Saturday, March 20, 2010

Big Day for Google Duluth Fiber Initiative

I expected a front page story on it in today's Tribune. A little surprised to see no such story. There's a big rally planned for today at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center and I'd hoped the DNT would rouse the last of the sleeping masses by donating their front page to herald the gathering. Oh well. The Trib has given its fair share of coverage.

Googlefest is planned to run from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. today and as a journalist somewhat interested in the outcome, I will likely have to be there.

If you have not been following, Google has decided to set up a small-to-medium sized city with Google Fiber, some kind of ultra high speed futuristic technodazzle that will exponentially multiply the speed of the Internet. Cities in the running have been invited to compete, since the search engine giant is only interested in dancing with a partner who really, really, really wants to dance.

According to an article in yesterday's DNT, we're actually winning. At least this is the straw poll consensus based on quasi-scientific data cultivated earlier this week. Aesop's tale of the tortoise and the hare comes readily to mind here. Unwarranted overconfidence equals doom.

Mayor Don Ness has certainly been actively beating the drum to rally our troops. YouTube vids featuring the mayor can be found, including his big splash jumping into frigid Lake Superior last month. Even Senator Al Franken, the former Duluth Answer Man, has gotten into the act. Back in those days, you didn't have a Google at your fingertips to bring the information universe to your desktop. The Duluth Answer Man had to maintain all that information in his head, and that was a lot of work back then.

As they tally up the reasons to bring Google Fiber to Duluth, let's not forget that in addition to all our natural wonders, we have a great arts community. People like Chee, John Steffl, Adu Gindy, Ann Jenkins, Don Marco, Carolyn Olson... no, I'd better not even start because this list is so long, where do you cut it off? Great galleries, great music, theater, dance, the Duluth Art Institute... We have a whole world of creative talents here, inspired by the Northland. Google Fiber might help this world touch the broader world in ways that will leave the latter a better place, in ways only hope can imagine. Are you ready?

Note to Google: I mange six blogs on Google Blogger. Thanks!

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