Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Very Weird Day

At 2:45 this afternoon, I was on the phone with Dan Hammer at KFGO Radio in Fargo, ND.

The path there was innocent enough. The M-Man took the initiative to get this sign made. On Tuesday, the Bossman posted a picture of the sign to our Facebook page. A normal post of ours gets 800-ish hits; an amusing post might hit 2,000-ish (like our shiny floor a couple years back). After 24 hours?

Over 30,000 hits.

Slow news day?
I was flabbergasted. The appeal makes sense -- an error like this can be hilarious (especially if you're not the one turning people around in a parking lot) -- but it's been going on so long that the explosion of attention seemed out of scale with the event. You see, after this post came a phone call from the local newspaper. Since by this point the Bossman was out and about, I answered his questions.

This morning?

Front page, above the fold. And then we were over 60,000 hits on Facebook.

Another phone call and the Bossman is on the noon news for the local ABC station. [Note: When he went up to the sign to do the piece, a family with Kansas plates was turning around. You can't make this stuff up.]

And then one more call and ... I'm on the radio in Fargo.

The whole event has been a crash course in how far social media can reach. That original picture has been shared ... all over the place. And, of course, we've gotten suggestions for how to fix it on Google.

Here's the thing: We have. In fact, it's gone away completely a couple of times. This last time has been persistent and we haven't been able to convince Google that naming our "region" Mt. Rushmore is less than helpful, although we continue to ask our accidental visitors to submit the error as well.

That sign, though? It's already made one car turn around that we know of. When the snow clears it may be more obvious how effective it is (or isn't).

 I have high hopes.

[Shout out to Dan at Unique Signs in Rapid City for his work on this. The Chef Lady told him roughly what it should say -- he made it work.]

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