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Silicon Valley's Own "Walk of Fame"

     
6:14 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Move over Hollywood, San Jose is considering a different type of "Walk of Fame" for its stars.

Unlike Hollywood, Silicon Valley is not very good at celebrating its stars. So San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales has suggested spending $50,000 to kick off a planning and fundraising effort for a ``Silicon Valley Walk of Fame.'' Is it a tacky Tinseltown rip-off or a brilliant marketing strategy? Depends on how it's carried out."

"We have people calling all the time asking, `We want to see Silicon Valley, where do we go?' '' said conventions chief Dan Fenton. "This could be a piece of what we'd have available.''

Mercury News story [mercurynews.com]

7:01 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I can see it now .. a Twinky kiosk at the entrance .. the sidewalk littered with pocket protectors ..;)
7:18 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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And tour guides helping you find your way through the smog and exahust fumes - AH! Lovely!
7:37 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I spent some time in San Jose two years ago, working on the Hitachi plant (the ex-IBM plant). I - too - wanted to see something of "Silicon Valley". But even my Hitachi contact didn't new much of where to go and what to see. He took me to the Adobe building since that was on his commuting way - nothing more.
8:00 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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When I was younger I always thought Silicon Valley was where they mined for silicon, in much the same way as one mines for diamonds, and that it was full of workshops where master craftsmen inserted the nuggets of silicon into the chip housing.
8:29 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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When I was younger I always thought Silicon Valley was where they mined for silicon, in much the same way as one mines for diamonds, and that it was full of workshops where master craftsmen inserted the nuggets of silicon into the chip housing.

Well not as bad as confusing silicon with silicone and assuming that that's where the baywatch girls come from. It wasn't me by the way, but a cousin!

8:52 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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May be an opportunity for Sergey to put on his drag queen outfit again?
9:21 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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May be an opportunity for Sergey to put on his drag queen outfit again?

I've evidently lived a very sheltered life. There must be some aspect to this search engine business that people have been hiding from me. Or is this another new business experiment ("gDrag: organising the world's crossdressers")?

10:03 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Heeeeeeere's Sergey!

[web.archive.org...]

10:08 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Silicon valley is spread over parts of 3 California counties.
Are visitors asking to see it thinking its something like a theme park?
National Semiconductor alone, back when I worked there, had a 'campus' the size of Disneyland.
Same for Intel and numerous others, almost all miles apart.

Its a little like trying to slum the Appalachian Rust Belt in one afternoon. LOL.

What I'd like is a nice lunch at Google, on the house of course. -Larry

10:32 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

Surely it would be enough to string up (Internet-controlled) fairy lights along Route 101?

Rgds

Damon

10:58 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Surely it would be enough to string up (Internet-controlled) fairy lights along Route 101?

Constructed from mini monitors displaying Adsense ;)

4:55 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Are visitors asking to see it thinking its something like a theme park?

They could structure it like Disneyland. Let's see, there would be:
- Tomorrowland: driverless car ride (drives around a track guided by GPS); an experience show with all sorts of new technologies on the drawing board (sort of like the exit are to Disney World's Space Mountain- does anyone know if that part is still there?)
- Yesterdayland: a museum showcasing the development of computer technology; a car ride where people drive from point A to point B in heavy traffic (showing what people did before telecommuting)
Fantasyland: visitors sit on bleachers around a circular set that revolves with different scenes, such as Microsoft saying MSN Search will top Google in 6 months)
- Adventureland: take a guided boat cruise through the jungle of trying to do business in China and the U.S. (river guide: "Oy! Watch out for that U.S. senator lurking around the next bend.")
- "Googleplex Castle": in the center of the theme park is a recreation of the Googleplex, complete with ball rooms, video arcade, and gourmet restuarant (unfortunately, not free with admission)
- "It's a Code World": take a boat ride through 34 different scenes of programmers writing the same code in different programming languages (by the end of the ride, pretty much everyone can't get if-then-else statements out of their heads for the next 3 hours)
- "Voyage through Cyberspace": visitors get into little cars and are "miniaturized" then fed into Cyberspace where they tag along a joke-of-the-day e-mail and follow it all across the Interent as it gets constantly forwarded and forwarded
- "Hackers of the Carribean": take a boat ride through various scenes of hackers spreading viruses, hacking into NASA computers, tormenting businesses, and annoying private citizens (watch for the movie version in 2008)
- "Dot Com's Wild Ride": tag along with Dot on this roller coaster as she skyrockets to 50 stories above the park then comes back down in a breathtaking fall that beats the wildest roller coasters in the world (currently closed because too many people were jumping off the ride, never to return)
6:46 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Good marketing strategy for the city. The Silicon Valley continues to lose its bravado as the forerunner of internet technology to other cities and countries. A walk of fame would reestablish the idea that the Silicon Valley is the heart of technology.
6:58 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Fantasyland: visitors sit on bleachers around a circular set that revolves with different scenes, such as Microsoft saying MSN Search will top Google in 6 months)

The best!

7:38 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Awesome idea. Bay area needs something which symbolizes the Silicon Valley. When you think of Manhattan, Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, Hollywood you remember something, there is something specific; a monument a building or something. Bay area doesn't have anything, plus when you look at Bay area, there isn't anything there to suggest it is the technology capital. It looks so run down.

Good idea, long overdue.

9:06 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If nothing else a good museum would be neat ... then again, I'm a geek. It'd be great to see the campuses of all of the huge companies, at their heyday perhaps. For instance, a lot of "model-railroad" style models of the buildings & local geography, with cars of that vintage and people / employees dressed as they would at that time (IBM in the 80's, Microsoft in the 90's, Google today, etc). Along with, of course, a map showing where all the big companies are, and were.

If it's an actual walk, I'm curious what the criteria would be to get a "star" on it.

3:51 am on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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A museum would be nice. Covered in a nice big bubble dome.
7:52 am on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Rather than a "sidewalk" model, which as far as I know has PR and buzz value (or used to back when Hollywood and Grauman's Chinese actually had some glamor appeal) but lacks any kind of a revenue model, what seems closer to realistic is something like the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame or the Country Music Hall of Fame that people are voted into for substantial contributions to their respective industries.

>>A museum would be nice.

There is the Hollywood Wax Museum, but what's compatible with one venue or industry might or might not be for another. It doesn't take much first hand exposure to the entertainment industry to be able to spot how "plastic" it is, and I think Silicon Valley doesn't really fall into that kind of designation, once we look past the VC hype. There are some very substantial people in tech and search - scholars and authors of white papers and innovators. That merits a different type of recognition than Hollywood's transitory glitz.

7:06 pm on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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When you think of...San Francisco...you remember something, there is something specific...Bay area doesn't have anything

...except that one city. Went there once. Charming. Lots of dot commers. Can't think of the name, though.

Of course, promoting SF doesn't really help San Jose, they've gotta come up with their own thing, capitalize on the tech revolution, which spilled over into SF.

But silicon valley sucks. It's just a bunch of office parks and bad vibes. That's why it's hilarious when I get to write tourism copy about the area:

"Discover the bustling metropolis of San Jose, the airport, um, the buildings..." it's horrible! It's suburbia, not a destination. I never go there except under duress. (Work, conference, hub of transportation). So, if they can change that, then great :)

4:22 am on Apr 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>>A museum would be nice.

[thetech.org...]

If you have never been . . . it is worth a trip.