Tag Archives: Google Fiber

Battle for Google Fiber – Holland’s FiberTown Fest Recap

Well Fibertown Fest has come and gone and it has been a wild time.  Fibertown Fest set out to do what we had intended.  Get votes for Holland, inform the public, and generate interest.  In my opinion we accomplished all three.  The whole process of getting Fibertown Fest up and running is remarkable and I am not even sure how it happened.

It all started on Friday March 12th when I posted the following blog post “ROUND 2 – The Battle for Google Fiber Network: Holland vs. Grand Rapids”  in which I asked why Holland had so little public support from the city on their bid for Google Fiber.  City council member Brian Burch stumbled upon my blog and left a comment on Monday March 15th notifying that the city is planning a response, and wanted to start a dialog with me.  We began exchanging emails and phone calls on Monday where we began discussing setting up some sort of event to generate interest and votes in Holland.  Brian encouraged me to take this on, and said he could help get me in touch with people to make this happen.  From there, I spoke with Tom Pietri at Holland Image House about holding an event to promote Google Fiber in Holland.  Tom and I then developed a plan for a signup drive event and Brian put us in touch with some resources, and committed the support of the city council to help at the event.  Additionally Tom had already been working with Julie Thompson at Holland BPW in developing a poster for the event and working on getting these posters hung in local area businesses.  Within 5 days we were able to set up an event at New Holland Brewing Company, have the support (and laptop computers for voting) of city council and Holland BPW employees, promote the event, send out a press release, get interviewed, get raffle prizes from local businesses, and make the event a success.  Somehow everything came together.  The city council members and the BPW employees brought their laptops and agreed to help people register for a Gmail account and vote for Holland.  They were also on-hand to answer any questions that people may have had, and all in all it was a great event.  We had registered over 100 people during our four hour event.  In addition to that we spoke with Blake Throne a reporter from the Holland Sentinel, had a news crew from WZZM come and do a story on the event.

Talking to people voting was great, some of them came to New Holland Brewing Company just to vote after reading about it in the newspaper, other people voted after sitting down for a meal.  It was great to see so many different people, young and old all wanting the same thing, a better Holland.  I am just hopeful that all the people who were in attendance will spread the word and encourage more of their neighbors, friends and families to vote.  Also the extra publicity we gained.

All in all I would like to thank the following people and business for their help in making this happen:  Tom Pietri at Holland Image House (for designing graphics, knocking on doors, and spreading the word) Brian Burch and the entire City Council, Brett VanderKamp and the team at New Holland Brewing Company (hosting the event), Holland Litho (for printing out posters of the event, and Julie Thompson at all the other Holland BPW employees who have been involved in Holland’s bid for Google fiber from the beginning (they submitted Holland’s bid to Google’s RFI (Request For Information), set up the TakeMeToFiberTown.com website, Facebook page, YouTube, Twitter, and Billboards).

I would also like to thank the following area businesses for their donations for the raffle that was held for voters at FiberTown.

Donations:  Hudsonville Ice Cream, Tip Toes, Home & Company, DwellTech Solutions, New Holland Brewing Company, and Holland Cycling & Fitness.

I still don’t know how we pulled off FiberTown Fest in 5 days.  If you haven’t voted yet, please do so here: http://www.google.com/appserve/fiberrfi/public/options

Photos of the event can be found at Holland Image House.

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FiberTown Fest Press Release

FiberTown Fest:  A Nomination Party at New Holland Brewery

Bringing Google Fiber to Holland

HOLLAND, Mich. – March, 17 2010 – Northern Pyk Marketing and Holland Image House have created FiberTown Fest, a nomination party on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at New Holland Brewing Company, for the City of Holland’s bid for Google Fiber for Communities, an initiative to bring fiber optic cable to a city or cities in America.  According to Google, the fiber optic cable “will deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today, over 1 gigabit per second”.  In addition to bringing fast internet speeds a fiber optic network can also boost a local economy and bring new business and new investments into a community, as mentioned in “The Economist” article “Fibre in Paradise” dated Feb. 18, 2010, which talks about a small town in Virginia that received quite the economic boom because of its fiber optic cable network.

All are welcome to the FiberTown Fest Nomination Party being held on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at New Holland Brewing Company, located at 66 E. 8th Street Holland, Mich., from 12pm to 4pm.  FiberTown Fest was created to inform the community of Holland’s bid for Google Fiber, the importance of fiber optic cable, and provide a venue for voting, with advisers to assist anyone in the process.  Members of Holland government will be available to talk and answer any questions regarding Holland’s bid for Google Fiber.  Local Holland businesses have also donated goods and services to be raffled off for all people who vote.  For those who had already voted please bring your printed out confirmation code from Google when you cast your ballot.  Additionally, FiberTown Fest will be a gathering place for all people who support Holland’s bid for Google Fiber for Communities.

  • Who: Northern Pyk Marketing and Holland Image House along with the support of the City of Holland, Holland BPW, New Holland Brewing Company, and Holland Litho invite the whole Holland area community to participate in FiberTown Fest.
  • What: FiberTown Fest:  A nomination party to encourage people to vote for Holland in the Google Fiber for Communities initiative
  • Where: New Holland Brewing Company at 66 E. 8th Street Holland, MI
  • When: Saturday, March 20, 2010 from 12pm to 4pm

A special thanks to the City of Holland, Holland BPW, New Holland Brewing Company, Hudsonville Ice Cream, and Holland Litho for their help and support of FiberTown Fest.

