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Sen Al Franken Resurrects “Duluth Answer Man” to Support Twin Ports Google Fiber

MARCH 10, 2010 – Minnesota Sen. Al Franken has joined The Google Twin Ports Fiber Initiative by resurrecting his Duluth Answer Man clips.

Duluth’s campaign combines a fun and creative grassroots campaign with a very serious effort to build a strong business case for bringing Google Fiber to the Twin Ports.

The Duluth Answer Man campaign was produced in the mid 80s by the Duluth Convention and Visitors Bureau, known today as Visit Duluth. The series ran in the Twin Cites market as the summer tourism campaign for Duluth.

28 Comments

@ndy

about 8 years ago

I was just about to post this. Thanks wildgoose!

mike

about 8 years ago

Wow. Google fiber can do anything. It can even resurrect 25-year-old TV spots.

Paul Lundgren

about 8 years ago

Now we're getting somewhere. Great job Google Twin Ports crew! It's a shame Telly Savales, Bob Denver and Alan Hale are all deceased. Unless some real resurrecting is in the works. Henry Brick doesn't have the same out-of-town star power.

casey

about 8 years ago

This is great, go Google Fiber Twin Ports!!!

Calk

about 8 years ago

Damn glad I worked to get that man elected.

vicarious

about 8 years ago

The not-too-ironic aspect of this post is that our Clearwire service effin SUCKS!!! It's totally unreliable, only occasionally as fast as they say it will be, and very often DEAD ALTOGETHER. I have a feeling Charter is not much better, though I have no evidence to support that claim. Thus, I one-million percent Google Fiber, if only as a pipe-dream. Please, God ... it's two thousand effin ten...please, someone give me real internet service.

Nick

about 8 years ago

In my experience, Charter cable is considerably more reliable than clearwire - just my experience, tho.

wildgoose

about 8 years ago

We're talking order of magnitude differences here. Not pro or con on the cable vs clearwire vs wireless debate. A horse of another color stuff. A revolution in bandwidth.

Starfire

about 8 years ago

Take that Topeka!

Nick

about 8 years ago

We're talking order of magnitude differences here. Not pro or con on the cable vs clearwire vs wireless debate. A horse of another color stuff. A revolution in bandwidth.
Yes, Google fiber would be faster, and that provides some opportunity. The right combination of well-crafted software with medical/educational/etc industry could be great for the local economy, but I wonder what do these ultra high speeds really offer the average Duluthian? I can currently load web pages in a fraction of a second and download HD video much faster than I can consume it. I'm interested to hear some concrete proposals for the application of this technology. For the record, I'm a supporter of the initiative and excited about the prospect, but somewhat dismayed by the hype without substance.

Jenny

about 8 years ago

I'm pretty excited about this prospect! I think it would be great for Duluth, and our city would be a good fit. Nick, I'd say the reason you might not see any apparent uses for such speeds is that the applications haven't been invented yet. The relatively low bandwidth connections that most people have at home limit the range of possibilities, and generally web sites or services have to cater to the capabilities of the average user's connection. Being connected to each other and the rest of the internet at that rate would mean people in Duluth could be developing, imagining and experiencing the next generation of internet services before most anyone else.

Nick

about 8 years ago

Are we convincing ourselves how great fiber would be for Duluth, or are we demonstrating to Google (and ourselves) why Duluth is the best location for their experiment? Most of what I've heard/read is shallow hype about how revolutionary this would be for Duluth. It's a given that the fibery goodness will benefit any city which Google decides to bless. Our job is to position Duluth as the ideal city for this. I'm encouraged by the Google Twin Ports initiative's new "Idea Contest." Let's not focus on what Google offers us. Let's show Google what Duluth can bring to the table.

