Blog & Tools

Overcoming challenges was a popular blog topic in 2019

Images from top blogs of 2019

An underground transformer fire temporarily knocked out electrical power to several blocks of downtown Sioux Falls in early 2013. The fire burned beyond the sightline of most people in the area, but the blaze left an impression on some business leaders.

The eerie threat to part of the community’s power-delivery grid was followed less than two months later by a historically devastating ice storm that splintered thousands of trees, took down power lines, and caused millions of dollars of damages to businesses, homes and vehicles across Sioux Falls.

The back-to-back disasters helped executives at The First National Bank in Sioux Falls decide that the locally based financial institution should upgrade the institution’s data-protection and operations strategies in the case of future catastrophes.

Last year, Timm A. Hoffman, chief information officer at FNBSF, reviewed some of the steps the highly regarded bank has taken in recent years – with some help from SDN Communications - to improve its data protection and business continuity. One important step involved moving stored data from the bank’s headquarters to two, interchangeable data centers that are more than 150 miles apart.

I wrote a column about the bank’s updated disaster preparations, and it turned out to be SDN’s most popular blog of 2019.

SDN’s business-oriented client base evidently likes blogs about real-life challenges to organizations’ networks and effective responses because the No. 2 blog on the most-read list also focused on solving a problem. In the second situation, the corporate challenge involved a hardware malfunction at Bedford Industries.

Bedford, which is based in Worthington, Minn., is a global leader in the production Twist Ties and other packing enclosure. A server at Bedford had unnecessarily started replicating data, which was threatening to clog the company’s computer network. SDN helped resolve the issue by quickly and temporarily boosting the company’s bandwidth capacity.

In 2019, readers also were attracted to blogs that discussed advances in communications technology, including political actions. Columns about the key people behind SDN’s 30-year history of growth in the telecommunications industry also got a lot of clicks.

In some cases, columns probably were shared by readers with others, which increased readership. That’s fine with us. The purpose of these blogs includes getting informative and useful information to people who can benefit from it.

May 28 was a particularly good day for blog readership. SDN normally publishes a blog or two each week. On that day we published two, and they both finished in the Top 10. One reviewed the business reflections of SDN CEO Mark Shlanta and past CEO Rich Scott. The other blog published that day contained news about communications grants announced by Gov. Kristi Noem

In another case, I suspect the headline contributed to the heavy readership. That was a May 6 column titled, “Sex, lies and possibly videotape: Beware of sextortion.”

I was pleased that the blogs about two companies overcoming challenges finished first and second in readership for the year. It was personally satisfying because I wrote them. More importantly, the blogs told a small part of the story of what some of the technical experts at SDN quietly do around the clock, every day of the year, to help customers.

In case you’d like to review any or all of the Top 10 blogs of 2019, here’s the complete list. I didn’t write them all. My boss, Vernon Brown, who is SDN’s vice president of communications and community relations, also contributed.

The blogs are listed below in order of popularity.

    Thanks for reading!

    SDN Communications is a leader in providing business internet, private networking and cloud connectivity to businesses and organizations in communities such as Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Worthington, and the surrounding areas.

    Top 2019 Blogs
    1. Bank goes extra miles to improve customer data protection
      In early 2013, an underground transformer fire temporarily knocked out electrical power to a four-block area of downtown Sioux Falls. The fire burned beneath the sight line of dozens of businesses, but it left a strong impression on executives at The First National Bank in Sioux Falls.
    2. Twist tie company leverages SDN’s flexibility in emergency
      Bedford Industries built its business on being flexible. Its founders set out to be the world leader in twist ties, packaging reclosures, and Bendable Components®. But it credits the flexibility of one of its service providers for getting the company through a recent unexpected challenge.
    3. SDN takes extra effort to make network fixable and reliable
      A crew that cuts internet fiber on accident while constructing a building or road doesn’t only interrupt a TV show that people might be watching. There is more at risk than delaying every day phone calls or emails.
    4. 7 Numbers to Know about SD’s Digital Divide and Gov. Noem’s $5 Million Kickstart
      In her recent budget address, Gov. Kristi Noem outlined her plan to start with a $5 million investment to encourage private sector partnerships to deliver internet to every pocket of the state. So where is the digital divide in South Dakota?
    5. Regional telecom services take big, seamless step into future
      A significant upgrade in telephone switching equipment at SDN Communications provides striking visual evidence of how the tools of technology are getting smaller as well as better.
    6. One South Dakota reservation is wired like none other
      Think tribal territories don’t have technology? Think again. Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority in Eagle Butte stands out, not only locally but nationally.
    7. SDN’s only two CEOs reflect on company’s 30 eventful years
      SDN Communications is celebrating 30 successful years of business in the Sioux Falls region with a pledge that the company’s fiber footprint will keep getting bigger and better.
    8. Noem Announces Connect South Dakota Grant Awards
      Connect South Dakota, the state program designed to fund broadband projects in unserved and underserved areas across the state, recently awarded $5 million to its first grant recipients.
    9. Board guides successful, 30-year evolution of SDN
      Three decades of expanding services and market area have altered SDN Communications in a number of fundamental and obvious ways. One interesting, secondary change has been in how competitors perceive the successful company.