The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Do you have ideas for improving Plainfield's website?


Slide from IT presentation detailing some website issues.

On the second day of its June 'retreat', Plainfield's City Council was given a presentation by IT manager Chris Payne, an overview of the current IT situation in the City and steps that need to be addressed.

Among the items was the City's website, on which there is general agreement that it is poorly organized, inadequately maintained and fails to meet the real information needs of its users -- residents, businesses, prospective homebuyers or renters, and city government itself.

I will be taking up the IT situation during the month of August, but wanted first to invite readers to weigh in on the website.

What is the good, the bad and the ugly about it?

But more than that, suggest some other municipal websites that you think have something to offer (and give specifics).

To get you started, here are two lists of New Jersey municipal websites -- the state's (here) and a NJ firm that does web consulting (here).

Or you might want to check out the Center for Digital Government's annual Digital Government Achievement Awards (see here), where cities across the country vie for recognition as the best and most useful websites.

Or you may have a municipal website known to you personally -- someplace you visit, or do business in, or have family or friends living in -- that you think we could learn from.

Give a shoutout, post the site's link in a comment, and we'll get started putting together a website 'dream' list for Plainfield.



-- Dan Damon [follow]

View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

14 comments:

Bob said...

I thought we had a Technical Advisory Committee to help the new tech hire with these types of things. I'm on the committee and so far, no information about the committee being put into effect.

Anonymous said...

Dan - why are you doing the work of the worst Plainfield Mayor ever and her IT specialist?

Bernice said...

To me, the biggest problem is lack of knowledge about city government. For example, the city has only three departments, but other stuff is lumped in under "Departments." The council schedule for August is wrong on the calendar, for another example.

Anonymous said...

Dan, I think this is a great idea. It is obvious that this administration has no idea what to do about anything. The good news is that she will be gone in 3 years (hopefully sooner - can't Jerry put her somewhere else?).

This will help Plainfield going forward.

Anonymous said...

Does that mean we will hire a full time person to take care of the web site. While they are at it how about hiring a full time person calling into city agencies has been tough.

Anonymous said...

Dan,

I agree. I would not do anything to help this Mayor and her staff do her job. As for the IT Manager, the districts website was a disaster for years until the new superintendent came.

Although a nice guy, the current IT manager lacks the credentials or background. He does not have a college degree and the bulk of his experience comes from the BOE in a position that was really a political appointment.

Sounds familiar?

Dan, I would stay off of this and not give them any strategies unless they are going to pay you a portion of the IT Managers $100,000 salary.

Anonymous said...

In response to Bernice

I agree with you about the lack of Plainfield Government. The website was well structured years ago when it was done by a City employee. But as soon as Mayor Sharon was elected, it went to pot real quick.

Anonymous said...

We need a countdown clock for how many days till Mayor Sharon Briggs term is up! I am marking my calendar for the next election!

Yep I Said It! said...

To August 4 @ 12:45AM . . .

. . . the only persons that mark their calendar (that comes to mind) are POWs -Prisoners of War. And . . . all prisoners of war while slashing out the days while in captivity are also planning an escape.

So . . . Soldiers I say we plan Plainfield City's escape from this sorry excuse for a Mayor . . .

RECALL!!!

Anonymous said...

As a City Employee, I have a countdown calendar until the next election. That is good enough for me because between that date and the date the Mayor is out of the building, I can only think of joy and jubilation amongst City employees.

I'm on lunch so is this still considered using City equipment for personal use? I'd turn myself in if I knew all I was going to get was a 3 day suspension like Hellwig got. That's 3 less days of being in this hell hole.

Anonymous said...

Once again Dan, I am going to ask does the City have a full time phone communications person when calling into the verious City agencies calls drop they dont answer etc.....

there is no way of getting info from them.

Do you know this info.

Yep I Said It! said...

OMG!!!

I think we have a true POW [August 4 @ 9:17AM] reporting from within . . . Stay calm POW-80410917 hope is on the way . . . I hope! Eventually a rescue unit will be there to set you free . . .

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dan for not publishing my question to you I guess you too post what you want I asked about a communictions, phone person because of my inability to call into to certian agencies and you ignore it plus you edited my original post.

dont be a fraud....

Dan said...

@ 8:30 AM -- While there may be problems with the website, getting phone numbers is not one of them -- unless extensions have been changed and not updated.

A reasonably complete City Directory is here --

http://www.plainfield.com/Directory.htm

Check it out.

If you have a problem, call the switchboard at 753-3000.