July 16, 2008

Craven Gets a New Domain Name–Now It’s Officially a “.Gov” Web Site

By Sue Book, Sun Journal, New Bern, N.C.

Jul. 16--Craven County government has had a Web site for longer than there has been a ".gov" to go to online. But beginning on Tuesday it got an official government last name.

The new Craven County Web site address is www.cravencountync.gov. The old address was www.cravencounty.com.

The e-mail address for all county employees is now the first initial of their first names, plus their last [email protected]

"The new standard came out and people in local governments were urged to move to .gov," said Dennis Holton, county information technology director.

"We put in for the new domain name in April thinking we would make the change later this year but some issues popped up this weekend that pushed it forward," he said. "A lot of other cities and counties in North Carolina have already done it."

The application was signed by Craven County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jason Jones and sent to the agency that handles only .gov domain registration in Fairfax, Va.

Holton said that when people see a Web site address that has ".gov," it is more associated with government.

It is also more restrictive in theory, prohibiting advertisements and content stating or implying political backing, but Craven County's site has always operated that way.

"We don't have ads," Holton said. "The Board of Commissioners adopted that when we first went on the Web in the mid 1990s."

That first Web site was a very static page, all maintained by the Information Technology department with information submitted by the county departments. In early 2000 the county went with a more department-based content Web system, still reviewed before publication by the Information Technology department to insure it had no illegal or controversial content and avoided references to private organizations to avoid the appearance of endorsement.

The old Web site address -- www.cravencounty.com -- still works to get to the county's Web site, as do the e-mails for the county's 600-plus employees, most of whom use computers, Holton said.

They get about 600,000 e-mails each month and have had as many as 900,000, Holton said. About 90 percent of it is spam that is deleted before it gets to them.

Craven County's Web site get about 90,000 hits each month, with the register of deeds and Geographic Information Systems the top destinations, Holton said.


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