Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Web Unsightly

Ha, ha. The SJ-R’s Dave Bakke slams the City of Springfield’s official website. Deservedly so, I might add. After noticing about everything on the site is about Mayor Davlin, Bakke asks, “Is this the city's site or Mayor Davlin's site?” He then goes on to list all Devlin-centric items on the site’s home page.

Now, I can almost hear critics of the SJ-R’s own website (see Iggy) smirking at the pot calling the kettle black. But wait, while there may be deficiencies at SJ-R.com, that doesn’t at all invalidate Bakke’s criticisms of the official city site. I agree with Baake and I’ll go an impolite step farther and say that the city site looks like shit.

I think it’s very important for the city to get it right online. And while I have no idea what the city has spent (and spends) on the design and maintenance of the site, I think the city should not be afraid to but even more into it. This city gets a lot of revenue from tourism and we need to aggressively promote the city on the tourists’ favorite tool, the internet.

Now if I may turn the tables a bit. Why does Bakke not provide the web address of the site he is talking about? Or better yet, a link on the paper’s online version of the story? (Note: I haven’t seen the hard copy of the newspaper today but the online version of the story has no web address or link). This isn’t the first time the SJ-R has failed to do this. When the focus of a story is websites, the least they could do is tell us how to get to the site and see it for ourselves. If the story was about a physical place, they would certainly give the street address, so why not give the web address? Just sayin’.

Update: See Russ' comparison of web sites from other capital cities in comments.

Update II: I kind of figured this was coming and it's a good analysis of the subject.

2 comments:

Russ said...

Just for the sake of comparison, here are the websites for some other Midwest capital cities.

Des Moines
St. Paul
Madison
Jeff City
Indianapolis
Lansing

Based on just those other capital cities, Dave Bakke is 100% right. I bet I know some people who could spruce it up.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Well don't keep us in suspense, Russ. Who do you know who could help the city spruce up their site?