Friday, April 5, 1996

Burlington finds home on the Net

Burlington finds home on the Net (excerpts)
Frank Kummer, Courier-Post, April 5, 1996

By the thousands, they flock to Burlington City.

True, many never actually set foot in the small community by the Delaware River.

Yet almost 10,000 people - about the size of the city's population - traveled there electronically from across the United States last month alone. Burlington City is one of 24 New Jersey communities with their own cozy places in the otherwise overwhelming vastness of cyberspace.

...For its part, Burlington City pretty much stumbled into becoming one of the first New Jersey communities with a home page when 24-year-old Dan Birchall moved from Hainesport to the city after college.

An Internet consultant, he liked the town and volunteered to design and run the city's Web site
 at no charge through his own Internet provider.

"I moved here a couple years ago and thought there was all this cool stuff around so I wrote a Web page on it," said Birchall, who works on the Burlington site from his cluttered High Street apartment. "I started documenting all sorts of historic things and it sort of snowballed."

...Burlington's page contains seven categories from a calendar of local events, listings of shops and restaurants, local history and a who's who in local government.

Somewhat quirky, it has a section on arcane laws from city history, such as one that makes it a crime to interfere with a constable trying to catch a goat. And you can get personal information on Birchall and his fiancee.

"We've provided over 35,000 copies of documents to users from all over," said Karen Snodgrass, a city spokeswoman who helps Birchall compile city event listings.

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