What a Difference a Day (Earlier) Makes

Macworld Expo contacted the entire Mac universe yesterday to inform us that Steve Jobs's keynote address would be moved to Monday, Jan. 7, from its normal Tuesday morning/opening day slot. The reason: unknown. The content: who knows. The amount of discomfort: high. I'll be paying over $100 on my slim freelancer budget (some of which may get reimbursed depending on how much coverage I can file from down there) to make that change.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) overlaps Macworld completely for the first time ever, I believe, and I'm assuming that either Jobs knew he'd be upstaged on Tuesday morning by CES, or had to be there for an equally important event. We'll find out. The Apple booth on the show floor at Macworld won't be open except to press and analysts following the keynote; the show itself opens the next day.

What gets my goat is not the change: these things happen. There must be a good reason or they wouldn't have changed a multi-year pattern at the last minute. No, what gets me is this quote from the press release: Charlie Greco, president and CEO of IDG World Expo [said] "We�re thrilled to move the keynote up to Monday, and begin the excitement a day sooner.". What a blatant lie.

It's one thing to issue a press release with a spin on a problem that you think that has some verity and that most people will believe. It's another to cover a massive inconvenience that might cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional expense across thousands of people and not apologize.

The press representative for Macworld Expo sent out email to press folks later in the day apologizing and offering assistance. My contact at Apple's PR firm called me and the first words out of his mouth were, I'm sorry for the short notice and the change. Thanks - I mean it. The Macworld Expo press release should have been honest. We apologize to the thousands of attendees, press, analysts, and vendors who will have to change their plans or will now be unable to attend - but we believe this change is worth it, and we had no choice. Our travel agency stands by to help you make the most affordable change, and the speech will be Webcasted live.

I know, I know, I'm bitching about small things, but it's critical that we not be lied to. Macworld Expo wasn't excited: they were frightened, angry, irritated, inconvenienced. Apple knows it. Nobody blames nobody. But let's have some honesty, folks, and an apology.