The best of social media, the worst of broadband in Redwood Falls

Last Thursday I attended a class on Social Media for Industry in Redwood Falls, organized through Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace (MNREM) as part of the MIRC (Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities) initiative. The trainer, Sarah Viergutz Kuglin at RV Tech Solutions, did a great job providing hands on experience to the 30+ attendees.

Attendees included men and women, 20-somethings to grandmas, business owners, workers and jobseekers. Many folks were already social media users – but wanted to learn more from a business perspective; some were entirely new to most of the tools. We learned about blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursqaure, and Facebook. And we learned some fun facts about Facebook:

  • 1 million branded pages on Facebook
  • 2.6 million Facebook users in Minnesota
  • 2380 Facebook users in Redwood Falls
  • 33,480 Facebook users around Redwood Falls

The day was fantastic except for one thing – we ran out of bandwidth.

Redwood Falls is currently working on a broadband plan. In fact one of the champions for broadband deployment was also the instigator for the local training today – Julie Rath at the Redwood Area Development Corporation (RADC). So it was a great opportunity to shine a light on the need for improved broadband. To be fair, there were 35 users in the room – but the hiccup spurred discussion from the attendees. One allowed that she can never get her work done at the office (near the Main Street) because of broadband issues. When she needs to do anything serious, she takes her work home.

The next broadband planning session for Redwood County is May 26. Contact the RADC for more info.

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