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SCIWAY News is a free, concise electronic newsletter that will keep you informed about what's happening on South Carolina's Information Highway. It is usually published once a month and spotlights new South Carolina websites and other noteworthy state online resources and services. If you find SCIWAY News useful, please forward this issue to others who are interested in South Carolina. But if you don't want to receive any more issues, just send the word "unsubscribe" to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Becomes SCIWAY's First Major Sponsor
I'm delighted to welcome Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina as SCIWAY's first "major sponsor." Blue Cross and Blue Shield has been providing South Carolinians healthcare insurance for over 50 years, and it now protects more than a million of us.
If you go to SCIWAY's home page (http://www.sciway.net), you will see the familiar Blue Cross and Blue Shield symbols near the top of the page. Clicking on this logo will take you straight to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina's new Web site (http://www.southcarolinablues.com/).
This site includes a wealth of easy to find, easy to read information. The parts I found especially useful were the simple charts that compare Blue Cross and Blue Shield's various insurance plans, the glossary of health insurance terms, and the friendly "Ages and Stages" tutorials that can teach you more about health insurance in a few minutes than many of us have learned in a lifetime.
But as someone who has depended on Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina for 20+ years, I appreciate the "Customer Service" section of their Web site most. Here you can quickly find the name, postal address, toll-free telephone number, and business hours of the most appropriate office for you to contact. and best of all, you can click on an office's email address and ask a question or request a service whenever it's convenient for you.
To me, Blue Cross and Blue Shield's visible willingness to communicate with its customers through email is the most impressive feature of its Web site. They get it! As each year passes, more and more South Carolinians are going to want to communicate and "do business" online. In fact today's youth are going to expect this as much as most of us now expect our banks to provide ATM service.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina understood this sooner than most companies. As Tom Faulds, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Division, puts it, "We didn't design this site for ourselves. We designed it for the next generation of policyholders."
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina has spent three years planning and developing its new Web site, and in recent months the company has taught its customer service staff how to field email questions and requests. A year from now, many more South Carolina companies will likely be following Blue Cross and Blue Shield's example.
New and Notable South Carolina Web Sites
1998 SC Statistical Abstract Now on SCIWAY
The most recent edition of the SC Statistical Abstract is now available online in SCIWAY's Statistics section (http://www.sciway.net/statistics). The official printed version of this 400+ page document is published each fall by South Carolina state government's Office of Research and Statistics.
The SC Statistical Abstract includes an impressive amount of data and covers almost every aspect of South Carolina life: agriculture, business, education, employment, government, health, income, recreation and tourism, etc.
SCIWAY's online version includes all of the printed Abstract's 405 data tables, but not its maps and graphs. A useful feature of the online version is that you can quickly download a data table from SCIway to your PC and then use a spreadsheet or statistical software to analyze the data.
SCIWAY's Statistics section now includes links to the last five SC Statistical Abstracts (1994-1998) plus dozens of other online statistical resources. As far as we know, it is the largest collection of South Carolina statistics on the Internet.
New Directory of SC Electronic Commerce Web Sites
As you have probably heard or read, many Americans used the Internet to do their shopping this Christmas, and online buying is expected to increase steadily throughout 1999. Shopping online certainly is convenient. But most of the merchants I see online are large national or international companies, and buying from them leaves local retailers in the cold.
Adapting to this changing environment, a fair number of South Carolina businesses have set up their own electronic commerce websites, and a few (such as Paintball Command in Greenville - http://www.paintballcommand.com/ - site no longer exists) have been quite successful. Unfortunately you have to be a detective to find many of these sites.
To help solve this problem, SCIway is going to publish a new Web site called Buy South Carolina. This service will feature state business websites that sell products online. Its address will be BuySouthCarolina.com - site no longer exists .
If you know of a South Carolina business that sells products online, please send its address to email@example.com. There will be no charge for a single listing in Buy South Carolina in 1999. To learn more, please go to http://BuySouthCarolina.com/ - site no longer exists.
State Government's Home Page Gets a New Look
As South Carolina inaugurated a new governor last Wednesday, state government's Web site got an attractive new home page (http://www.sc.gov/) and, of course, a new Governor's section. To learn more about Governor Hodges, his cabinet and staff appointments, and "The South Carolina Century," go to http://www.governor.sc.gov/.
Fascinating Facts about South Carolina Earthquakes
On Tuesday morning, August 31, 1886, the most damaging earthquake to ever occur in the eastern United States struck the Charleston area. If you'll go to http://www.csuniv.edu/Academics/Quake/eecb.html - page no longer exists and scroll down a bit, you'll find some interesting information about this famous quake and more recent rumblings as well–all provided by Charleston Southern University's Earthquake Education Center.
Upcoming Festivals and Events
For the latest information on upcoming South Carolina events, please see http://www.sciway.net/calendar.html.
More South Carolina Nicknames and Mottos
In the December issue of SCIWAY News, I wrote about Spartanburg's nicknames (Hub City and Sparkle City) and asked you to send us other South Carolina nicknames. Here's the first batch we've received:
This is good start, but I know we've got to have more nicknames and mottos than this. Take a minute to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll share them with SCIWAY News readers.
Surprise of the Month: South Carolina's Lost Counties
Most of us know that South Carolina has 46 counties. However, this has been true only since 1919, when Allendale, our youngest county, was formed.
We began with four counties–Berkeley, Colleton, Craven, and Granville–which were established by the Lords Proprietors in the 1680s. In 1769 our colonial General Assembly created seven "judicial districts," and these, plus the Cherokee's land in the Upstate, were sporadically subdivided into the 46 counties we have now.
But the path from four to seven to 46 was not straightforward. Along the way counties divided and combined, disappeared and resurfaced, changed identities. And by the late 1820s, at least a dozen counties that once were, were no more. Their names were Camden, Cheraws, Claremont, Craven, Granville, Kingston, Lewisburg, Ninety Six, Orange, Pendleton, Salem, and Winton. (Kingston eventually became Horry County, Lewisburg became Lexington County, and Winton became Barnwell County.)
You can trace the origins of your county by going to the simple chart on this SCIway page: http://www.sciway.net/cnty/history/timeline.html. South Carolina's 12 lost counties appear in red.
All of the information in this article and the SCIway chart has been distilled from a short narrative written by Charles E. Lee, the former director of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. You can find this essay, as well as some notes on the origins of our counties' names, at http://www.scstatehouse.gov/man17/46_CountiesInSC.pdf
Copyright © 1998 SCIway, LLC. SCIWAY News is written by Rod Welch of James Island, South Carolina–with a lot of help from people throughout South Carolina. Circulation: 21,000+
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