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Today In South Carolina–Local News At Your Fingertips
During the past two years a dozen South Carolina newspapers and three television stations have developed excellent local news websites. Most of these sites are in the state's larger cities, but some of the best are in smaller communities such as Gaffney, Greenwood, Kingstree, and the sea islands south of Charleston. All of these sites are updated daily or weekly, and most provide impressive news coverage. To make it easier for South Carolinians everywhere to keep in touch with their hometowns--and to help people who are considering moving here learn about our communities--we have added a new section to SCIway called "Today in South Carolina" (http://www.sciway.net/today). In it you can find a full range of local news, including political news, schools news, business news, sports, weather, obituaries, editorials and letters to the editor, entertainment news, human interest stories, and classified ads.
I spent a lot of time evaluating and selecting the links for "Today in South Carolina," and I am genuinely impressed by how much local South Carolina news is now available on the Internet--and how much effort goes into updating these websites. I also enjoyed comparing the coverage of events of statewide interest--for example, Governor Beasley's recent State of the State address. As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so importance is in the eye of the editor! If you want to keep in touch with what's happening in South Carolina, try "Today in South Carolina." I think you'll like it. But remember to click your browser's reload or refresh button daily ... or you'll be reading yesterday's news!
New and Notable South Carolina Web Sites
Sciway Adds Search Capability
In December I asked SCIWAY News readers for suggestions for improving this newsletter and the SCIway Web site. and you responded with more good ideas than we can say grace over. One of the most repeated recommendations was that we should add a search form to SCIway so people who are looking for specific information can search for it directly rather than traverse SCIWAY's subject area menus. Given that SCIway now includes more than 2,000 pages and several thousand South Carolina links, we agreed. So in mid-January we implemented SCIway Search, a customized version of Excite's search engine (http://www.excite.com).
This new tool searches SCIway only and can be accessed from almost every SCIway page. It has been used heavily since the first hour we put it online.
Cities, Counties Blossom
The fastest growing part of SCIway--both in terms of content and visitors--is its "Cities, Counties" section (http://www.sciway.net/ccr/). This was another area in which SCIWAY News readers said we could do better, so we've added more than 1,000 new city and county links in January alone. If you haven't visited your hometown on SCIway recently, now's a good time.
Some Sciway Pages Have New Addresses
In recent weeks we've also made a number of changes to SCIWAY's file structure--especially in the "Cities, Counties" and "Statistics" sections. As a result some Web site links to SCIway and some SCIway bookmarks may no longer work correctly. But we haven't deleted anything (except bad links). So if you encounter a "File not found" error, please go to SCIWAY's home page (http://www.sciway.net/) and work your way down to the page you're looking for. It's there--it just has a slightly different address.
Three More South Carolina Library Catalogs On Web
Three South Carolina libraries--Converse College, Piedmont Technical College, and Winthrop University--have recently added Web interfaces to their online catalogs. For links to these catalogs, see SCIWAY's Library section (http://www.sciway.net/lib -- please note the new address). Eighteen South Carolina library catalogs can now be accessed directly by Web browsers.
SCIway Seeks Advertisers
The SCIway Web site was originally developed at The Citadel in early 1996 as a public service and learning project. Since early 1997 I've paid for its development out of my own pocket--because I think it's a useful service that's going to become even more useful as the Internet grows.
SCIway is now produced by a new information services company named, naturally, SCIway. Its mission is to help South Carolinians and people throughout the world learn about South Carolina through the Internet. Our business strength is that virtually everyone who uses SCIway is interested in South Carolina--either because they live here now ... or because they want to move to South Carolina or vacation here ... or because they have a past connection to the Palmetto State. Since SCIway users share a common interest in South Carolina, I believe that it is an ideal place for South Carolina businesses, organizations, and events to advertise. We plan to sell full-size banner ads that will be displayed on most SCIway pages ... and exclusive banners on individual pages.
If your business or organization could benefit from reaching SCIWAY's unique audience, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-853-6495.
Consequences For SCIWAY News?
What are the consequences of this commercialization of SCIWAY for this newsletter? Almost none. I am going to continue my policy of not selling or loaning the SCIWAY News mailing list to anyone. If this policy changes--and I do not expect it to--I will make sure that all of you have ample opportunity to get off this list beforehand. If there is interest, I may start including a few commercial links in each issue of SCIWAY News. This would help pay the cost of maintaining our constantly changing mailing list, which now includes well over 15,000 valid e-mail addresses.
I hope all of you will understand that these changes are necessary. Not counting my time, it now costs close to $2,000 a month to produce SCIway and SCIWAY News. Monitoring, updating, and improving the SCIway Web site is an extremely time-consuming enterprise and accounts for most of this cost. But I believe that as the Information Age progresses, SCIway is going to provide South Carolina an increasingly valuable service and an important economic advantage.
New Relocation, Real Estate Section Scheduled For February
In response to an increasing number of inquiries from people who are thinking about moving to South Carolina, we will be adding a "Relocation, Real Estate" section to SCIway in late February. If you know of a Web site that provides information that would be useful to someone who is interested in relocating to South Carolina, please send its address (URL) to email@example.com.
Upcoming Festivals, Shows, Events
For the latest information on upcoming South Carolina events, please see http://www.sciway.net/calendar.html.
Rudolph Gang Surrenders
As many of you will remember, last year's September and October issues of SCIWAY News included articles about the mystery of the red-nosed deer--meaning the deer on South Carolina's yellow and black deer crossing signs. Someone was sticking clusters of small red dots on the noses of these deer, and I asked if anyone knew the decorator's identity. But no one confessed, and no one snitched. Well, in the immortal words of Paul Harvey, here's the rest of the story.
On the Monday before Christmas, the Charlotte Observer published a front-page story that drew heavily on the two SCIWAY News articles. The Observer article, written by Jonathan Dube, was reprinted in The State newspaper (Columbia) and the Greenville News the next day. That same day Dave Massey, a Columbia attorney, contacted the Observer and shyly confessed that he and his two children--Ryan, 12, and Amanda, 9--were the widely hunted "Rudolph Gang." "It's our little act of civil disobedience," said Massey. "I haven't the vaguest idea how we thought of it."
I talked with Dave Massey shortly after Christmas but didn't learn much --not even where he got the red dots. Still, after rereading the second Observer story--especially Amanda's and Ryan's comments--I do believe the Masseys are responsible for many of the red-nosed deer signs on South Carolina's highways. So I think we can consider this case closed.
But I still find myself looking for the red noses ... and smiling when I spy one.
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: 15,000+
You are welcome to distribute complete, unaltered copies of this issue to anyone in any format ... or to include parts of it in printed publications. But please indicate the source (SCIWAY News, January 29, 1998) and include our Web address (http://www.sciway.net/). Thanks!
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