Convenience drives city

Calgarians are signing on in cyberspace, says Bob Shaw – and liking what they find there.

Shaw, the city’s chief information technology officer, described a period of steady growth for the local civic Web site before a session at this year’s Lac Carling Congress.

Growth has been constant over the past three years, he said, with visits to the portal reaching beyond 7,000 a day at one point.

The big issue for visitors to the portal last year was transit, with slightly more than 1 million visits. By contrast, the second most common visitor classification was human resources, at less than 800,000, while assessment issues trailed well back in third place at just under 300,000.

Equally to the point, Shaw said, fully 92 per cent of visitors gave the City of Calgary site a satisfactory rating, with 18 per cent completely satisfied, 47 per cent very satisfied and 27 per cent moderately satisfied.

Convenience was the main motivator for users of the site, ahead of hours available and speed. And the Internet has more than doubled as a chosen option for contacting the city in just two years.

In customer ratings of transaction value for tax dollars, 20 per cent found the site excellent, 39 per cent reported it very good and 27 per cent described it as moderately good. Fully 24 per cent of customers rated it as extremely important for transactions, 31 per cent very important and 27 per cent moderately important.

The portal is organized around three unites – city hall, city business and city living. Private sector partners in it development included project manager EDS, Microsoft for content management software, plumtree for site navigation software, Indigo Ice for marketing and communications. And HP Compaq for infrastructure hosting.