#92 Y2K… Wow, That Took Me Back

I found cluetrain’s 95 Theses an exhaustive list of pretty much any and all situations that could possibly be linked to how “the market” is changing because of technology.  I read along the list finding myself curious and in mostly agreement with the items on the list.  When I got to #92 it dawned on me that this list is outdated and I checked the publishing date.  Towards the bottom of the list, it says “Companies are spending billions of dollars on Y2K. Why can’t they hear this market timebomb ticking? The stakes are even higher.”  That made me think: How different would this list be if it were written seventeen years into the future?  Would many of these items remain the same or would the utter onslaught of burgeoning technology render the list useless?  Perhaps it wouldn’t be useless, but I think it would look a bit different.

I’d like to reflect on what technology and forms of media I was using during Y2K.  I was in sixth grade and twelve years old.  On New Year’s Eve 1999 I was at a hotel with my family and a lot of their friends we went camping with every summer plus all of their kids.  Luckily, many of us were around the same age so it was a very fun New Year’s Eve.  I don’t recall understanding exactly what Y2K was, but I knew that 2000 was going to be a big deal.  I was too young to understand the fear of the doomsday preppers and people’s concern that technology wouldn’t be able to comprehend the number 2000 and the world was going to blow up.  The technology I was using as a twelve year old sixth grader included a grey discman with stickers all over it, a Gateway home computer without internet, and a TV with a VCR.  I had never heard of e-mail let alone could I even contemplate social networking and what technology and emerging media looks like today.

Image result for discman

These days, my life is inundated with technology and the way it affects the market and business as a whole.  As I’ve been discussing during this semester, I just started a new position and am now the marketing and communications manager for a fitness company called TRUE Studio.  Being involved in so much technical communications has been very overwhelming this first week.  I have taken over not only the company’s three corporate Facebook accounts, but their Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, corporate e-mails, and am learning different platforms that I am totally unfamiliar with.  Hootsuite, MindBody, Constant Contact…just to name a few.  It’s amazing how much technology is required to remain viable as a business.

The one concept that did resonate with me from the cluetrain reading was the fact that they pointed out that end users and consumers should be viewed as human beings and not simply part of various demographic groups.  I think that’s important for a business person to consider.  The desired audience should be viewed as a collective of people with individual and unique experiences and not simply a cluster of folks who may or may not react similarly to marketing and communication techniques.


About mollynolte

MSTPC grad student scheduled to graduate in May 2017. Lover of the outdoors, my dogs, autumn, yoga, and travel.

Posted on October 22, 2016, in Social Media. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I love the angle you took this week!

    I was 15 and already deeply in love with the Internet. I mostly played text-based MUD games and hung out in America Online chat rooms. As a result, I was by far the fastest typist I knew. (The one person I eventually met in high school who could type faster than me was already programming in middle school. He is now a programmer for Google.)

    I also downloaded lots of music. While Napster was getting sued left and right, I was using a program called AudioGalaxy. One song took an hour to download. I took my music to school with me on my first MP3 player–it only held about 20 songs, but it wouldn’t skip when you bumped it, like CDs did. The first iPod wouldn’t be released until 2001.

    AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) was the primary mode of communication, primarily because we were all tying up our phone lines with our dial-up modems. However, a few of my friends didn’t have Internet at home, so sometimes we would daisy chain Three Way Calling and have big “party line” style phone conversations. Three or four people could have a reasonably good phone conversation. More than that and it got chaotic–those calls were usually reserved for making weekend plans.

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