NEW: Google Names Middletown the eCity Capital of RI
Friday, August 30, 2013
According to Google: "Middletown’s strong online small business community makes it the digital capital of Rhode Island. This New England beach town has a web-savvy community that virtually connects with visitors and residents."
The town’s response
Not surprisingly, Middletown couldn’t be happier about receiving Google’s honor, especially the town’s Chief Information Officer Matthew J. Wainwright.
"It’s important for Middletown. We’re trying to implement new technical projects throughout Aquidneck Island, which is the result of our proactive leadership, and it’s nice to have Google recognize everyone’s hard work."
For Wainwright, the honor came as somewhat of a surprise, because technology departments aren’t always acknowledged for their diligence.
"In the technology field, no news is good news, which makes it difficult to get recognized. The only time you typically hear anything is when something goes wrong, so this is a nice honor to receive."
Aside from award talk, Wainwright also clued us in on his department's biggest current project.
"The big project right now is including the three towns on Aquidneck Island in discussions regarding an island-wide broadband fiber optic deployment to aid economic development and education," said Wainwright. "AIBPconnect.org is asking people on the island to take Internet speed tests so we can get a good idea of what our current Internet speeds are. Internet is now more of a cornerstone for successfully run businesses. We need to help our constituency and we need faster Internet."
Google’s impact on RI
According to Google, the company helped provide $142 million of economic activity for Rhode Island businesses, website publishers, and non-profits last year. Additionally, an estimated 6,200 local businesses and non-profits benefited from using Google’s advertising tools like AdWords and Adsense. Google also provided $255,000 of free advertising to 13 Rhode Island non-profits through its Google Grants Program.
In order to determine the winners, Google partnered with independent research firm Ipsos MORI to analyze the online strength of local, small businesses throughout the country. Cities and towns were then scored based on company size, eCommerce abilities, and web and social media presence.
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