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Dateline: 13 March 2000 Early Edition
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What Ever Happened To?
As the growth and development of the Internet races forward at what seems like an ever-increasing pace, it's sometimes interesting to stop for a moment and look back and ask ... "what ever happened to?"

Aardvark is probably one of the oldest regularly published sites on the local Internet scene -- many of the sites which were once its peers seem to have disappeared or simply become stuck -- frozen in time as if being sucked into a black hole.

Here are a few of those sites:

  • Wammo. At one stage this was the page that many local Net users would check out every time they logged on. Wammo provided NZers with a daily update of what was new and what was good on the local Web. Unfortunately wammo.co.nz no longer answers calls.

  • Soda. Before Wammo died, SODA (Site Of the Day Award) came along and stole the crown -- again highlighting the best of the NZ Web. Unfortunately its operators soon discovered that there simply aren't enough high-quality NZ websites appearing on a regular basis to offer something new each day. SODA is presently in hibernation.

  • The Plug. This was an ambitious attempt to provide NZers with an online coffee-table-like magazine online. Regular contributors included Russell Brown and a list of others -- some well known, some not. Unfortunately the frequency of updating got slower and slower until eventually the Plug became frozen in time -- stuck in the last century. The Plug's editor, Peter Belt was aware of this decline and, in its final days, did appoint a new editor to try and revitalise the site -- but to no avail.

  • Isotope. Another online magazine that got off to a great start -- but gradually dwindled until now it consists of nothing more than a single graphic and mailto link. Its operator, like many of the others featured here, discovered that it takes a lot of time to meet a regular publishing schedule.

  • The Soggy Parsnip was a great site because it focused on what was worst about the NZ Net. Suffice to say I can't remember the URL but last time I checked it was also frozen in time. Maybe someone can let me know if it's still running in a backwater somewhere.

  • Aardvark Weekly. Yes, even yours truly is not immune to the effects of cyber-rot. With increasing demands being placed on my time from other directions, Aardvark Weekly has gone into suspended animation for a while. I don't know exactly when it will be revived -- but it will.
All this just goes to show that while it's very simple to launch a content-based website, it's a whole lot harder to keep it going for any length of time.

Fortunately there are some (other than Aardvark) which have weathered the storms of time -- and perhaps the best of those is NZine, well worth a visit.

If I've missed any really good sites that have disappeared or stalled, please let me know.

We're Doomed!
Our beloved Minister of Economic Development was interviewed on Radio last night and it left me trembling with fear.

I suppose I could take a cheap shot and point out that he couldn't even work out how to use his phone properly -- but I wont.

What I will criticise however is the fact that when Anderton was asked how people could offer suggestions and submissions as to how the $100 million he's set aside as a new-economy job-creation fund could be best spent he said they could mail any input to the Ministry. The interviewer then asked if they could email their comments and suggestions.

Anderton replied that they could email them to him. When asked what his email address was he said "um, erh, double-you, double-you, double-you, um, New Zealand, ah, dot, err, government dot co."

He also claimed that the Ministry was consulting with industry over the best way to spend this money -- funny thing is that I consider myself well connected within this industry and not a single person I've spoken to has had any contact with Anderton or his ministry.

Should we be worried?

You decide.

While Domainz vainly tries to woo the ISP industry into accepting its new registration system, it's currently facing an embarrassing faux pas that left its website off-line for a fair part of the weekend.

The fault appears to be at Actrix and might also be the reason that Infotech Weekly's website is also down this morning. Come on guys... mean time to repair should be measured in minutes, not days!

I trust Domainz going to do a little better with the new system and ensure that there's some redundancy and backup in place for such an important part of the registration and DNS maintenance system.

As always, your comments are gladly received.

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