City blog removed from the Internet

October 20, 2009

By Tim Pfarr

UPDATED — 2:37 p.m. Oct. 20, 2009

The city blog — Newcastle 411 — has been removed from the Internet, according to Newcastle Communications Manager Doug Alder.

Some visitors to the blog will find the previous formatting removed, and although they can access the final post, as well the blog’s links to other Web sites, they cannot access previous posts. Other visitors will find a screen that links them to the site’s host.

Alder previously said that although the comments section of the blog would be closed and no new posts would be made, the blog would remain online.

Alder operated the blog from early October 2008 through Oct. 5, and he said although the blog will no longer be online, the city has archived its content — including comments. The blog’s content will be available to members of the public via public records requests.

Alder said the blog is being removed because of the lack of new content.

“To have it sit there and be paid for is kind of a waste of money,” he said.

Web host Laughing Squid hosted Newcastle 411, and it cost the city $12 per month to keep the site live. However, Alder said the city would retain the domain name in case it decides to relaunch the blog. The city purchased the domain name for about $20 when it launched the blog, and the purchase gave the city rights to the domain name for two years.

When the domain name expires in October 2010, the city manager or the City Council will need to decide whether the city should renew the blog’s domain name. Alder recommends the city renew the domain name when it expires, because renewal is cheap and would allow the city to re-launch the blog if it wishes to.

Alder has resigned his position with the city. His last day is Nov. 6.

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