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The Power of Social Networking in Business

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

In late spring of 2012 my friend Gary Martin and I attended a photography workshop in Death Valley. Rather than fly into Los Angeles from the east coast, we chose instead to drive from Gary’s home in western Wisconsin to California.

The trip took four-and-a-half days; we drove through Minnesota, where we had the pleasure of visiting the one-and-only Spam Museum (yes, there really is one; that’s an article for another time); South Dakota; Wyoming; Utah; a tiny sliver of Arizona; and the southern cone of Nevada, before we made our way into California.

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Keeping Oversea Relationships Close through VoIP and Social Media

By Kristen Vargas, Guest Columnist

Before the emergence of second generation providers such as Skype, I was always a firm believer that face-to-face contact and physical interaction were essential to sustaining healthy relationships. Born and raised in California with most of my family and friends living in the same general vicinity, I grew accustomed to the comfort and convenience of having them nearby.

However, unpredictable life events followed, and I found myself building a life with someone serving in the U.S. Air Force. A natural consequence of this newfound military life meant that I inevitably was going to be moving from base to base to follow my husband as he served his term. The idea of leaving California to live at my first base in Idaho, although temporarily, was a move I was not altogether excited about and left me feeling a bit apprehensive about living in another state for the first time.

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London 2012: the Olympic Network (part two)

During my recent visit to London, while at the Cisco House — way up on its perch above the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, I had the opportunity to look out across the huge Olympic Park in amazement. It’s an experience that I’ll never forget — for as long as I live.

Most visitors to the Olympic Park will immediately notice the cluster of majestic sports arenas and a plethora of newly planted landscaping. Besides the obvious, there’s the potential for it to become so much more. This community regeneration project could be the basis for a socioeconomic metamorphosis in East London – a very welcomed new beginning.

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Collaboration: Face-to-Face, Computer-to-Computer

By Shirley Bloomfield, Guest Columnist

In this day and age, there’s no reason that we can’t be face-to-face all of the time.  In the rural telecom business, we are all about using the newest technology to facilitate our meetings, discussions and outreach.  Video conferencing capabilities make it possible to communicate computer-to-computer bringing you face-to-face.  For our organization, what started as an experiment for communicating with members has blossomed into using video technology for so much more.

Our live Web events have become a popular way for us to reach members with critical policy information in a format that enables them to see us and ask questions.  We are able to actually participate in a dialogue using technology—in real time—with our member telecom companies all across the country.  It creates an important connection and delivers on our promise of innovating to support our mission.

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Broadband Backlash: Where it Comes From and How To Fix it

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

It’s easy to find positive news about broadband. Around the globe, government studies show the link between broadband and economic benefit. On the Connected Life Exchange, more examples abound, including my recent posts Broadband: Exploring the Demographic Patterns and How Broadband Reduces Small Business Expenses.

But it’s also becoming easy to find backlash against broadband. It’s neither limited by source or geography. In some cases, politicians rail against its cost; in other cases, citizens rail against its benefits. Read More »

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