The Windy State?

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It’s more than just corn and beans that can be harvested in Iowa.  Did you know Iowa, especially the Siouxland area, is a prime spot for wind energy?  Wind levels are categorized in classes, with classes three or higher being harvest-able wind for energy.  The Siouxland area has some advantages: being located on I-29, being smack in the middle of all other major interstates (I-94, I-90, I-80, and I-70), and having the class three level winds. wind-usage-map2-copy

Iowa ranks # 1 in the nation for Bioenergy Investments according to Business Facilities magazine.  Iowa is also recognized by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) as # 2 in the nation for “existing capacity” for wind energy projects.

Looking at all these facts it makes perfect sense for wind energy  to be greatly considered for the Siouxland area.  Siouxland’s close proximity to wind resources and unparalleled access to major transportation outlets makes Siouxland the ideal location for wind turbine, blade and component manufacturing.

The Intern

-Zach

My last day as an intern

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Today is my last day interning for the Siouxland Chamber because I’m moving away for the summer. It’s been a great experience working here as a social media intern. What did I learn? One of the most beneficial things I can take away from this internship is the first-hand knowledge I gained on all things web 2.0. Blogs and all other forms of social media are only getting bigger and bigger. Businesses should not be afraid of utilizing these great tools. Overcoming the fear of social networking can have many benefits as made clear by the April 26 article in the Sioux City Journal. The Siouxland Chamber of Commerce is definitely leading by example and I’m so glad I got to be a part of this. 🙂

Goodbye for now, Alicia

Have You Checked Our Business Directory Lately?

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New to town? Can’t find the business you’re looking for?

The Siouxland Chambers of Commerce Business directory is a great source for accurate, reliable, and uptodate information.  Go online to the Commerce’s website, under the “About the Chamber” heading click business directory and then browse the many different categories of your choice.  The business directory lists the names, addresses, phone numbers and even links to the member web pages.  Sometimes finding the creditable business is not always an easy job for even a Siouxland local, that’s why the business directory is a great source to utilize.

-Zach

Social Media Intern

Social networking: a global affair

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twitter-bird3There are literally hundreds of social networking and social media sites on the internet today. As you can imagine, certain sites are more popular in some parts of the globe than others. By using Google Insights for Search, I was able to find statistics on regional interest for websites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. The google site shows social network popularity around the world. Let’s start with Twitter. Eight months ago, Twitter was most popular in Japan. Today, Japan ranks 9th on the list while the United States takes the number one spot. Here’s a map from google showing Twitter usage by location. Darker blue means most popularity.

current-twitter-popularity-map

Besides Twitter, Siouxland Chamber is involved in a number of other social websites. We’ll just look at a few of these. Take LinkedIn, the business-oriented social networking site. It is more prominent in India and the Netherlands than the states but its popularity is definitely rising here.

What about Facebook? This trendy site hit 200 million users on April 8th. Its popularity is growing more and more in America, however it’s most popular in Turkey and Croatia. A different site the Chamber has recently become very active on is Flickr. The photo sharing site is used most by the UK while the United States is 5th on the usage list.

It is interesting to see where these sites are most popular and it changes monthly like most trends. However, looking at the patterns, it’s easy to see that popularity of most social networking sites is growing and will probably continue to grow in the United States. It would be interesting to find out WHY certain sites are more popular in some countries over others. Maybe demographics play a role? Whatever the influence comes from, social sites like Twitter are Facebook are probably here to stay.

-Alicia, the intern

Keeping Siouxland FULL-filled

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For many, the thought of your next meal is just that–a thought. But for hundreds of people in our community hunger is Food Bank of Siouxlandsomething mothers, brothers and children live with sometimes on a daily basis. I had a chance to sit down with Linda Scheid the Executive Director at the Siouxland Food Bank yesterday. Although I was familiar with what the food bank does(provides food to Agencies who then distribute), I didn’t realize the large area they serve–14 counties!

Linda also described to me the need for volunteers and financial supporters. This past year they took advantage of the Chamber mailing list (a perk available to Chamber members!) and sent out a request to help with their Backpack Program. From that mailing list alone they were able to generate over $10,000 toward feeding the hungry in Siouxland. As a Chamber dedicated to improving the community, that’s music to our ears:-)

-Beth Trejo

Director of Investor Relations, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce

Earth Day 2009

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Earth Day

Every little bit helps!
It’s Earth Day and everywhere around the world people are doing there part whether it be drive less, leave the lights off, clean up a part of town, or recycle.  The fight for a clean environment continues. We invite you to be a part of history and a part of Earth Day. Here are some easy steps you can take on Earth Day that we are doing here at the chamber.

At the Office:
• Recycle paper – do you have a separate “Recycle” waste basket at your desk just for office paper, envelopes, junk mail, magazines, etc?
• Recycle cardboard -do not throw cardboard boxes away! Flatten them and then recycle.
• Eliminate unnecessary photocopying
• Do you really need to print that e-mail? If not, save paper by saving the e-mail into a file on your computer for future reference.

