Sound the trumpets! Release the hounds!
…Let me try that again…
Sound the trumpets! Release the city’s new website!
Yes, ladies and gents, you know we’re in 2012 when people get excited about the city’s launch of a new website. Can we get another exclamation mark, please!
On Wednesday, the Twitterverse was in a mildly excited 140-character state with this tweet and that retweet about the city’s “new baby.”
“The new #vancouver.ca site is live! We’re like proud parents,” boasted the City of Vancouver in a tweet.
Proud parents? Well, then why not give the creation a name?
Like…uh…I don’t know…something futuristic-sounding like Vanatron. Consider the possibilities…
Resident: “Honey, this past August long weekend has me confused about when our garbage will be picked up.”
Resident’s partner: “Fear not my lovely, Vanatron will answer that with one simple click of the mouse and….”
“…there, it’s Friday.”
Resident: “Hooray for Vanatron!”
Couple embrace, go on about their day. OK, enough of that.
Does the new $3 million website live up to its hype?
Well, depends on what you’re after.
For your faithful scribe, who is on the city’s website an unhealthily amount of time, I have to say the new design has reduced the number of clicks I have to make to find information.
I can now simply drag my cursor over “Your government” at the top of the home page and be taken to a smorgasbord of city delights.
This includes city council meeting agendas, minutes, salaries and expenses of council, freedom of information documents, the Vancouver Charter and election results.
The same menu offers links to the Vancouver Police Department, the park board, library, archives and a section titled “citizen involvement,” where you can…ah, as I write this, I think the site just crashed.
Resident: “Quick honey—come, something is wrong with Vanatron!”
Resident’s partner: “What it is it, sweetheart?”
Resident: “I’m not sure.”
Resident’s partner: “Let’s hope that intrepid newsman at the Courier can find out for us. Maybe he will email the city’s communications department to get an update on Vanatron’s condition.”
The intrepid newsman waited and waited and waited for a reply… and nothing. Then just after lunchtime came a tweet from the City of Vancouver.
“City IT suppliers having problems with electrical storms. Hope to have services stabilized shortly.”
Resident and partner, together: “We still love you, Vanatron!”
Grind ‘em up
If you happen to have some time off this month, and you’re thinking what a great/stupid idea it would be to attempt the Grouse Grind on the North Shore, be mindful of your political tongue.
Well, you never know who might be listening. According to a news release I received from World Vision, NPA Coun. George Affleck and his hiking boots will join more than 100 Vancouver students on the three-kilometre climb Aug. 15.
The event is part of World Vision’s “Just 1 Child” campaign to encourage residents to sponsor one child living in an impoverished country. Affleck’s climb up the mountain will, no doubt, be good training for the mountain he continues to climb in the council chambers as only one of two NPA councillors.
This is my last entry for August. No more stories, no more tweets until September. Until then, thanks for reading.