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Blog // Connect Michigan

Turning Followers, Tweets, and Shares Into Sales

By Eric Frederick

As of June of 2014, Facebook reported that over 30 million small businesses across the U.S. now use their platform to reach and engage customers – up to 1.23 billion of them worldwide.  Advertising through Facebook and other social media sites demands a budget (e.g. staff time to update and maintain as well as for paid advertising if desired), but creating an account, following, sharing with others, and engaging with an audience is free. Starting a social media presence, however, or even knowing where to begin is a daunting task for many business owners. Local chambers of commerce, marketing firms, and business development groups are...

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USDA Grant Funds Rural Telemedicine and E-Learning

By Eric Frederick

 The USDA is making $19 million available to rural areas seeking to expand distance learning opportunities and telemedicine. The Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program gives schools, government groups, non-profits, businesses, and others the opportunity to obtain equipment and instruction that can benefit local students, teachers, doctors, and, most importantly, the community.  Nearly one fifth of America’s population resides in rural areas, as classified by the U.S. Census Bureau. These nearly 59.5 million people are spread over more than 90% of the nation’s land area, making it exceedingly difficult to concentrate...

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Making Rural Broadband Possible Through Agricultural Assets

By Eric Frederick

Ogemaw County, Michigan is taking a creative approach to expanding broadband infrastructure in the area, combining agricultural assets with broadband technology. By identifying structures that can be used as vertical assets transmitting wireless broadband frequencies, Ogemaw is making a map of low-cost, easy-access broadband potential. Wireless Internet signals through radio frequencies allow smartphones, laptops, and other devices to access the Internet without the need to install underground cables. To convey the signal properly, the transmission devices must be elevated above trees, buildings, and other obstructions, optimally 75 feet or...

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Fighting Cyber Attacks Nationally and Locally

By Connected Nation

As technology grows in importance and prevalence in business and in day-to-day activities, so do the risks involved in its use. Cyber attacks are becoming more common, more sophisticated, and more diverse, affecting entire industries and even countries collectively, all the way down to the individual user. Governments and law enforcement officials are now using the power of the Internet to fight its risks, by creating a more powerful security architecture and, most importantly, by keeping end users aware of the threats. Cyber attacks may range anywhere between annoying—such as email spam or viruses that create repetitive ads—to devastating,...

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