Yesterday, Neg blogged about the launch of our newly upgraded consumer choice site. It was a launch that everyone at YPA and ADP have been working on for months to ensure a successful site.
I’ve been reading the early reviews, coverage and discussion of our site and we’ve received a lot of support for this initiative. From environmental columnists at Earth911 and Treehugger, to industry commentators at Screenwerk and Praized, to national media like USA Today – numerous folks around the web have complimented the site for its ease of use and ultimate delivery on the promise to give consumers a choice.
I’ve also read some criticisms of our effort, and I wanted to be sure that our readers and site users know we take this feedback seriously. Here’s some background on a few key points that I saw emerge yesterday:
A few have asked why we require consumers to register with the site. Because we’re coordinating with more than 150 publishers across the U.S., we need to ensure the data is accurate and legitimate. The registration process validates the delivery address provided by the user and prevents misuse of the system as well.
Registration also gives the user some benefits. The consumer can log back in at any time to change their delivery preferences. Plus, because we have an email address on file, the system will send a confirmation when those selections are made. This ensures, down the road, that the user has a record of their selection if they believe there has been a delivery error.
Other sites have not made that commitment. And as a reminder, most publishers won’t accept opt-out information from third-party sites for privacy reasons.
Some commented yesterday that the site did not always work, either receiving page errors or experiencing slowness. Developing this site was certainly a big undertaking and we did experience some first-day instability, but we’re constantly monitoring the site and expect it to perform extremely well going forward. Part of the problem was due to heavy traffic from people who were not there to manage their phone book delivery but instead to purposefully crash the site. We have added some software updates to help avoid a similar situation.
We expect that there will still be some minor glitches to iron out in the coming days, but overall users should find the site to be in good shape and ready to take their requests.
If consumers have any questions or want to provide further feedback, we’d love to hear it. We are already at work on a list of Phase Two improvements. I think our site this week finds the perfect mix of ensuring consumers who want to receive a directory get one, and those who don’t want one have a simple mechanism to choose what they get.
As we know, despite some of what the coverage says, third-party research finds that about 75 percent of people use print Yellow Pages. And those folks will continue to receive their directories.