Baxil (baxil) wrote,
Baxil
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Chu!

In a publicity stunt for the Google Fiber for Communities project, Topeka's mayor has renamed the town to "Google, Kansas" for the month of March.

On one claw, this strikes me as desperate attention-seeking, like running down the street topless on Mardi Gras. (Full disclosure: I'm on one of the planning committees for 95959Google, Nevada City's GFFC effort.) It will undoubtedly begin an arms race in the GFFC-publicity-stunt department, and will end up irrelevant to the company's ultimate decision (which, one hopes, is being made on the grounds of technical feasibility and overall community interest).

On the other claw, any publicity is good publicity. Good for the nation as a whole -- because the more attention the Google project gets, the more pressure will be on telcos and cable providers to increase broadband access for everyone. And good for them -- it would be nice to have Topeka be famous for something besides Fred Phelps.

On the hindclaw, cheer up, Topekans Googlians, it's not as humiliating as last time:
Back in 1998, The Journal reports, Topeka took on the name ToPikachu. No joke here: While it sounds vaguely like some weird vegetarian dish, ToPikachu was actually part of a city-wide promotion tied into the launch of the Pokemon franchise. Topeka ended up being the center of Pokemon's official nationwide kickoff. [*]

I will never again be able to say the city name without adding in its terminal syllable.
Tags: technology
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