No, there are no plans for Lawrence to quickly rename itself Yahoo! We’re not going to get into that type of competition with our neighbor to the west.
Lawrence City Hall leaders, though, did take notice on Thursday that Google gave Topeka gobs of international publicity by renaming its site after the Capital City for a day.
But Lawrence city commissioners insist they’re not jealous, and are not wishing they had done more to attract the attention of Google as it considers where to test its planned super-fast fiber optic network.
“No, not at all,” said City Commissioner Aron Cromwell. “I think ultimately there is a fine line between people laughing with you and people laughing at you. I believe Topeka maybe has crossed that line.”
Topeka, can you Google zing?
That’s not to say that Lawrence leaders wouldn’t love for Google to place its high-speed network here. City Hall used its Web site to urge residents to nominate Lawrence for the project. The city also submitted its own nomination and secured a recommendation from Kansas University, said Megan Gilliland, a spokeswoman for the city.
More than a thousand cities have expressed an interest, and a decision is expected to be announced before the end of the year, according to previous statements from Google.
Google’s decision to change its name to Topeka for a day — after Topeka changed its name to Google for the month of March — doesn’t mean the city is the front runner for the project. But it is hard to imagine any city has gotten more free publicity out of the effort thus far.
That’s OK with Lawrence’s mayor.
“It has been a strategy certainly,” Mayor Rob Chestnut said. “But Lawrence is just too good of a name to change.”