Saturday, August 7, 2010

An old story...

From the beginning, which was created by volunteers in 1997 was designed to be a community based website... not an "official town government" website.  

In 1997 the domain name for an official town government website in Massachusetts should have been which was a reserved name. Today, cities and towns in Massachusetts use the .gov extension- e.g.  Such a domain name authenicates the website as an "official government" website since these are reserved names for federal agencies, state governments, cities and towns.  For the record there are a few other cities/towns in Massachusetts still using the .org extension for their town websites.  Robin Crosbie at the July 12 Select Board meeting suggested to the SB that they consider a name change to the .gov extension.

The home page title for had always been "Welcome to the Town of Longmeadow, Massachusetts".  Now the page title reads "The New Official Town Government Website for the Town of Longmeadow, Massachusetts".

In March 1999- about 1½ years after was launched there was an attempt by the Select Board- chaired by Hal Haberman with Jerry Nolet and Arlene Miller as the other two Select Board members to convert to an "official town government" website.  This action met considerable resistance from co-webmasters Jim Moran and Mark Gold who made a counter proposal for privatization to keep it a community website. The proposal was later withdrawn after the Select Board decided to allow the website to remain as a community website. [click here to view full article]

About 2½ years ago in March 2008, I was interviewed on the LCTV weekly show called Around Town by host Arlene Miller.  The discussion included the workings of the town websites including and and a new entity called the LongmeadowBuzz blog.  It is worthwhile to listen to Ms. Miller's personal comments about the value of our town websites- particularly given her skepicism some nine years earlier.  Below is a video replay of the interview courtesy of LCTV.

Our Town with Arlene Miller- LCTV Our Town with Arlene Miller- LCTV

1 comment:

Alan Dove said...

The top-level domain distinction isn't as clear as you imply. Many Federal and state agencies use .com domains for at least some activities, some legally private organizations are under .gov, the military is .mil (except the units that are authorized to use .com or .org), and many Federal, state, and local sites still use .us. See for some examples. In short, chaos reigns.

Getting a .gov domain requires applying to the Government Services Administration and receiving Federal approval, which is why many government organizations don't bother with it. If the town of Longmeadow owns the domain and the Select Board declares it to be the official town website, then it is.