When it comes down to it, people want to read about other people and how technology affects those people. So, it should be no surprise to learn that SDN Communications' top blog article of 2021 was about two people in the company.
“Change in Leadership at SDN Communications,” posted Dec. 17, announced that Ryan Punt, Vice President of Sales, had been chosen as SDN's new CEO. Punt replaced Mark Shlanta, who served as the company’s CEO for 21 years. Two big changes for two well-known people at SDN drew in a lot of you, understandably.
Second on the list was the April 7 article, "The law that will forever change SD’s economy." You might think this blows my theory out of the water but take a look. In it, Vernon Brown, Vice President of Marketing and Community Relations, looks back at his father’s early life in Kingsbury County and how getting electricity on the farm changed his life. Vernon explores how recent legislation was making it possible to connect the remaining pockets of the state to broadband internet. It’s a story about technology improving people’s lives.
Number three on the list – “Build Dakota scholarship offers debt-free tech degrees in high-need careers” – explored how the scholarship affects students in the state. Yep, more good news for people. I suspect this article got traffic from a lot of parents with high school seniors who are exploring their future plans. (Sidenote: If you're the parent of a senior today, the deadline for the 2022 application is March 31.)
OK, I won’t belabor my theory any longer. Instead, let’s take examine the remaining seven most viewed blog articles for the year.
4. “Mutziger leading Midstate Communications as new GM,” is a feature about the member company's new leader, Chad Mutziger. With more than two decades at Midstate, he has strong ties to the area and his community - he also happens to be the Mayor of Chamberlain.
5. “New blogger will explain peaks and valleys of Black Hills broadband delivery” This one is about me and written by Vernon, a longtime friend of mine. Don’t believe anything he says.
6. “Lack of connectivity in Black Hills more than just an inconvenience” was posted on Aug. 18, and explored how the disconnect is a safety issue for people living and vacationing there. First responders voiced concerns about communications issues making their jobs harder and more dangerous. Thanks to the ReConnect Program grants, this issue is on track to be fixed. SDN will begin digging fiber in the spring, connecting several communities.
7. “Black Hills ReConnect digs in this spring with FARR Technologies at the helm” introduces the company that will engineer SDN's ReConnect program.
8. In “Governor praises SDTA companies for ‘changing the ballgame," Gov. Kristi Noem commends South Dakota companies for bringing connectivity to the state. She recognizes the pandemic made clear that connectivity is critical for students and adults alike who need to access work and school online.
9. “Building the internet of tomorrow,” a piece written by Amy Bennett Smolik in early 2021, looked ahead at the projects for the year. That included infrastructure upgrades, building out more connectivity and digging into a data center expansion. We'll preview the anticipated projects for 2022 in the coming months. Stay tuned.
10. Finally, "SDN employees pin leadership on CEO Shlanta, raise funds for cancer research” is a great story about an employee-led fundraising effort benefiting the Avera Race Against Cancer, all in honor of CEO Mark Shlanta.
So, there you have it, the top 10 SDN blogs for 2021. Be sure to go back and read the ones you missed. In 2022, we look forward to bringing you more insights, features and news about SDN and the people who deliver UPTIME to you.
If you have an idea for a blog or want to learn more about something SDN is doing to bring connectivity to the state, shoot me an email.