Last year it was the All America City competition that got us all fired up and ready to bring home the bacon, so to speak. This year, it's all about competing with 1,100 other cities and towns from across the nation - smallest to the largest imaginable - for the chance of Google Broadband being brought into Somerville. There were over 194,000 individual responses/recommendations as well.
In contrast to last year's adventure, this is a lofty goal, for sure, based on the sheer number and size of the other cities that are interested, but arguably, few of those 1,100 have the fervor or the tenacity of our 'villens - from the every day resident to the Mayor himself, with quite the eclectic mix in-between. It's this eclectic mix that makes Somerville a viable standout amongst the mob, along with a number of other more technical and somewhat nerdy details of course (the grid-like layout of the city, etc.)
Getting back to eclectic personalities, our own Jimmy Del Ponte, who just so happens to be the Somerville Youth Arts Coordinator and quite the well-known local celebrity, is already on the case, as evidenced by his straight out of the gate burst of community promotion in the past two weeks. He has already YouTube'd a video of himself dressed as "Lady Google" appealing to Google and organized Somerville High students to spell out "Google" on Dilboy Field.
The final date to enter consideration was last Friday, but make no mistake about it - until Google makes a decision, all bets are off and anything goes - in fact, we wouldn't be surprised to see the Memorial Day fireworks spell out the name "Google" in pyroclastic glory over Trum Field or the DPW crews painting red lines down a number of streets to spell it out via asphalt from above - and viewed using Google Earth. Yes, those are our original ideas, thank you. If you use them Mayor Joe, we want credit.
PC World, just last week, printed it's list of the "Top 5 desperate US cities" in the running for the Google prize, and Somerville was not one of them. PC World isn't Google, though, so we don't place too much weight on the article; however, it was fun to read what those cities did, which were nothing next to the hijinks of Jimmy Del Ponte. In complete honesty, we do think it was funny that Topeka, KS, Sarasota FL and Rancho Cucamonga, CA changed their names to Google, KS, Google Island, FL and Rancho Googlemonga, CA.
And so, until Google whittles down the massive list from 1,100 to a more manageable number of a few dozen over the next 6 to 7 months and subsequently making a decision by the end of the year, we will continue to be a community fired up and ready to take on all comers. The great news that going into this pseudo-competition, we have a lot of very good things going on for us, not the least of which is our desire to have and enjoy ultra-fast broadband service - all goofiness aside.
So should we be worried about those communities that have created their own buzz by changing their community names, albeit temporarily?
Think about the possibilities - Somergoogle. Googleville. Ummm, no.