Never Forget a Name or Face With Caller ID

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When you meet someone for the first time, it’s not always easy to remember a name or to tie a face and name together. Even those of us who are usually reliable when it comes to remembering those crucial details get tripped up when meeting more than one person at a time. Keeping names and faces straight in your mind probably isn’t a problem you’ve really thought about, but it’s an issue that can impact your social and professional lives. Forgetting the name of your neighbor’s boss means it will be more difficult to follow up on that job offer, and knowing that you’re going to have to remember the name of your son’s best friend’s dad will eventually come into play. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to make the process more automatic and less of a struggle?

It Doesn’t Have to Be This Hard

The name-and-face game doesn’t have to be a dance around the issue whenever you run into a new acquaintance whose name you don’t quite remember or whose face you’re having trouble placing. Instead of only relying on your memory—powerful, sure, but not always reliable—you can use the smartphone that’s sitting in your pocket. With the free Whitepages Caller ID, you can tie together names, numbers and faces. This way your phone becomes a much more modern version of the classic desktop Rolodex, but one that contains pictures, addresses and phone numbers. Caller ID is a tool that can get you out of many a social jam. When you see someone you recognize, but whose name you can’t quite remember, try checking your phone. If they’re also a Caller ID user and you’ve saved them as a contact, then you’ll have their name and photo at the ready.

By seamlessly integrating Caller ID with your social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn, your phone does most of the work related to remembering names and faces for you. Caller ID users that you’ve stored as a contact will automatically show the person’s most up-to-date profile picture and name. There’s no more worrying about an unrecognized number calling your phone, or trying to remember which number belongs to a new acquaintance and which one is a telemarketer that won’t give up because you can see exactly who is calling you.

A Useful Tool, Right in Your Pocket

No matter where you go, there’s always the potential to meet new people who are currently or will soon become involved in your life. Wouldn’t it be nice to meet them, add them to your contacts, and not have to worry about remembering a name, face or number the next time one of you wants to get in touch? By downloading Whitepages Caller ID, you can.

 

#TeamWP: Meet Katie McGinn

Katie McGinn Q&A

If you’ve been in our Seattle office before, then you’ve probably heard the lighthearted laugh of Katie McGinn. As an account executive for Whitepages Pro, our B2B arm, Katie makes it her mission to show e-commerce prospects the value of Whitepages data. We’re so happy to have her on #TeamWP, and to show it, we chose to spotlight her in this week’s employee Q&A. Let’s see what she has to say!

 

 

Which office are you in?

The Seattle headquarters.

Why did you join Whitepages?

I joined because I wanted to surround myself with the ridiculously smart and creative people that work here.

What’s your hometown?

Upper Marlboro, MD

Upper Marlboro MD

What’s your favorite snack in the kitchen?

Fruit snacks!

How do you take your coffee?

Black.

What do you listen to at work? What’s on your playlist?

At work, I listen to music or podcasts. Podcasts include This American Life, and I can’t wait for the next Serial series!

This American Life

What was your very first job?

A sales associate at a bookstore. Today, I still work in sales and still have an overflowing collection of books.

Describe your first computer. 

I couldn’t tell you the exact name, but an old 1980’s PC. The educational games were pretty epic.

What was your favorite TV show when you were a child?

Whatever was on Nickelodeon.

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Fill in the blank: If you really knew me, you’d know_____.

How much I love taking pictures. I used to live in New Mexico and worked on the road. I documented a lot of places I traveled to. I can’t wait to start photographing here!

What are you most proud of?

Moving to Seattle by myself. I wanted to move to the PNW since I graduated college, and almost 10 years later, I finally did it!

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

Probably planning what I have to do 30 minutes from then! But ideally, enjoying the moment by catching up with a friend or taking the dogs for a walk.

If you had 10 extra dollars what would you buy?

A bouquet of flowers at Pike Place Market.

Pike Place Flowers 2

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

You will probably never hear me karaoke, but I can never resist The Rolling Stones or Otis Redding.

