Part I: Local Government Website | Getting Started

Local government websites are among the worst. Why? says, “Though government websites have become one of the chief ways of communication, their upkeep is rarely a priority for any one person and often on the bottom of employees' to-do lists.” Describing the problems, says,

  • You lack the communication tools that you need
  • Communicating with your citizens is complicated
  • Citizens can’t find what they are looking for
  • Citizens can’t make transactions and do business online
  • What you’ve tried so far isn’t working
  • Disconnected systems cause duplicate work

Since the inception of the Internet, how people go about life has changed radically. sums it up well back in 2012 when it says that, like Amazon, the government presents itself mostly as a website to most people: … the physical reality of bricks and mortar and people and parks is starting to disappear behind the websites.” Predicting the future, continues, “As government websites continue to fall behind private sector websites, governments will slowly look less and less legitimate – less and less like they matter to citizens, less and less like we should be paying any taxes to pay for them. Why pay for something you can’t even navigate?” Sound familiar?

Pew Research traces public trust of government over the last 60 years to find, “The public’s trust in the federal government continues to be at historically low levels. Only 19% of Americans today say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right “just about always” (3%) or “most of the time” (16%).” puts it this way: “Want to make a connection with the citizens in your municipality? Make sure you’re supporting transparency in local government. … If citizens must spend excessive amounts of time parsing through their city’s website to find the data they’re after, they certainly aren’t going to feel as though their city is being open and transparent.”