Once Google Sites got added to the Google Apps suite, Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC) almost immediately made the decision to migrate away from an existing MediaWiki installation to Google Sites to host its existing intranet content. Then and now that intranet location has been called the “Shared Private Network.” Within LSNC, everyone pretty much just calls it the SPN.
Since the tech team at LSNC (in-house known as “Team Gizmo”) believes in change you can, uh, believe in, they thought it would be a great idea to give LSNC staffers the opportunity to rename the SPN. And what better way to do it than have a contest (with a grand prize of a $30 Amazon.com gift certificate) open to all staffers, to submit their suggestions for a new name.
Over a three-week contest period, Team Gizmo received a total of 47 suggestions for renaming LSNC’s shared network, including a late entry for which the time limit was waived because of the “quality” of the submission. Relying on contest standards that make American Idol look like the Nobel Prize, Team Gizmo brought its best “arbitrary and capricious” A-game to the task of reviewing all submissions.
There’s good news and bad news.
First, the good news: There was a winner, the who and why are explained, below. The bad news: Change is hard. Notwithstanding the number of submissions and the identification of a bona fide winner, the consensus (including the winner herself) was that no one came up with a name and/or acronym better than what has been used for so long, namely, Secured Private Network or SPN.
But, wait, there is the funny news: LSNC staffers largely approached this contest as an opportunity to showcase their sense of humor and delight with acronyms. Among the lessons learned:
- Some senior managers clearly have too much time on their hands. One of them submitted more nominations than anyone else. We are compelled to acknowledge here his best suggestion: Ecretsay Tuffsay from LSNClay. (Yes, that was his best suggestion.)
- There were several nominations suggesting some staffers are watching too much television, especially niche or defunct channels, like ION (Inter-Office Network) and UPN (Ultimate Private Network), which no doubt would have been well received if Star Trek Captain Janeway were a member of Team Gizmo. She’s not.
- Without naming names, the LSNC Auburn Office is apparently busting at the seams with galactic vision, with its suggestions that included CSN (Cosmic Stellar Network), SCN (Stellar Cosmic Network), LSNCU (LSNC Universe) and PLSNC (Planet LSNC). No doubt the Auburn Office will be closed on May 8 for interplanetary repairs.)
- That only scratches the surface of the many clever acronyms LSNC staffers came up with. Among more serious ones were LINE (LSNC IntraNet Experience), PIN (Private Information Network) and SNAP (Secure Network All Private). But there were a slew of funny ones, as well, including IPHOM (I Pay Homage to the Machine), LOLS (Lots of LSNC Stuff) and a hearty bottoms-up to PILSNER (Private Intranet Legal Services Network Employee Resource).
- Some of the best submissions weren’t about acronyms, they were just… well, you decide:
- CASPER, as in the friendly ghost. I have my reasons.
- The No SPN Zone
- … and a personal Team Gizmo favorite: That thingy online where we get all the stuff
The winner? It came from a bookkeeper in the Finance Department, who submitted SPUNK (Super People United as Networked Kin). Are we going to use it? No. That said, it is a funny, clever and catchy acronym that melds notions of intranet purpose and functionality with an empowering sense of organizational esprit de corps, don’t you think?
Bottom line: The best $30 tech investment at LSNC. Ever.