Don Ness

about 8 years ago

The comments about making a business case to Google are exactly right on. I can assure you, we are spending most of our time developing that case. Those efforts have not been public because, quite frankly, we don't want to give our competitors insight into the case that we plan to make. Yes, we are having fun with this campaign. But that too has a purpose. My sending folks to www.googletwinports.com we are getting everyone to formally nominate Duluth and Superior to Google - and there is no question that helps our nomination. Get involved! We need your help!

wildgoose

about 8 years ago

Nick, I'm glad that you mentioned the "idea contest" and posted a link above for that. I think that answers your question, in part. But there's more. If you think that our Twin Ports effort is "shallow" then you are missing a lot of what is happening. Go to the website and really explore and come down and get involved and you'll see just how deep this effort runs. That would be a fantastic way to take your support to the next level. I am nobody special but I have had a chance to get involved in the effort, to do stuff that fills my skill sets and my resources and I think everyone should do the same. As for the competition from other communities, and there is a lot of it with more coming every day, Duluth-Superior is clearly a leader in that very crowded field, yesterday I was on a conference call/webinar and the Rep from Google indicated that she had clearly seen and heard our efforts. NO other community was identified by name in for the rest of the session! One more thing, Nick, and I am not intending to use your comments as a punching bag, healthy debate strengthens our case. On that same webinar there was a lot of talk about GAMING. Yes, gaming. Gaming is a bandwidth hog, it is also one of the top entertainment mediums in the United States, matching TV usage and still climbing. According to a commenter in the webinar it is also a BANDWIDTH HOG. Not just that, Joaquin Alvarado of American Public Media said there are thousands of pages of acedemic evidence that shows gaming is an emerging and significant tool for education and community engagement (just don't tell my kids that.) And any serious gamer can tell you that fiber optic connections will revolutionize gaming. So in addition to emerging technologies of the future, such as cloud computing, remote surgery and other hi tech medical applications, distance education, and enterprise, existing technologies in GAMING and entertainment are a part of this picture, too.

Bret

about 8 years ago

On another note, how can I find those of Duluth Answer Man clips? -Google Fiber Thiele

Paul Lundgren

about 8 years ago

PDD actually put out a bounty on the old Telly Savalas ads a few years ago, and that turned up the Franken ads and the Gilligan and Skipper ads -- along with the Telly spot. The post about the find is at ... http://www.perfectduluthday.com/2006/08/the_holy_grail.html Unfortunatly, the link to the videos doesn't work anymore.

mike

about 8 years ago

I should have links available to all 5 of those old Visit Duluth spots very soon. Meanwhile, enjoy some nice press about Duluth's efforts: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/03/al-franken-jokes-but-google-fiber-is-no-laughing-matter/

Zak

about 8 years ago

Dear The Google, Plz bring us fast toobs so i can pwn noobs more better. thx.

Mike Scholtz

about 8 years ago

Please enjoy some classic Duluth TV spots right here: http://www.youtube.com/visitduluth I uploaded them about an hour ago. So you probably won't be able to embed them anywhere (or search for them on YouTube) until a bit later.

St.G

about 8 years ago

This makes me so happy!

jessige

about 8 years ago

if the google fiber people need a fundraiser, i say, sell t-shirts with "duluth--who loves ya, baby?" and "cast away in duluth" on them. i'd sport me some sweet kojak-duluth wear.

Jeanine

about 8 years ago

Maybe it's not Minnesota Nice to say, but the most attractive economic development is outside private investment that brings in an infusion of NEW capital and jobs and builds the tax base rather than shuffling it around. What can Duluth offer Google that will help them sell fiber to other cities? Thousands of households pledging to subscribe is nice, but... our preparedness to leverage Google fiber in attracting new, as-yet-unknown businesses from OUTSIDE our city seems like it would be more convincing. Google can then go to any municipality and say, "Look what fiber will do for outside investment and your tax base. You need us." Yo, Google -- Duluth has a progressive, pro-business attitude for smart, clean, tech-related development ('cause we loves us our green space); tons of prime commercial real estate; a tremendous future skilled labor pool in our four local colleges and universities; and the political will and economic development infrastructure to attract and nurture new business. Duluth's "good bones" coupled with a stagnant (for decades) economy make it the perfect subject for a Google Extreme Makeover.

adam

about 8 years ago

If only we could all get this excited about the Alpine Slide.

Tony D.

about 8 years ago

Hey Mike (or anyone else who knows), what years did Franken and Davis do those Answer Man spots?

Mike

about 8 years ago

The spots began airing in the Twin Cities on June 3, 1984.

brian

about 8 years ago

Mike Scholtz: Answerman 2010

tony d

about 8 years ago

thanks, Mike!

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