Sunday, June 14, 2009

Just like Y2K???

So America woke up to no analog (full-power analog, that is) this morning (it's still Saturday as I write this, although it will be past midnight when I post it) . How smoothly did that go? Well, of the three major network newscasts, only CBS even bothered to run a story about it today. Mostly it was about how people who had waited to the last minute to act were now rushing around buying boxes and such, although it also made a slight mention of reception problems and showed Americorps volunteers coming to the aid of a grateful senior citizen. ABC and NBC didn't even consider it worth their while.

Part of the CBS story had FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein saying that the transition had come out more like Y2K than the Bay of Pigs, and I've already seen "Y2K" linked to the transition in that they were both "non-events".

And there is one way in which that's true. In my programming days, I worked on a Y2K project (for a large insurance company), and lemme tell ya - the general public has absolutely no idea of the enormous amount of time and effort that went into making Y2K a non-event. That's what we got for succeeding - no one thinks we actually accomplished anything.

So I wouldn't be completely shocked if history remembers this the same way, and future generations wonder why we "wasted" so much money on coupon programs, PSAs and so forth. Trust me, if we hadn't they'd be wondering why we hadn't taken action.


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