All articles are reproduced, verbatim, with the express permission of the publisher - reformatted for the Internet.
Cambridge goes on the Net
written by: Kevin Swayze
Their hope with the community web page was to gain advertising support - every page in the growing site has a spot for ads - but nobody has shown any interest yet. They have no plans to pull the plug on the elegant web page: they only talk of continued expansion of the community information it contains.
With a modest average of 17 "hits" a day - visits by Internet users - the couple is certain there's a demand for information about Cambridge in cyberspace. E-mail messages from repeat visitors asking for additions and suggesting changes only reinforces their belief.
"They're begging for more. They're not satisfied, " Mr. Galganov said.
Cambridge does have an "official" city web page, created in the late fall of 1996 at the urging of the business development department. Then the web page languished.
"Unfortunately, it never really went live," admits John Sobura, the city's technical services director.
"To me, it's just a rudimentary information source."
Work is under way to put life back into the city's web page, he said. And the options are about as wide as city council wants to make them.
The web page can be a basic information site for city events, meetings and announcements. Or it can be the door all of the information city hall - and others - want to spread to the city and beyond.
There's no reason, for example, that a contractor couldn't use his laptop computer to access the city's web page from a construction site, apply and pay for a building permit, and have it electronically sent to him at the worksite, Mr. Sobura said.
Virtually all the information people now have to go to a city hall counter to get can be put on a web site - if that's what city council wants. With $500,000 being spend this year to overhauls and upgrade the city's internal computer system, all that information will soon be ready to be put on the web page if that's what he's told to do.
The business development department is pushing to revive the city's web page, and hopes to have a new-and-improved version ready for viewing by the end of March.
Business development manager Bo Densmore said it's a tool to educate and attract people and investment to the city that the city simply can't do without any more. One of there staff has been assigned to the web page project.
Both Ms. Densmore and Mr. Sobura said they will be reporting to council shortly about the progress of the city web page resurrection.
I shouldn't be too hard on the official city site. The intentions were good, but it was in the application where things fell apart. And don't thing that the Galganov's site is trouble free either. While it exudes depth, style and substance, it is hobbled by not having easy access to the city government information it needs to represent Cambridge.
At a budget meeting last month, Coun. Greg Durocher lamented the state of the city's web page.
He mentioned there was a crackerjack unofficial city web page - the Galganov's - and wondered if council should consider partnering with outside experts to fix the city's faltering Internet efforts.
Cambridge doesn't dare let itself be left behind as other cities around the world use the Internet to attract investment, he said.
The Galganov's are willing to partner their site with the city, but not for free. They estimate the value of the site at $19,000 as it looks today. And they suggested to me that the city site would make a logical sub-section of their community site - an idea that didn't sit well with Ms. Densmore.
But getting a site on the Internet is only a small part of the challenge of attracting people to it, the Galganov's warned. Good web sites need to be cared for daily, updated regularly and improved continually.
It's a living, vibrant thing," Mr. Galganov said.
To properly maintain a the Cambridge site would require the time of one person , once a week every month. At their service rates, that's in the range of $2,400 a month.
There may only be a minority of people in Cambridge with Internet access, but the number is growing - just like the millions of Internet users around the world. I don't want the city to miss any chance to promote itself to tourists and potential visitors.
I hope city officials give the Galganov's a call and talk about the city's future in cyberspace. The couple are entrepreneurs at heart and want to recoup some of the money on their investment in the city.
The least the city should do is talk with them and see if the investment they made to produce a web address for Cambridge could be used to save the city time, money and frustration.
If you have Internet access, take a look at the official and unofficial city web sites yourself.
The city's site is at: www.city.cambridge.on.ca. The Galganov's effort is at: www3.sympatico.ca/cambridge.ontario.
Note: Since the above article has been published the Galganov City of Cambridge Site has moved to: http://www.CambridgeWeb.net and was since forced to remove city related information, by the Corporation of the City of Cambridge, in response to the city's inability to establish it's Internet presence.
Economic Development Committee's
The Burford Economic Development Committee (EDC), at its last meeting, approved the establishment of a web site promoting the Township of Burford.
The committee has a mandate to promote Burford as an economical, competitive and friendly place to conduct business to new and established ventures. Past initiatives include advertising on trailers belonging to Keith Hall Transport and Jeff Bryan Transport and the production of the Burford Township Portfolio.
The committee felt that the Internet would provide a cost effective medium for promoting the township while significantly increasing the accessibility to interested parties. The information has been taken from the portfolio and transformed into a friendly yet informative web site.
The format for the site was chosen from "Web Sites to Go by Web Site Design by Galganov of Cambridge, Ontario. The "Web Sites to Go" service offers interested parties a selection of themes which can be customized with pictures and text supplied by the buyer.
"This format has enabled us to develop a professional site without the cost associated with such projects," said Astrid van Eeden Petersman, secretary for the committee. The site, located at burford.huron.net, is up at this time, but not quite complete. Astrid hopes to have the history component completed very shortly and looks forward to adding reciprocal links with other sites in the community.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to show the world what Burford is all about," she said.
Web Site Design by Galganov's portfolio includes the University of Guelph's MBA site, Cambridge Humane Society and City of Cambridge site. Their background in advertising enables them to design sites which are enjoyable to visit and disseminate a tremendous amount of information without being overwhelming.
The designers have agreed to a limited time special promotion through their Web Sites to Go service for groups, clubs and businesses who would like to be a part of the Economic Development Committee's initiative. For further information please contact Astrid at 458-4856, Galganov & Associates at (519) 624-5004, or visit their site at galganov.ca.
Galganov does not outsource! KIS.BIZ® - Keeping It Simple in Business
KIS.BIZ® - Keeping It Simple in Business
April 17, 2012
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