What’s the last vacation you went on?

A two-week camping trip through the Colorado Front Range – just me and my two dogs.

What’s your signature gelato flavor?

Not much of a gelato fan, but my go-to ice cream flavor is cake batter ice cream.

Two things you can’t live without?

My dogs (I’m going to cheat and count that as one) and my parents (I cheated again…)

Cut the Cord: Landlines on the Decline

antique phone

It probably isn’t surprising to hear that landlines are slowly but surely declining in use among households in the U.S. While many people are keeping their home phones active in case of emergency or for other reasons, it’s no longer the dominant force in communication as it was 20 or 30 years ago. Instead, the country is reaching a tipping point where landlines will no longer be used in a majority of homes.

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that threshold has already been hit among children and teens in the U.S. Just over half of those under age 18 only had a mobile phone by June 2014. And for adults, the number who has cut their landline sits at 43.1 percent and is steadily rising.

But the decline of the landline means it’s often more difficult to find accurate contact and locational information for friends, families and other important contacts. Whitepages.com puts you in control of your information, allowing you to update phone number and address data to help those trying to get in touch. Additionally, you can control access to that same information, deciding what you do and don’t want to share with the general public.

Approaching the end of an era

Landline phones used to hold a position as the be-all and end-all of quick personal communication over a distance. Many a wall-mounted phone had a pencil and pad hanging next to it to take messages and jot down numbers. The development of smartphones and tablets has shifted message taking and number tracking to the memory systems of those devices. As more people use these handheld, self-contained units, fewer calls are coming in through the remaining landlines.

Economic news source Daily Finance looked into the findings of the CDC’s study, and found that some people are ditching their home phones because they simply provide less value as time goes on. And with personal calls moving more to mobile phones, many landlines are seeing an increase in the relative percentage of telemarketing contacts—a reality that few people are happy about.

Is the trend leveling off?

One important distinction that the CDC made about the survey was a noticeable decline in the rise of cellphone-only homes. While steady development had been seen in the past several years to the tune of five percent, the numbers for 2014 indicate that growth has slowed to three percent. It’s possible that the threshold of people willing to completely ditch their landlines is close to being reached. Because cable and Internet providers offer discounted service packages that include a home phone line, and many security systems require a landline to function correctly, there will inevitably be a significant number of people who keep a landline service in place, even if they never make an outgoing call.

A modern way to share information

Landlines won’t go away completely in the near future, although fewer and fewer people will be using them. As the switch is increasingly made to newer technology, many people are looking for a way to access the kind of valuable contact info that used to live in the phone book. With Whitepages.com, it’s easy to share your own information and search for the numbers and addresses of others as well. With control over what is publicly shared and the power of an accurate, user-driven platform, Whitepages.com is the perfect tool for the new world of phone communications.

Want to update your personal information? Sign up for an account and take control of your info.

#TeamWP: Meet Geoffrey Arone

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We recently welcomed Geoffrey Arone to the Whitepages team as our Executive Vice President of Products. Geoffrey is a serial tech entrepreneur and one of the most renowned startup professionals on the West Coast. His impressive credentials include starting up Flock (an innovative social web browser which was later sold to Zynga), Dancejam (a video competition platform for user-generated content that he started with partners including the one and only MC Hammer “U Can’t Touch This”), and SafetyWeb (an Internet-monitoring service for parents to spy, ahem, keep track of their child’s reputation, privacy and safety online).

Since Whitepages is a small company, it’s typical for our team to share a meeting, lunch or drink with someone like Geoffrey, who would likely be locked away in his corner office at any other large corporation. Working closely with tech innovators is what makes Whitepages a unique place to work. And in our new Q&A series, #TeamWP, we want to give you an inside peek about the people who make Whitepages great. Today is all about Geoffrey.

Without further ado, here’s our casual Q&A with Geoffrey Arone:

Which office are you in?

I recently joined the Seattle office.

Why did you join Whitepages?

