The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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February 4, 2013

City website may be refocused; WiFi hotspots possible

BECKLEY — Beckley’s information technology director says that the city’s website may be refocused in the future and WiFi may be a possibility for popular city areas.

Bill Kelly was asked by Councilman Tom Sopher at last week’s meeting  how search engine results for “Beckley, WV” can be changed to reflect more entertainment events versus city organizations. He also asked if getting WiFi would be a possibility for the campground at New River Park.

“As with many things, (search engine optimization) is not as simple as we had hoped,” Kelly said. “What people find in search engine results depends mainly on what they’re looking for.”

Kelly said he hopes to have a meeting soon with the city’s recreation department to find out what they would like to be promoted.

“Right now the City of Beckley website is more of a government-focused website. The question is, should it be more of a tourism-focused website?”

Kelly hopes to answer that question in the near future during meetings with city officials. He said the IT Department can then focus the website however is needed.

As for WiFi at the campground, Kelly said his department has actually been looking at even broader access.

“We will possibly have it at more common city areas, such as New River Park, the Youth Museum, Exhibition Coal Mine, New River Campground, and other city parks.”

He said this matter is still in the discussion stage and he has no timeline as to when WiFi across the city will become a reality. He has already spoken with several service providers about cost.

“We want to do that, but we don’t want to make it a big expense for the city of Beckley.”

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

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