In December 2008, I talked with my boss Keith at KLPZ about doing something news-related on the internet. He loved the idea, and got behind me on starting it. In January 2009 the site began with myself and a handful of contributors who added news, photos, video, announcements, information, questions, discussions and more on a frequent basis.
Within a few months we were indexed by Google Search, aggregated by Google News and relied upon by many. Over the next year and a half, over 30 contributors posted hundreds of articles, hundreds of comments were received, and over 20,000 people were coming here for information every month. We developed a Touch edition (for touch-based mobile phones), a Facebook feed, a Twitter feed and the ability to subscribe to articles for free. Several advertisers joined Parker Live as sponsors.
All of this was hosted on the servers of a company called Bizland. KLPZ signed with Bizland years before I arrived in 2004, using it to host KLPZ’s website. We’d never had a problem. Neither had we had 20,000 visitors a month, a fact which turned out to be a problem: Bizland’s servers couldn’t deal with the traffic to Parker Live. Last Monday (August 9th), Bizland engineers deleted the entire website without warning.
Website hosting companies are providing a service – bandwidth and storage – for a fee. Some of you are business owners who know all about providing services; let’s say you had a client who came to need more from you than you could provide for the price they were already paying. What are your options? You could contact them and inform them that you will need to charge them more. You could contact them and tell them you’ll only be able to provide the previous level of service. Either way, you’d contact them.
Bizland sent me an email only after they’d deleted our sites in their entirety. I then had several heated discussions with the company. We even paid Bizland a $75 ransom fee to try to bring Parker Live back from the virtual dumpster (unfortunately the virtual trash truck had already been to take the site to the virtual landfill).
On Wednesday, I was informed that the files could not be recovered. This means that the unimaginable has happened: all the archives of the past year and a half have been lost entirely, including graphics, photos, articles, comments and much else.
Some you have asked about backups. We had backups. Unfortunately, they were hosted remotely on Bizland’s server, and, since they deleted everything associated with our account, they also deleted the backups. (Had the thought entered my mind for a single second that, someday, the company we were paying to host the site would decide instead to trash it, things might be different!)
So, here we are. And we’re going to make the best of it. Needless to say, we’re no longer entrusting our precious community website to Bizland (that company is dead to us!). And, although I’m sure our new hosting partner InMotion will do a great job, we’ll be keeping regularly-updated local backups now. In addition, a few other things work in our favor:
- All of our contributors still exist (more on that in a moment).
- Our Facebook feed still exists.
- Our Twitter feed still exists.
- Most of our monthly readership still exists.
- We’ll have a new look here with the aim of some improvements.
With that in mind, I’d like to open the site up to those of you who would like to contribute regular posts here on behalf of your organization or agency. Non-profits, civic groups and other organizations are welcome to apply. Just send an email to as soon as possible with as much detail as you can give. This may include some of you who were already registered in this way; unfortunately your login details may not work as they did before; just let me know if this is the case.
Onward. Thanks very much for your patience and understanding.