Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Four good things about the City of Westbrook's website:

If I remember correctly, the city wasn't always all that diligent about posting upcoming meetings or the agendas and minutes of those meetings. But the 'Upcoming Meetings' is somewhat thorough (it neglects to mention today's School Committee meeting), and the 'Meeting Agendas' and 'Meeting Minutes' sections are up to date, at least as far as the City Council is concerned.

I've already written about the fun you can have with the website's Geographic Information System.

A nice consolidation of all the boards and committees of the city. It also includes a brief description of each.

  • News updates

The City does a decent job of posting updated 'news you can use' on the site's homepage.

And four things that can be improved on the City of Westbrook's website:

Leap ahead of the curve by creating a C-SPAN-like Internet channel and post long-form video of City Council meetings, School Committee meetings, Mayor call-in shows, etc. It's only a matter of time before posting such content on the Internet will be the norm for all of Maine's cities and towns. Why not be one of the first?

  • Revamp photos

Replace the stagnant photo of a pontoon boat on a body of water (Highland Lake?) with a vibrant slideshow of photos that features the location and the date of the photo taken. Also, update photos each season, so viewers are not treated to an autumn scene in, say, the middle of July. You could even make it a contest out of it, a la

  • Re-post the city's promotional video

Sure, I poked some fun at the video, but it wasn't actually that bad. Re-post it, but this time in a more prominent location.

  • Update information about representatives

Ed Symbol is no longer on the City Council, but his photo and contact information are still posted on the council page. And Colleen Hilton is no longer the chairwoman of the School Committee, but, according to the website, she is. Moreover, the e-mail address listed on City Councilor Dotty Aube's online profile seems to be inoperable. Small things, for sure, but important.

- John C.L. Morgan

P.S. To see another appealing city-related website (besides this one, of course), click here. I love the clean lines and text, the use of video, and the comprehensive nature of this site.

No comments: