TownSquare.ca Goes 301

With barely a whimper, TownSquare.ca, Charlottetown’s well-funded, ill-conceived portal experiment has gone quiet — visit the URL and you get redirected to City of Charlottetown website.

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Ken Williams's picture
Ken Williams on May 19, 2005 - 14:20

Maybe they corrected their URL: squaretown.ca

They won’t be missed.

But the paycheck lost by a laid off provincial worker that was wasted on funding such a bamboozle will be.

DerekMac's picture
DerekMac on May 19, 2005 - 21:00

The “bamboozle”, including other parts that still survive, reportedly cost $9 million.
$4.5 million from the feds (Industry Canada Smart Communities project-click for announcement).
The other half of the funding for this project which also included other features such as pay your parking fines and book a ball field online, computers in the council chambers — see Peter’s review in When Technology Attacks), came from a number of governmental and quasi-governmental organizations including: City of Charlottetown, Town of Cornwall, Town of Stratford, CADC, Greater Ch’town Area C of C, Confed. Centre, UPEI, and Holland College). There was also space in the ATC for this, no doubt financed by the province.

Thank God it has disappeared — there has gotta be a better way for government to spend money on IT (don’t forget the — how about upgrading the infrastructure for the large parts of PEI (some of them very near Capital City) that don’t have high speed Internet? PEI’s record on IT spending (remember the half million they blew in 1999 on a Halifax company called Marshall Media (here’s their 1999 website to refresh your memory)and whatever they spent on Cycor — PEI’s 1996 attempt (led by another Haligonian) at a national ISP?)

Disclaimer: I have not worked on this project. Someone with a similar name may have, but it’s not me!

DerekMac's picture
DerekMac on May 20, 2005 - 21:50

CBC story at:
http://pei.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=pe_townsquare_20050520.

In brief, the feds 3 yr funding is over, and the local partners, except the City and the CADC, don’t want to spend money to keep it on life support. Donna Waddell of the city says they will be adding some of the features to the City site. Les Parsons of CADC says that “people may not have wanted a catch-all website.”, and they will continue to spend on it for another year.

Kevin O's picture
Kevin O on May 22, 2005 - 20:42

I know of no other project who’s demise and uselessness was more comprehensively, accurately, preemptively, and artfully described by a weary on-line public.

Unfortunately the gut numbing feeling that this will happen again is not even slightly diminished by its passing.

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