People using Google to conduct their web searches Saturday had a little added entertainment on the page in the form of Jamestown's most famous native, Lucille Ball.
The ''Google doodle'' for the day featured an interactive television screen - the Google name appeared in the iconic ''I Love Lucy'' font, and the antique television's channels could be changed, allowing the user to click through some of the legendary actress' most famous clips from the show.
Done in celebration of Lucy's 100th birthday Saturday, it was one of the most in-depth doodles the website has put together. In an interview with The Post-Journal, Jennifer Hom - whose official job title with Google is ''doodler'' - said that the team that puts the daily images on the search engine's homepage came up with the idea a few months ago. However, she said, it grew from something small at its origin into something monumental by the time it hit the site.
Pictured is the ‘‘Google doodle’’ from Saturday, Aug. 6. When users operated the controls of the television set, iconic clips from ‘‘I Love Lucy’’ played.
''It was going to be just a typographical treatment, with the title starting as the Google letters,'' Ms. Hom said. ''But as it evolved, I kept getting feedback from my team members that we wanted to make it better.''
To research the project, Ms. Hom said she watched countless episodes of ''I Love Lucy'' - Ball's best-known work - and she discovered that the episodes she remembered laughing at as a child remained funny as time had passed. Other members of the Google team had similar experiences, she added, and a number of their favorite scenes from the program appear as part of the doodle.
Ms. Hom said that Google reached out to CBS to gain permission to use the clips on its homepage, and that she also personally reached out to the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown to make connections.
"As it evolved, I kept getting feedback from my team members that we wanted to make it better.''
''I spoke to Journey (Gunderson, executive director of the center) about Lucille Ball, just because we wanted to find the people who were closest to her legacy, the people who knew her work, the people who knew her family,'' Ms. Hom said. ''We always want to make sure that we pay as much respect and accuracy to the things and people that we celebrate, so obviously we are going to reach out to the people who are closest to their work.''
Google doodles are often presented in celebration of the birthdays of famous people. However, the interactive doodle celebrating Ball received more attention than most. Ms. Hom said she and the team looked at social media sites such as Twitter as soon as it went live on the site and were pleased with the response.
''The initial reactions were awesome,'' Ms. Hom said. ''People just loved the show and they remember it, because generations of people grew up with it, even if they didn't grow up with the first airing of it.''
The doodle also received national media coverage Saturday morning, she said, including on CNN's morning news show.
While a great deal of work goes into each doodle that appears on the Google website, Ms. Hom said it is a relatively small team that creates each one. She said that she and head engineer Kris Hom - no relation - are joined by a few other people in each project.
And while the projects are fun, they aren't just made to be silly diversions on the homepage as people show up to Google each day to search for whatever they want from the Internet. Doodles are made to honor the legacy of those being depicted, said Anne Espiritu, Google's manager of global communications and public affairs.
''We don't just create doodles with an activity for the sake of it to move - it actually has to make sense,'' she said. ''Lucy is known for her skits on 'I Love Lucy,' and it's all about staying true to that spirit.''
Making those skits come to life on Google for a day took a lot of burning the midnight oil for the doodle team at the company. But they were willing to do the work to showcase such a figure of Americana, Ms. Hom said.
''Everyone was really into her work, so we were all willing to put in the extra hours late into the night before it went live,'' she said.
Google is the most-visited website in the world. According to Ms. Espiritu, more than a billion web searches are conducted on the site each day.