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About Northern Pyk Marketing
Northern Pyk Marketing is a full service marketing firm providing marketing, communications, creative, and event services. Northern Pyk Marketing is also behind the West Michigan Business Blog. For additional information please contact Mark Pyk at 616-510-4537 or northernpyk@gmail.com and visit us at http://www.northernpyk.wordpress.com.

About Holland Image House

House Image House is a visual communications firm offering full service graphic design for the community.  For additional information please contact Tom Pietri 616-283-4653 at tom@hollandimagehouse.com and visit us at www.hollandimagehouse.wordpress.com.

FiberTown Fest: Support Holland’s bid for Google Fiber

Well things have moved rather quickly, and with the help of Holland Image House, we have created the FiberTown Fest nomination party for Holland’s bid for Google Fiber.  Below are the details:

All are welcome to the FiberTown Fest Nomination Party being held on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at New Holland Brewing Company, located at 66 E. 8th Street Holland, Mich., from 12pm to 4pm.  FiberTown Fest was created to inform the community of Holland’s bid for Google Fiber, the importance of fiber optic cable, and provide a venue for voting, with advisers to assist anyone in the process.  Local Holland businesses have also donated goods and services to be raffled off for all people who vote.  For those who had already voted please bring your printed out confirmation code from Google when you cast your ballot.  Additionally, FiberTown Fest will be a gathering place for all people who support Holland’s bid for Google Fiber for Communities.

  • Who: Northern Pyk Marketing and Holland Image House along with the support of the City of Holland, Holland BPW, New Holland Brewing Company, and Holland Litho invite the whole Holland area community to participate in FiberTown Fest.
  • What: FiberTown Fest:  A nomination party to encourage people to vote for Holland in the Google Fiber for Communities initiative
  • Where: New Holland Brewing Company at 66 E. 8th Street Holland, MI
  • When: Saturday, March 20, 2010 from 12pm to 4pm

To RSVP for this event please respond at our Facebook Event Page.

Bringing Google Fiber to Holland…What’s Next?

Something big is in the works for The Holland-Google FiberTown Initiative.  The Holland FiberTown Facebook fan page is doing great with over 1,300 fans, but how many of those fans actually voted for the City of Holland on the Google Fiber for Community webpage?  Well West Michigan Business Blog in partnership with Holland Image House are working on an event to encourage the community to vote.  We are working with the Holland City Council and area businesses, to bring Google Fiber to Holland.  Won’t you join us?

Details coming soon.

The Battle for Google Fiber Network: Holland vs. Grand Rapids

Google has recently announced a contest to provide ultra-high speed broadband networks at a trial location or locations across America.  I first became aware of this when Grand Rapids began an initiative to get their city on the list.  The Grand Rapids community started promoting this through their Linkedin Group, news stories, a press release from the mayor’s office, a facebook page, and finally a technology group was set up to promote this initiative, Grand  Rapids Technology Partnership.  Now I thought to myself this should be a good thing to sign up and support GR by voting.  But I got to the vote page and when they asked me a reason why, I could not really come up with something, I only work in Grand Rapids and unfortunately I do not come up to Grand Rapids too often outside of work.

So I was quite happy to see Holland begin promoting the initiative to get the fiber network to town.  Holland has the press stories, they set up a webpage, twitter account, Facebook fan page, YouTube channel, and LinkedIn Group.  The whole campaign revolved around the clever “Fibertown” brand.  Which is nice to see some branding being applied instead of just lumping it together like Grand Rapids did (my opinion, of course).  Holland also looks like it has the www.takemetofibertown.com as the central hub of activity in order to promote and coordinate the push for the fiber wire.  For Grand Rapids it seems like their Grand Rapids Technology Partnership is the main hub of activity but it is not as clean of a look or as easy to navigate as the Holland page.  Plus I did not find any mention of the LinkedIn Grand Rapids page, and no formal twitter account or hashtag to promote, or YouTube channel to watch.  Maybe it helps by having the backing of the community utility company like Holland BPW and how they set up the FiberTown brand.  But Grand Rapids does have a couple of advantages one of which is time.  It started this initiative many weeks ago, where as Holland just started this week.  Plus Grand Rapids does have a much larger base of residents which will help its cause.  But if Hollanders can make a compelling case to Google, who knows what could happen.  Weirder things have happened like being voted 2nd happiest place in America.

So now the next important step is to vote,  but voting requires you to tell them a specific reason why Google should come to your town, and they also ask for a link to show some creativity (their example: a video).  I ended up voting for Holland yesterday.  I had also been able to quickly come up with a reason, unlike my previous struggle coming up with a reason for Grand Rapids.  My reason was “Hey this is Michigan, we need all the help we can get.  The fiber network would help spur development and investment in the area.”  Now this reason is something any Michigan community can claim so we need to come up with something more unique, and distinct to Holland. Here are a couple of ideas (so if you are a skilled video filmmaker or producer let me know):

Couple of ideas:

Holland was recently voted the 2nd most happiest residents in America, well the ultra-fast fiber network would make us first.

Holland residents have a huge fiber deficit and it is not because we are consistently voted among the top places to retire too.

Videos of all the empty or decrepit factories in the area, and asking to envision how it would look with the Google fiber network.

On the Facebook fan page, Craig Tommola commented “Best little test market there is ;)”, and you know what he is right.  West Michigan is known for their history as a test market.

Be sure to vote – http://www.google.com/appserve/fiberrfi/public/options

So any other clever videos or other marketing efforts you have come across for either city? What are your thoughts on each city’s campaign? When you voted what was your reason given to support the community you voted for?

Edit:  Here is an article from The Economist on a small city in Virginia, and how a fiber network changed the town economically.  Could we expect the same from whatever city or cities land the Google Fiber Wire?

http://www.economist.com/world/united-states/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15549324