP listings are not included in telephone directories. Efforts to create cellular directories have met stiff opposition from several fronts, including a significant percentage of subscribers who seek to avoid telemarketers." in Australia "cell phones" (i used quotation marks because we call them mobile phones) are listed in the phone book i was going to edit myself but I'm unaware of whether these numbers are included in other countries phone books. Cheers Bnsbeaver 03:25, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

This has to do with the fact that the United States invented mobile phone technology first, so American subscribers ended up subsidizing a HUGE amount of the original research & development and network buildout back in the 1970s and 1980s. If I remember correctly, as part of the incredibly complex system of compromises that were made in figuring out who would pay for all that, one of the rules is that American cell phone subscribers pay for both inbound and outbound calls. This is still the case today, even though it is very strange since Americans usually don't pay for inbound calls anywhere else in the PSTN (public switched telephone network).
As a result, cell phone subscribers in the United States are generally not listed in phone books, and very few telemarketers attempt to build lists of them (or they purge known cell phone numbers from their lists). This is because a telemarketer who starts routinely calling a large number of cell pphone users would (1) cause all their phone bills to start going up and (2) run the risk of causing all kinds of accidents if people pick up their phones in inconvenient situations (like driving). Apart from the obvious bad public relations, us Americans also have very liberal class action statutes which in turn would result in any such telemarketer getting hit with a wave of class action lawsuits. So there have only been a few reported cases of telemarketers targeting cell phone numbers (usually small organized crime syndicates that don't know any better). The legitimate operators are smart enough to keep away from cell phones. --Coolcaesar 23:07, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, but, this is a world wide article about telephone directory now the logical thing to would be to change the paragraph to start with, in the United States under currant rules........ The reason I haven't done this myself, is because I'm unaware whether this is just the case in America or whether other countries do the the same. thank you for the information but in this case does not contribute to the original discussion. Cheers Bnsbeaver 03:14, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Unlisted Numbers, when was this first available?[edit]

I seem to recall that the option of unlisting phone numbers was not available until the mid-1960s. In the show Mad Men, set in 1960, there's a discussion of the fee for an unlisted number. This seems to be an anachronism to me. NjtoTX 18:52, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus to move the page, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 04:18, 11 November 2007 (UTC)


telephone directory to phone book. It's much more commonly refer to as a "phone book" than a "telephone directory" per Wikipedia:Use common names. Voortle 22:38, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Support. As far as British English goes, phone book is the most common term. British Telecom even changed the name of the official Telephone Directory to the Phone Book a few years ago. "Telephone directory" may sound more formal, but it's antiquated now. Crazysuit 06:24, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree that "phone book" is a more common name, however I oppose this move for a couple reasons. I think "phone book", based on popular usage, is too narrow. Usually it only refers to an hard copy or electronic form of a telephone directory, Should an article called "phone book" include stuff about "directory assistance" or "business directories"? Maybe, but I think a more appropriate scope for a "phone book" article would be a simple definition, and since we're not a dictionary, a disambig. page would be best (which it is now). If we change the name it would be inconsistent with things like reverse telephone directory and nearly every article that mentions a telephone directory/phone book.
Another thing to consider - I would say "phone" is more popular than "telephone", yet phone (the page) has nothing to do with telephones, but I agree with this being a disambig. page, because "phone" is too informal and even a little Americentric. (Phone (disambiguation) should definitely be merged with phone, however.)
Moving this to telephone book avoids the problem with using "phone", but wouldn't be useful as it's much less used. Rocket000 06:13, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose The current name is the more specific-- phone book is just a common abbreviation. DGG (talk) 14:40, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above. Chris! ct 01:44, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Per Rocket000, it sounds too colloquial. Reginmund 15:40, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Telephone directory is the proper term, and there is already a redirect for anyone who just hunts for phone book. An encyclopedia should be written with a formal tone and the main article name should always use the proper terminology. ArakunemTalk 18:02, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

"No consensus"? Really? - Rocket000 20:50, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

If this is a question about a correlation between closes here and at AfD, I'll just point out that I only close move requests as "no consensus" (i.e. failure of the proposal in question to gain consensus) or "move" (i.e. consensus favors the proposal). I don't close things as "no move" (cf. "keep"), because the titles in question are not the only options, and a third, as-yet-unsuggested title could gain consensus in the future. Different people working at RM handle this in different ways, but I can only think of one or two closers who label discussions with "do not move". Dekimasuよ! 04:21, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Got it. Rocket000 (talk) 10:22, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Phone book Poland.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Phone book Poland.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to ensure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 16:28, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Free on-line phone books?[edit]

Most (all I have found) on-line public phone directories seem to be migrating to paid services, or shills for personal information mining services.
It might be nice to actually list (links to) any that actually do provide a 'free' service for the purpose of encouraging phone use.
Wikidity (talk) 00:27, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree. If someone does add links to actual free services, please include Canada and other countries you may find.Canoe1967 (talk) 17:00, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

They were removed again. I am going to add them back as stated in ext. links section above.--Canoe1967 (talk) 18:32, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
The relevant policies/guidelines are WP:SOAP, WP:NOTDIRECTORY and WP:EL. Wikipedia is not a directory, nor should the external links section be or include a directory of related businesses, free or not. --Ronz (talk) 19:16, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
The article subject is Telephone directories. The external links are to online directories. Please make a proposal and seek consensus to avoid an edit war.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:21, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Keep the links out per WP:SOAP, WP:NOTDIRECTORY and WP:EL. Was I unclear? --Ronz (talk) 19:35, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • From WP:ELBURDEN: "Disputes about links can be addressed through the normal dispute-resolution process, particularly at the external links noticeboard." --Canoe1967 (talk) 19:40, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
    Your point being? --Ronz (talk) 19:46, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • The one link remaining has a list of services. I don't think we need any more.--Canoe1967 (talk) 20:12, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Looks like we agree that a DMOZ link is a good substitute. Thanks! --Ronz (talk) 20:12, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

You are very welcome, and sorry for being a dick. It's just that I had noticed that there were more people that wished some kind of linkage useful as opposed to none at all.--Canoe1967 (talk) 20:34, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Verizon ending free phonebook distribution -- newspaper article for consideration -- 23 September 2010[edit]

Nathan, Aaron (23 September 2010), Verizon ends White Pages delivery in Delaware, DelawareOnline (News Journal (Gannett)), archived from the original on 23 September 2010, retrieved 23 September 2010  --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 11:16, 23 September 2010 (UTC)