Think About It: Lahaina E-merges - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

October 23, 2014

Think About It: Lahaina E-merges

In case you missed it last week, Google named Lahaina as this year's eCity for the state of Hawaii, meaning that the Maui town is the "strongest online business" community of any city in our state and is helping to pave the way down the digital highway. It's a nice accolade from the internet giant, but one problem with Google's press release was the fact that Google misspelled the word "Lahaina" five times throughout the press release which extolled the city's connectivity and business savvy. A quote in the Google release from Maui Mayor Alana Arakawa did have the correct spelling of Lahaina, as you might expect. Apparently, no one in-house caught that at Google.

So yes, Google is human after all, just like that little bald man behind the curtain in "The Wizard of Oz", and some marketing Googler  apparently didn't notice the spelling error from the headline down into the fine print. Perhaps archaic tools such as spell check or proofreading would have helped. Being well thought of and well-connected on-line might be no more significant anywhere else in this country outside of isolated Hawaii. With our unique culture and one-of-a-kind product offerings, the web is often times a local retailer's only method of reaching a wider base of potential shoppers. Obviously, very few shoppers simply pull off the highway to browse on their way through in Hawaii as mainland folks do when traveling interstate or intra-continent. Google says 97% of internet users look online for products and services. Some users also look for correct spelling.

The undoubtedly tech savvy Google bungler who fumbled the spelling of Lahaina should know that Lahaina means "cruel sun" or "merciless sun" in Hawaiian, and misspelling the name of a city that you are awarding recognition to is surely cruel and unusual punishment, so that's why I'm dedicating this merciless editorial to the all-powerful Google, which is so big and well-positioned now that it has become a verb in our lexicon, like Xerox and FedEx. When we verbify companies or products, we probably expect excellence or at least certain high standards, and Google's boo-boo by not using its noodle point out that even web omnipotence comes at a cost. Think about it…

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