In March I ran an article aimed at the Tampa Bay Times in an attempt to reach out to them in a pro business /funding kind of way. I cited the archives of their original web presence at sptimes.com which had existed since 1998 or thereabouts. Those archives lack any sort of generic advertising and only contained ambiguous links not within the articles (…which is another shortcoming that continues to this day; no linkage in articles).
Now, I don’t know how the Times operates its archives as this happened last year, I don’t know if the Times will be repairing the issue or took one of my suggested “save a dime” strategies and pulled down every archived article and feature, but as of this writing what all published pieces from sptimes.com (be they features, general news, columns or editorial content) are now unavailable and listed as “Not Found”.
There is an oddity here though: The base domain URL, www.sptimes.com is working and not as a redirect to the newspaper’s current web presence. It is standing as it had once stood but not exactly working nor posted as the front page of the newspaper from days gone by. The footer of the page reads the copyright date as 2009.
Because one page is “working” as a shell of itself, I’m guessing that this is an IT foul-up that stopped functionality and not an upgrade attempt, closure of the site archives, or an import-to-tampabay.com attempt. Simply, it’s a foul up that the paper may just dismiss as not important to fix. After all, they’re not making money off the archives, they’re not even trying.