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Note: This post is the 1st in a series on Brand Building that highlights the approach that WhitePages has taken over the past 15 months to build and reposition its brand.

In January, 2008 I wrote a blog post highlighting the key reasons why I joined WhitePages. In that post I mention the brand-building opportunities at WhitePages as one of the big influencers of my decision. And a few months ago I teased you with a post on the launch of our new corporate site, which highlights WhitePages new colors, logo and personality. Now, I’m excited to share a sneak peek of our new site redesign which represents the most radical changes to our website since the inception of the company over 10 years ago…all in the name of repositioning WhitePages brand.

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Just Added!! Want to try Caller ID FREE for 7 days?  Hit this link to get the free trial app.

I’m excited to announce that we’re releasing a new and improved version of Caller ID by WhitePages, in the paid Android Market that will give our customers an even better Caller ID experience.  The G1 app will be available for download today.

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I recently joined WhitePages from a major US mobile carrier, where I was struck by the volume of people who visited the carrier site solely to send a text message from their PC. Obviously it’s great to save money by sending free SMS messages online, but why visit a carrier site when you are limited to sending messages only to their customers? Moreover, in many cases, I don’t know the carrier of my contacts. Sure, I can now use the mobile carrier lookup service on WhitePages.com, and then visit a carrier site or one of the small free text messaging sites online that require you to select the carrier, but that’s a pain. Plus, those smaller txt sites just don’t seem particularly professional or trustworthy.

We decided to make it incredibly easy to connect with everyone by providing free text messaging online, regardless of whether you know the recipient’s cell phone carrier. The site stores your recent outgoing recipients to make texting even faster. We require a one-time free registration with WhitePages to prevent spam and improve the accuracy and depth of our privacy-protected listings.

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In this interview, Alex Algard, the CEO of WhitePages.com, explains how the site has evolved from a directory assistance site to a broader people search engine, with an expected 160 million people on the site by the end of this year. Alex gives his take on how the WhitePages.com network is different from other competing online directories and how the site’s features provide users with the possibility to discover relevant information beyond mere contact info. Alex elaborates on the company’s advertising driven business model, which between the company’s various web properties (including 411.com) is projected to generate $70 million in revenue this year. Alex also touches on the role of social networks for people to stay in touch with their friends, as well as the notion of consumer privacy as the Internet is expanding the boundaries of the public and the private domain.

Alex Algard, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year recipient shares a few tips for aspiring entrepreneurs.