Wednesday, July 15, 2009

City Uses Blogging to Track Events and Share Information With Local Manufacturers

With the success we've had using this blog to track news articles relating to economic development in Sun Prairie, I've decided to expand our use of this handy dandy, no-cost tool for sharing information between individuals in some of our special areas of interest.

For local and regional technology based manufacturers on the eastern portion of Dane County, Wisconsin including Madison, we have been facilitating a High-Tech Breakfast meeting on the third Thursday of every month. Meetings are from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. at Market Street Diner in Downtown Sun Prairie. Its a quick, efficient networking event that continues to pick up momentum. The agenda consists of ordering something to eat, everyone introducing themselves, a brief presentation on a targeted company (what they do, what issues they are facing, etc.), and wrapping up with a speaker on a topic selected by the attendees. Topics have included the federal stimulus package, avaiable resources through the UW Small Business Develeopment Center, sales and use tax, and research and development tax credits. In order to help attendees keep track of information or updates on these topics, we've created a blog to allow for information to be posted and shared.

Visit the East Side High Tech Breakfast Network Blog at for more information.

More recently, we've rolled out a third blog for the Wind Power Happy Hour, a group created to promote networking and resource sharing between organizations and companies interested in the wind energy supply chain. Our first few events have been well attended and have included companies all the way from Milwaukee. Manufacturing companies, attorneys, consultants, utility professionals, renewable energy advocates, state government agencies, university representatives have all attended so far. The primary objective of this group is to encourage existing manufacturing companies here in Wisconsin to consider how their product might fit into wind generation products and equipment. In addition, the group allows manufacturers to network with other groups and organizations involved in the wind industry. The format is largely informal, but we are trying to incorporate presentations from specific companies and resource groups once every three months or so.

Visit the Wind Power Happy Hour Blog at for more information.

Blogging allows for a highly cost effective and efficient means of sharing data. It also provides an great way of tracking interest in the topics presented and the actual use of the blog sites. By using code provided by Google Analytics (no charge), I am able to track visits by frequency, geographic location, duration and repeat visits. It allows me to see what search engines and specifically what search terms are used to generate hits to each blog site. This information is only a fraction of the data that is gleaned by Google and provided in a readily accessible online report format that I can pull at any time. For private businesses, there are commercialization tools that are extremely useful. All this is made possible by simply adding several lines of HTML code to the site you wish to track. This can be done with regular websites too, not just blog sites.

For more information on Google Analytics, go to: to learn more about how this tool might help you better understand how your websites and blogs are being utilized.

If you want to know more about blogging or are thinking about starting one of your own, I suggest going to You'll be amazed at how easy it really is.

Finally, leave me a comment to let me know you were here! Its another great aspect of blogging that we can take advantage of!

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