Cyber-Nerdy Cities Woo Google's Fiber-Optic Service With Viral Campaigns
Hoping to be selected as test sites for Google's upcoming high-speed fiber network, many cities have launched weird viral campaigns. According to an Associated Press report, Google set the nomination deadline for March 26th, and will announce the winners by the end of the year.
Sascha Meinrath, director of the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative, told the AP that Google wants cities that are ready to hit the ground running. "They want a fast, easy rollout," he said. "They are really looking for a community that is fully bought into this." Judging by a few of the more interesting nominees that PC magazine found, that won't be a problem.
For instance, Don Ness, mayor of Duluth, Minnesota, jumped into a frigid Lake Superior to prove how serious (or insane) he is about the fiber network coming to his town (video after the break). The folks of Topeka, Kansas, have launched a Web site, created a bizarre 'Wizard of Oz'-themed video starring small dogs, and have also temporarily changed their city's name to Google, KS. In perhaps the strangest petition, the citizens of Holland, Michigan created an animated clip starring "Sewer Man" to aid their "Take me to Fiber Town" campaign. The town proposes that Google install the fiber-optic cables in the municipal sewer system.
So, will these pitches convince Google to bring blazing fast Internet to these towns? It might sound crazy, but they very well could. Google wants community support for this "experiment," and we certainly can't think of something that screams support more than jumping into a frozen lake. [From: AP/SiliconValley.com and PC magazine]