At Home:
• Plant a tree
• Replace air conditioner/furnace filters as recommended.
• Keep your tires properly inflated, saves on rubber and roads
• Use a low-flow showerhead
• Use cold water to wash clothes.
• Keep your water heater insulated
• Turn off what you’re not using and unplug electronics you’re not using.
• Run your dishwasher only when it’s full

Now go out and do something about it!
The Intern
Zach-

Thanks for the Compliment

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An April 19 article in Sioux Falls’ newspaper, Argus Leader, generated some great reader comments. Sioux City, Sioux Falls might fight for Morrell had readers voicing opinions on whether Sioux City or Sioux Falls should be the potential site for a new John Morrell plant that would join together current Sioux City and Sioux Falls operations. Here’s a quote from sdagent777, a 40-year-old male from Sioux Falls:

It seems like the Sioux City area is getting everything. Like that new gas plant by Elk Point is so close to the Sioux City metro. And now this pork stuff possibly. And do you ever notice when you drive around down there and go through town, they are suppose to be half our population, but they have bigger buildings, like a city? How come we don’t have big tall buildings yet? And they have the Huge Tyson Events Center. That thing is huge. How come we don’t have one? Remember all our riches back in the 90’s and 2000’s? There is no reason at all every other town has all these things and we don’t. We should for a city our size, have a 17,000 seat, very nice events center complex, more development along rivers, boating, sand by rivers, tall buildings like Omaha and Sioux City, And a thru-way from SW part of town right through to downtown. Or tran system. Let’s get on the stick.

Thanks for the compliments, sdagent777! Sioux City IS a progressive town and there might be more big, tall buildings to come. However, Sioux City and Sioux Falls share more similarities than differences and both should be considered great places to live.

-Alicia the intern

 

April Business Roundtable-Human Factors

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Every month the Siouxland Chamber holds a Business Roundtable designed to educate and connect chamber members with other business professionals in the area. The business roundtable presentation is open to all chamber members and will be held on Monday, April 27th from 12:00-1:00 at the Siouxland Chamber. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to nthompson@siouxlandchamber.com.

It is our pleasure to have Tony Olson of D2 speak on the topic of Human Factors at the next business roundtable. Human Factors is defined as a methodology for evaluating and designing products and services to promote efficient and effective human interaction. What that means to our chamber members is simple– expert  and creative advice on making your business user-friendly. Take a look at a brief description of the presentation. Hope to you see you there!

Customers do the darndest things! We have all laughed at the case studies that showed some people used their desktop CD tray as a cup holder. Was the problem with the user, with the design or with the communication? Well, if you are concerned about increasing tech support calls, increased product returns, or dissatisfied customers badmouthing your company, you will want to own that problem and correct it. The way to do it is through a Human Factors approach called  “Voice of the Customer”.

This talk will disclose some classical mistakes and then talk about methodologies that can help you get to happy customers.

 

-Beth Trejo
Director of Investor Relations

 

Siouxland Chamber Joins Social Networking

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The Siouxland Chamber has recently been developing itself through Web 2.0 networking in order to reach out and engage with clients and other members of the community. The different types of networks started include: Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Utterli, Youtube, and a blog on WordPress. On these networks the Chamber is able to keep members and friends updated on recent news and events at the click of a button.

The Chamber is always attending meetings, open houses, ribbon cutting and after hours. Flickr allows us to upload pictures from these events and make them available with descriptions for those who were not able to attend. This way no one misses out on the happenings around the area.

Facebook is one of the most commonly used social networks on the internet today. It’s a way to keep in touch with friends and family from all over the world. Facebook contains instant messaging, photos, private messaging, and personal information that can be exchanged to anyone if wanted.

Another social network that has become popular is Twitter. The Chamber has been using this service because it enables its users to send and read other users’ updates. However, when using Twitter, posts can only be up to 140 characters in length. These posts are displayed on the user’s profile page.

LinkedIn is another newly developed social network that focuses more on professional networking. LinkedIn is more business-oriented and centers on maintaining a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business.

The Chamber has been using Utterli, which is used to upload audio messages and files. These audio files include interviews and speeches. A person is able to listen or share these files just by logging on to Utterli.

Youtube is a great site where users can upload, view, and share different video clips. Different videos that are posted consist of movie clips, TV clips, music videos, and user-generated videos. The users are also able to blog and make comments about the videos they watch.

WordPress is a network where users are able to search any blog topic or create their own. What the Chamber has done is created a blog that employees and members are able to learn or talk about any information going on in the Siouxland area.

All of these social networks are helpful and useful in today’s society. The Chamber is excited to join these networks and share them with the public. The Chamber has two interns, myself Zach Andersen, and Alicia Pretwett who are here to answer any questions or inform you of any upcoming events.

 

Check out our profiles!

The Intern,

Zach

Unmasking the Interns

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Zach and Alicia are the interns.

Zach and Alicia are the interns.