Blockisland.com has a new lease on life
Henry duPont, who ushered Block Island into the computer age by providing innovative data processing through his business Offshore Services, is leasing the rights to the premier island website, blockisland.com to Manisses, Inc. the owner of The Block Island Times.
Originally launched in 1995, blockisland.com has not been updated in several years, although it still retains links to many island businesses. In fact, Google searches for “Block Island” continue to rank the site as the number one search result.
An ambitious relaunch of the site is already underway and will be ready before the 2013 tourism season. “This allows us to distinguish blockislandtimes.com as community news and blockisland.com as visitor information,” says Fraser Lang, co-owner of the Times.
The site will be rich with content drawn from The Block Island Summer Times, Block Dining, Block Island Weddings and The Block Island Times. Timeless content from past issues will be organized by subject: dining, accommodations, history, recreation, conservation, weddings, beaches and transportation.
There will be a business directory listing all island businesses and their phone numbers regardless of whether they advertise on the site. Weather, tide charts, ferry and airplane schedules will also be available. Emphasis on the community’s effort to preserve the island’s unique and fragile character will also be presented to help increase awareness of tourism impacts to our visitors.
Residents and visitors will have the opportunity to post comments, blogs and photos.
Advertisers may use banner ads and the popular biz and org memberships now available on blockislandtimes.com. This allows advertisers to post notices and offers on a frequent basis. Both businesses and non-profit organizations will be able to secure memberships at very affordable rates. Banner ads and sponsorships will also be available.
The website is meant to advance island business. “As the late Joan Abrams often stated ‘A rising tide lifts all boats,’” said Lang.
Some of the features planned for the new site include: an expanded dining guide, online shopping carts for Block Island merchants, @blockisland.com email addresses for residents and merchants, and webcams poised at the island’s hotspots, to name a few.
Blockislandtimes.com will continue to operate as a news site featuring content from the weekly publication and the electronic edition of the newspaper. That website was recently honored by the New England Newspaper and Press Association, winning third place in a regional competition for its excellence as an Overall Web Site.
In turning over management of the popular web destination to new management, Henry duPont said “The Times produces excellent publications and I am confident that their efforts with blockisland.com bodes well for the Block island community.”