"Bulk" email experiment in reaching people about Y2K

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I have a confession to make. In my sordid past, I have done "bulk" emailings up to 10,000 pieces..... (please hold the rotten vegetables, I have seen the error of my ways - mostly ).

Today, I tried something that has been on my mind. I wrote an informational piece (too long, I'm afraid), got a "hotmail address", used Yahoo People search (http://people.yahoo.com/) to locate folks in my area. I did this both searching using local ISP's and using a geographical screen on local cities.

I've only received a few responses so far. As in my earlier experience, the earliest responses are always negative. Your positive responses and/or requests for more information come over the next 24 to 48 hours.

Below is the posting that I used. It was WAY too long, but I kept "adjusting" it. I'll keep everyone filled in on whether this had any success, and I'll be glad to further explain what I did to anyone who wants to try it themselves.

COPY OF EMAIL DOCUMENT **********************************************************************

I apologize in advance for this unsolicited email. I am not selling anything, nor will I contact you again. You are not on any list.

The US Senate has said that the Y2K computer bug may be the biggest challenge faced by our nation in this century.

Greater than WWI & WWII Worse than the Great Depression

This is a link to the entire Senate report in HTML: http://www.best.com/~mgoodfel/

Will we have electricity? Will our money be safe? Will trucks deliver food to stores? Will we have jobs?

I am a private citizen looking for local answers to a global problem. I am not a survivalist. The world is not going to end.

I am working with others in Calhoun, Kalamazoo, and Van Buren Counties to organize neighborhood preparations for this possible emergency. We could use your help.

At this time, NO ONE knows what will happen next year. It could be minor, or it could become devastating. Or anywhere in between.

We want to use good, old fashioned American hard work and ingenuity to get through this any possible problems.

I live in Kalamazoo County and I am very concerned about the coming Y2K problems. If you have not really studied the Y2K situation, please follow the link below.

Please, look into this and make up your own mind. Then, if you think there could be problems, send this to others you know. Thank you.


Year 2000 - Y2K What's the Problem?

Many computers will be confused when December 31, 1999, becomes January 1, 2000. Too many computer programs use only the last 2 digits of the year. They think all years begin with 19. When the year becomes 00, they will think it is 1900. These computers may stop or make mistakes. That is the Year 2000 Problem.

It's everywhere Computer software impacts every aspect of our lives:

Electricity Banking Natural Gas Sewage Water Food Manufacturing Transportation Internet If there is no electricity, nothing else will work, including computers that are Y2K compliant.

You know how computers can effect your life now. If you don't work with computers in your job, you know someone who does. Ask that person what it was like when they put in a new version of software. Did it work exactly right the first time? Did it take a while to work the kinks out? Were the computers down for an hour, a day or a week? Perhaps you've heard the stories about the pager system that was down for a day, or the supermarket whose registers didn't work or your dentist who couldn't make your appointment. These glitches all got fixed, so what's the big deal? The biggest problem is that it will all happen at once, all over the world.

What's the big deal? The Social Security Administration announced in December, 1998, that they are completely Year 2000 ready. They began looking at the problem in 1989. They just recently finished. It took nine years!

Most companies and Federal, State, and local governments did not start until 1997 or 1998. Many have still not started at all.. Many have much larger computer systems than Social Security does.

The electric companies started too late to fix everything in time. The North American Electric Reliability Council report dated January 11, 1999, states that everything is going to be OK. But the facts stated in the report tell another story:

The 103 nuclear reactors show their remediation (problems fixed and possibly tested) average only 31% complete. The non-nuclear plants average 42% complete in their remediation. If they do not finish in time, we will have power outages while they find and fix the problems.

Without electricity:

Your work will be closed. Water companies cannot treat and pump water. Sewage companies cannot treat sewage. You cannot pump gasoline. ATMs will not work. Grocery stores cannot open. Our economy cannot function.

It is impossible to fix it all in time

The problem is too big for government and business to save us.

We must join with our family, friends and neighbors to plan together.

For more information, please email me at: y2kcommittee@hotmail.com


-- Jon Williamson (pssomerville@sprintmail.com), April 04, 1999


Jon; I am impressed. It just might work. Will follow carefully. Have a Happy Easter, and I thank you.

-- Charon (Thatplace@downbelow.com), April 04, 1999.

I think that you did a great service, Jon! I hope that you start getting some possitive replies very soon. :-)

-- Blondie Marie (Blondie@future.net), April 05, 1999.

Wonderful public service, Jon! The more people are "educated" the less likely for panic. An excellent idea!

-- just sunshine (lurkinghere@ho.me), April 05, 1999.

What do you supply in the form of info if someone emails you at y2kcommittee@hotmail.com ?
Mr. K

-- Mr. Kennedy (wondering@the.time), April 05, 1999.

A true service, Jon, but, for the record:

We're All Survivalists (see Ed Yourdon's essay of that title.)

-- Sara Nealy (keithn@aloha.net), April 05, 1999.

Times of our local committee meetings, sources of information and prep items, etc.

Yes, I know we are all Y2K survivalists. I'm one of those radicals still trying to move out of the city. But, don't want to scare off anyone by being associated with the "fringe element" .

-- Jon Williamson (pssomerville@sprintmail.com), April 05, 1999.


As you educate others, make sure you check out the Michigan State Police Y2K Website:


There are three documents there in PDF format that contain questions from the MSP and answers from Michigan gas, electric utilities, etc.

Download them and analyze them for yourself, with the understanding that these people knew their comments would be made public.

If there are real problems post Y2K, the Michigan State Police would handle things as the official emergency agency of Michigan.

-- VLS (inbusiness@theoffice.net), April 05, 1999.

Let us know how it works out.

-- Shimrod (shimrod@lycosmail.com), April 05, 1999.

The tally so far:

1 call to have me terminated (I hope he meant internet service) 1 very vulgar reply from a programmer assuring me there was no problem 1 polite reply from a software engineer telling me there would be no problem as long as I stopped waiting for some kind of "rapture". That one I thought was amusing, based on my message, above, that I sent. 1 programmer who said everything is "fine", and he wanted me to stop spoiling spoiling his millenium.

I won't be repeating the experiment. Next time, I'll take a nap.

I do hope that they are all correct. Maybe some of the 496 who did not reply took some time to investigate and form their own opinion. I really don't care what position they arrived at, as long as they actually looked at the available information.

-- Jon Williamson (pssomerville@sprintmail.com), April 05, 1999.

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