After many years of being our CEO Alex’s friend, I realized that my ability to help Whitepages finally matched the company’s need for someone like me.

How do you take your coffee?

With real cream and sugar. Half and half is a poor substitute, but will do in a pinch.

What’s your favorite snack in the kitchen?

Loucks Sesame Snaps. That bolt of sugar in the afternoon is a lifesaver.

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What do you listen to at work?  What’s on your playlist?

The last thing I listened to at work was Monika Khot (WP Software Engineer) playing guitar.

Where did you grow up?

Andover, Massachusetts.

What was your very first job?

I installed high-end hardwood floors for a designer in Boston. That was grueling work, but a great lesson in making the end user happy.

Describe your first computer.

It was 1982 and I had an Atari 800. It was pretty sweet at the time.

atari800

What was your favorite TV show when you were a child?

Diff’rent Strokes was definitely first place, but The Facts of Life which was on right afterwards was a close second.

diffrent-strokes

Fill in the blank: If you really knew me, you’d know_____.

That I’m fiercely loyal.

What are you most proud of?

The fact that I’ve had the opportunity to advance people’s desire to learn.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, what do you do?

It depends on who is around me. If I’m alone, I play guitar or read.

If you had 10 extra dollars what would you buy?

A book on how to make extra disposable cash.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

Mr. Roboto by Styx—you can never have enough Styx.

What’s the last vacation you went on?

I went to Paris in 2014. Très bon.

What’s your signature gelato flavor?

Burnt Caramel by Toscanini’s near MIT.

Toscanini's

Two things you can’t live without?

O2 and H2O.

Want to work with people like Geoffrey? Take a look at openings and apply to be part of #TeamWP.

Should You Share Personal Information With Brands?

Should You Share Information Image

Striking a balance between collecting necessary information and asking for too much is a common problem for businesses. In an era where computers have made the collection of large amounts of data easier than ever, many businesses are excited to better understand their customer base. Consumers in general are weary of giving up too much of their information, although they’ll certainly share certain types of info depending on who’s asking – and what they expect to get in return.

You can probably think of times you were asked for what you thought was too much information. For this reason, the goal for a majority of businesses isn’t to collect as much information from customers as possible, but to ask for a few pieces of info that are most important to them. This approach hopes to keep customers like you happy and engaged.

At Whitepages, we offer you a unique opportunity: You can take control of the personal information you’re sharing online. Not only with us, but with everyone who wants to look up your name and address on our site.

A new and frequently changing concept

Because the idea of routinely providing information electronically is still relatively new, the tools and methods used to collect information (as well as people’s attitudes) are in a state of flux. A few recent high-profile incidents of electronic attacks made on large businesses like Target and Home Depot have made many people less willing to share their personal data because they worry that it may be accessed by hackers.

Rewards or risks?

What people need is the right balance between personalization and privacy. It’s a matter of reconciling our desire for the rewards of sharing information with the fear of having our digital identity stolen by hackers or used by companies in ways we aren’t comfortable with. That difference in opinion grows based on what kind of business is asking for the info. Banks, for example, are highly trusted, while other types of businesses don’t get the same level of trust.

The benefits

There are two major benefits to be had when it comes sharing information: direct rewards, such as a coupon or free item, and a more personalized experience with the company you gave your info to. While there are plenty of concerns related to sharing data with companies, many people will do so when the transaction benefits them. A good example is the sharing of a birthday month and year provides because the expectation is that business will give out a birthday reward.

Personalization is a win-win situation, as it benefits businesses and the general public too. You get presented with advertisements that are relevant to your interests, while businesses optimize their marketing efforts. The companies that personalize messages or reward customers for sharing information are ultimately the most successful.

At Whitepages.com, we give you total control of the contact and locational information you share. Not only can you update outdated info, you can choose what is listed, make your information available by request, or take it down. It comes back to something that we feel strongly about, your right to control your personal information. So whether you want to reap the rewards of sharing your information, or protect it from the public, the choice is yours. Update your listing now.