... Web address that is ; ) Apparently, the lease for the domain name for Augusta Kentucky's official web site lapsed recently and, before anyone had realized it, the web address had gone up for auction. When people called to ask why the web address, augustakentucky.com, pointed to a list of unrelated links rather than their tailor-made Augusta guide, they realized something had gone wrong. They attempted to bid back their domain address, but unfortunately got caught in a bidding war against a "squatter," a company that buys domain names and sits on them until they can be sold for profit. I believe the final bid was $750, with the squatter winning.
So, sadly, Augusta must start over with a new web address, www.augustaky.com. This is more trouble than many may realize. Any link from another web site, article, or simple mention of the former site includes the old web address, and it's not like the post office where mail can be forwarded. Pamphlets, brochures, business cards, all of these must be updated. And the truly sad thing is that it has happened before.
Yes, the very first "official web site" for Augusta Kentucky was not augustakentucky.com, but rather visitaugusta.net. I know this because I was the designer on the second version of their site, the original augustakentucky.com. Confused yet? : ) As the story goes, someone built visitaugusta.net, got everyone excited about it, and then left town. Without the original builder, Augusta was forced to start a new web site at a new web address, the ill-fated augustakentucky.com
A nifty Internet archive shows the progression of Augusta's Official Site:
1. The original VisitAugusta.net (August 2002)
2. The second version, the one I designed, AugustaKentucky.com (March 2005)
3. And the more recent version (January 2006, a work in progress)
Hopefully, as the town of Augusta rebuilds their Internet presence, tourists and those outside the community will remember the message of their first web site, and that is: Visit Augusta!