Hey Google, Pick Spokane!
For 48 hours, I thought of nothing but Google this, Google that. It all started on the “Hey Google, Pick Spokane” fan page. It was like a ping pong ball going back and forth in a feverish game between Mark Simonds and I. Except we were actually bouncing around ideas. It started as a flashmob and before we knew it, it was more than that. It was a inspirational social experiment in Spokane.
I spent so much of my time at LaunchPadINW, which was a great and hospitalble co-working space to handle my constant pacing while on the with the City of Spokane, Parks & Recreation, The Inlander, Spokane’s Police Department, etc. Mark and I ran around downtown for a good couple of hours stopping by local businesses, pitching to them what exactly what was going on. Marianne Guenther, this rad lady from Windermere Manito e-mailed me back and forth yesterday and she something to the Spokesman Review that was pretty smack on to what was going. She said, “To show that you have grass roots, there’s nothing better than that.”
We told, invited, retweeted everybody we knew. It was totally grassroots. As I told a lot of people, I think this event was a fusion between new media and traditional media. We did everything the good ol’ fashioned way with a press release contacting every media outlet in town about what was going on. We also did everything different since most of it was word of mouth via online components like Facebook, Twitter, Spokane bloggers and more.
When it came down to the event, I was so excited that I forgot to count the actual attendees. Afterwards when I finally saw a photo of the entire group together, I counted a good 130-140 people! Fellow Tweeple, Michelle, made a great comment to me the next morning, “That would be hilarious if the people count added up to 140… characters.” The attending reporters and other journalists all estimated it to be 50-70 people, but obviously by phsyically looking at the picture, it was double that. Which reminds me that I hate playing the, “Guess how many beans are in this jar” game.
There was a lot of critism that this was not an actual flashmob. The more the event developed, the more it became the opposite. That doesn’t mean I don’t know what one is. Trust me, there will be one sooner than you think, and this time you won’t know about it until it’s too late. That’s not a threat, that’s just me getting excited about Spokane’s potential.
If you think about it, in less than 48 hours, we planned an event that consisted of 130-140 people. The power of viral marketing was at work in Spokane this week and I hope you realize what this means for future possibilties in the community.
Back to Google. A study just released by Steketee-Greiner [.PDF] (from Grand Rapids, Michigan, one of the top contenders for Google’s Fiber Optic plans according to their study), does not show Spokane on the top 10 list. This does not mean it’s over. The data only consists of data leading up to March 23rd. Our event happened on March 24th. The actual deadline for the City of Spokane’s proposal isn’t until the 26th. That means we have the rest of today and tomorrow to boost our #SpoGoogle footprint in the community of Spokane. The conversation, digital syndication, presence and involvement is not all there is to it. The City of Spokane is sending in a technical proposal consisting of everything from power lines to already existing fiber optic cabling. The fanbase isn’t everything, but as I like to say and I think I said this to everybody, “It’s the sparkle of the resume.”
I woke up this morning thinking it was over and done with, obviously it’s not because the deadline is still the 26th. However, I don’t think we’re close to stopping. The Facebook fanpage is still gaining fans and hasn’t slowed down one bit.