We did it. Thanks to me and some genius ITB residents, we now have a tool to free us from ever having to read “Raleigh – Durham” on the internet again. Here’s the story of how a few guys overcame all odds to create a Google Chrome browser extension to replace “Raleigh – Durham” with “Raleigh” and change lives forever. Note: I’ve had to alter the way I write “Raleigh – Durham” in this post because none of this will make sense if you’ve already installed the Chrome extension.
The History of “Raleigh – Durham”
For years people who aren’t from North Carolina have been using the term “Raleigh – Durham” to refer to Raleigh or Durham. Most of the blame for this confusion can be placed on the Raleigh – Durham International Airport for perpetuating this hyphen myth. However, the widespread adoption of the term has mainly been caused by outsider media outlets like Forbes, USA Today, and any random website that churns out SEO clickbait articles like “10 Best Lunch Spots in Raleigh – Durham” or “See where Raleigh – Durham ranks on the Best Cities for (insert demographic) who enjoy (insert generic white people activity)”. Every time “Raleigh – Durham” shows up on a new list my social media feeds get clogged by people sharing these articles to show off that they live in a city that’s top 10 in number of Bottle Shops or parklets. Here are a few of the most egregious instances of “Raleigh – Durham” being used by outsiders.
It’s gotten so bad that people on Jeopardy think “Raleigh – Durham” is a real city.
A video posted by William Needham Finley IV (@wnfiv) on
ITBNN: Don’t bother reading this stupid infographic that some mouth breather from Morrisville calls “an insider’s guide”. You can’t be an insider if you don’t even live inside the NEW beltline. 1. The guy is from Morrisville and says that’s “the Heart of the Triangle”. No. 2. He says try Gelwood South for “an older crowd”, ummm try “an HGH roid rage high school dropout crowd”. 3. He says Wilmington is about a 2 and a half hour drive, yeah, if you’re 95 years old or driving a Prius. It takes 2 hours max. 4. Last, but certainly not least, IT’S NOT CALLED “RALEIGH-DURHAM”. It’s just “Raleigh”. Thanks for trying, bud. Enjoy Pittsburgh.
Even Al Roker called us “Raleigh – Durham” while using a decades old photo of our skyline. Fortunately, I saved the day by correcting the error and fixing our skyline.
A photo posted by William Needham Finley IV (@wnfiv) on
On Wednesday, U.S. News ranked “Raleigh – Durham” 4th on their “Best Places to Live” list. At this point, the use of “Raleigh – Durham” was literally putting lives in danger.
— It's Just Raleigh™ (@ItsJustRaleigh) March 2, 2016
Some will say that “Raleigh – Durham” is a “metro area” and that it makes sense that the area is listed on these “best places to live” lists. They may be technically correct, but we can’t continue to live like this. Will kids start saying they go to “Broughton-Enloe” or “Daniels-Martin”? Are ITB moms going to start Christmas shopping at “Cameron Village-Crabtree Valley Mall”? Was Jesus born in “Bethlehem-Jerusalem”? No, he wasn’t. I wasn’t going to let this hyphen continue to divide and confuse us.
ITB Insiders Solve the “Raleigh – Durham” Problem
My solution was to invent a Google Chrome extension that would change “Raleigh – Durham” to “Raleigh” any time the term was used on the internet. A Chrome extension is just a software program that modifies your Chrome browser to make it better. You may have recently seen the Chrome extension that John Oliver created that changes “Donald Trump” to “Donald Drumpf”. Like any great innovator, I just copied this concept and applied it to our “Raleigh – Durham” problem. Since I didn’t actually know how to write a Chrome extension, I reached out to the best of the best. I asked Justin Miller, Bonner Gaylord, Brian Onorio, the Gates Foundation, NASA, IBM, Apple, and Google to come up with one for me. None of them responded.
Then it happened. Approximately an hour after tweeting my invention request I received a message from Josiah Goodson. He said he knew how to create the Holy Grail extension that I had just invented. After a few hours of building and testing this innovation, Josiah released it to the world on the Google store.
To install the extension, simply click the link and then click “Add to Chrome”. It will automatically remove all instances of “Raleigh – Durham” and replace them with “Raleigh”. Here it is in all of its glory. Look how much happier the stock photo family on the right is compared to the family on the left, who is clearly about to get a divorce, file for bankruptcy, and go to prison because they live in the imaginary “Raleigh – Durham”.
— Patrick Knight (@nc4pk) March 2, 2016
Both the TBJ and NewRaleigh were supportive of our innovation.
— TBJ Raleigh/Durham (@TriangleBIZJrnl) March 2, 2016
A photo posted by New Raleigh (@newraleigh) on
I thought about charging $100 for this extension because I knew people inside the beltline would be willing to pay anything to never see “Raleigh – Durham” on the internet again. When I realized that this peace of mind should be a right for all citizens, I decided to give it away for free. Plus, Josiah said that nobody would actually buy it.
I’m pretty sure this makes me an entrepreneur. I came up with a great idea after seeing a similar idea on a show on HBO. I got people that were smarter than me to create it. I marketed it to people all over the world. I refused to accept the status quo, in what my friends and colleagues call “a reality distortion beltline”. I’m basically the Steve Jobs of Raleigh.
Now I need someone to make an extension that puts Raleigh dead last on all of these “Best of” lists so that people will stop moving here.