Sunday, April 21, 2013

Oh What a Web Site We Weave

Soon, you may not ever have to visit borough hall at all.

A sneak peak of the borough's new web site was offered up by Assistant Borough Manager Erica Weekley and it was quickly evident that it will allow even more on-line interaction with borough government.

"We see the web site as a place of civic engagement," Weekley told borough council.

"We want it to be simple for residents and visitors to find out what they need to know about Pottstown," she said.

Ass't Borough Manager Erica Weekley
As The Digital Notebook reported on Aug. 14, council voted unanimously to hire a Manhattan, Kan. firm to create the new web site at a cost "not to exceed $35,278."

The firm, Civic Plus, did the work in eight phases and is finishing the final touches on schedule.

CivicPlus only serves counties and municipalities, according to its website and, among its claims to fame, is a "digital town hall" and official web site it created for free for tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo.

Councilman Dan Weand noted that one of the modules on the new web site will allow for electronic communication in a way that makes the purchase of another $8,000 program unnecessary.

The web site, Weekley said, "is extremely user friendly. People can sign up for e-mail notifications, they can fill out a permit or an application for employment. Everything is very accessible, easy to use."

If the new borough web site 

becomes too popular, 
will anyone visit
borough hall any more?
"We can even put banners on the site when there's an alert, or send a text message during an emergency, or for other reasons," Weekley said.

"We really believe this is the forum for today," she said. "This is the town square."

Hopefully, it will improve the borough's interaction with the community, especially its younger members.

"According to the Experian Simmons Spring 2009 New Media study, 80 percent of those 18-24 first go to the internet when researching community events and resources— before newsletters, bulletin boards or even a visit to Town Hall," wrote Scott M. Alexander, the Mayor of the New Jersey Borough of Haddon Heights and President of

"Seventy percent of those 25-34, 50 percent for those 35-49 and 30 percent for those 50+ also go to the internet first," he wrote for an article in the January, 2011 edition of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities website.
"We're very excited about the new web site and we welcome your input before it goes live," she said.

Council had no public input.

1 comment:

  1. Council had no public input? "copy . paste" next article "copy . paste" what a fascinating bunch of conversationalists on council.