A few weeks ago, in early July, the City of Victoria announced they would launch a specific website as a communication platform for issues over the Johnson Street Bridge. The city web consultants, Atomic Crayon, duly registered www.johnsonstreetbridge.com, and the .ca version, but somehow failed (or were maybe told not to bother?) to protect the domain assets on behalf of the Mayor, Council, City staff and residents, leaving open www,johnsonstreetbridge.org and .net. Thank you for that! We, of course gratefully picked up those domains. Our .ORG website is by no means wonderful, but it is worked on daily with recent blogs – like Yule Heibel’s series ‘Bad Reasons’ #1, #2, #3 and #4 – and new pages: Bridge Photos and Culture.
We are all waiting with tingling expectation for the new City managed, professionally designed, interactive, content rich Blue Bridge website – one that will showcase designs, and maybe allow citizens to offer suggestions and submit questions directly to the Mayor and Council, City Engineers and the bridge contractors MMM Group. Although feedback from concerned residents and questions (or protest) seems to be a very low priority, as Mayor Dean Fortin has stated emphatically there is no time for debate. In fact, instead of providing a direct information page on the JSB through the City of Victoria website, it seems information is being quietly removed. As Gregory Hartnell pointed out on his Concerned Citizens blog, the historical significance of the Blue Bridge, or as Gregory likes to name it – The Joseph Strauss Bridge – is now being downplayed. Only a few weeks ago the City website had a note on the Bridge web page ‘it will remain forever’, or words to that effect.
CCC Blog – Thanks to Yule Heibel, who somehow managed to find a reference to Joseph Strauss at the City of Victoria website the other day, I am pleased to report that there is, indeed, a brief mention there of the genius German American engineer who is primarily responsible for the Johnson Street Bridge, after all.
I understand that the new planned website will have this address:
When I Google searched that address this morning, nothing came up to link to it.
In fact – there is a placeholder web page for www.johnsonstreetbridge.com – and it raises questions on the communication goals, and possibly professional expertise, of the web developers and City Communication staff who, one assumes, are there to supervise the new website.
Thank you again! The Google derived related pages have the johnsonstreetbridge.ORG website prominently linked, and the advert at the bottom? – well maybe we should all stock up! Who is to be questioned on this? The official domain account holders Atomic Crayon, or the City of Victoria Communication director? Leaving a placeholder page for the domain is really a fundamental and silly mistake. If a web developer or communication VP for say Thrifty’s Foods left their domain open, and it displayed adverts for Safeway or Save on Foods, one assumes they would be fired. It is easy enough to create an under construction page, or temporarily redirect the domain to the City of Victoria main website.
This is a rather amusing example but it illustrates a more serious problem. In the rush to replace the Johnson Street Bridge The Mayor and Council, and city staff, seem be over looking important details. During the civic election Mayor Fortin, and other councillors, emphasized the need to create a better system to communicate important issues to Victoria residents – especially online. That requires expertise, oversight, a plan, and time to get it right. Rush ahead without thought and basic mistakes quickly appear.Tweet