Online phone directory proves good call

By Laurel Stowell

Castlecliff man Clive Ward set up a free online telephone directory partly to help people who can't read the small print in the current telephone directory.

Early last year he was advertising free cellphone listings in the Chronicle and had about 90. As far as he knew no one else had the same idea, though he later discovered there was a second online cellphone directory and the owner tried to sell it to him.

Now Mr Ward's own directory has hundreds of listings on 16 pages, and he regards it as "only mildly successful".

About mid-year, after lots of requests, he started adding landline and business numbers. For charges of $20 or less he will add bold type, colour or clickable email addresses to the listings.

Those payments, and advertising, are enough to cover costs. They are not enough to advertise for more listings, or to pay someone to put them up.

Users add and change their own details. The new users he's getting now are through word of mouth or internet search results.

Most listings in his directory are still free. They are accessible by computers, tablets and smartphones and readers can make the print large enough to suit themselves. Mr Ward concedes that people without electronic gadgets will still need their directories on paper.

He said he didn't start his phone listings to make money.

"I'm doing this because it gives me something to do.

"If I had nothing to do I would go crazy."

He's retired and also runs 26 other websites, on subjects as diverse as stamp collecting, stolen horses, karaoke and Bible readings.

He spends much of his time online, and is finding living in Castlecliff without high speed internet frustrating.

To get to his directory, go to and click on the NZ Online Phone Directory tile.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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