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March 2nd, 2010
10:21 pm
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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.

Current Location: ~/Brainstorm
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: U2, "Where The Streets Have No Name"

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:March 3rd, 2010 06:38 am (UTC)
No no no! This cannot be allowed!
Bellingham will change its name to 10^100,
Take THAT, Topeka!
[User Picture]
Date:March 3rd, 2010 07:24 am (UTC)
... And thus starts the aforementioned arms race. ;-)


G. O. Ogle
Googlebitburg, CA
[User Picture]
Date:March 3rd, 2010 08:46 am (UTC)
I said it before and I'll say it again: Topeka is the home base for Phred Phelps, and has been for years. The baseline Crazy level is already high there.
[User Picture]
Date:March 3rd, 2010 02:02 pm (UTC)
Well, I feel better about my area's fairly understated attempts to attract the attention of the Google.
[User Picture]
Date:March 3rd, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Seattle's attempts seem positively... ordinary. "We're a big city that's willing to work with you. And we've got a few tech companies in town. Including you. If you want to try it, be our guests!"
[User Picture]
Date:March 4th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
"Also, we're not Kansas."

(No offense to the Kansans in the audience. ... What's that, honey? ... Oooooh boy, I'm sleeping on the couch tonight.)
[User Picture]
Date:March 4th, 2010 01:50 am (UTC)
No, this is March - April is next mo...you're not joking, are you?


...points to Googlechu, Kansas. Points to them.
[User Picture]
Date:March 4th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
Sounds pretty cool to have the march in Nevada in the center of a rural area to promote new technology. Awesome.
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