Brief history of www.elyminnesota.com
To the best of our knowledge, our dear old website, ElyMinnesota.com, was the first website in this area to promote Ely, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and local businesses when it went online 20 years ago. The site had many innovative features that were then copied and used by others (Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?)
Although we have changed many aspects of the website over the years — adding new features, changing the looks and twice changing the software base — it evolved roughly. By that I mean it was like an old, constantly remodeled home. Today’s site is a totally new “house.” Of course there are things one likes about their old homes, and we’ve kept many of those older features in the new ElyMN.us.
One of the most popular features that has been with us since the days of dial-up modems is our area webcams. Due to slow internet connections, our fist webcam — on Country Simple Pleasures, now Loony’s — had a still image that was refreshed every minute if we were lucky. As internet speeds have increased, we now have still images that reliably update every 30 seconds.
Our high-resolution webcams have always been capable of live video, but Ely’s internet has not been. We will soon have live webcams in locations where either cable or fiber connections are possible; we will let you know when that happens. If you have or know of a good location for a new Ely or Ely-area webcam, please let us know. We would love to place a few more webcams to help introduce more people to Ely. Over the years, people have told us they would never have known about Ely except for finding Ely via the webcams on our site.
Much of the other content from the old site is relevant and useful, and it is still included; but the design and community-based social features are totally new. This new community-based social feature is an experiment. No other community I’m aware of has tried anything like this. Within the community we would like to have a Facebook like experience with each individual controlling all aspects of their sharing and NO data collecting.