“Has hell finally frozen over?” That was my first thought when visiting the City of Aberdeen’s new web site. Of course that may be due to being presented with a header graphic depicting a snow-covered evergreen with Aberdeen’s new slogan, “The Future of Harford”, perhaps a final bit a legacy from the city’s previous mayor.
As promised by the current administration in its transition report, Aberdeen has a fancy new home page. It certainly is a departure from the city’s previous attempts at entering this brave new world. Before we get to the highlights and lowlights of the new site, let’s take a trip down memory lane…
Al Gore himself couldn’t have done much better when he invented the ‘net. Not a bad first attempt. Certainly not the worst municipal web site around at the time.
There was this big thing that supposed to happen when the ball dropped. Something about computers acting crazy and taking over the world. Y2K, or something? Oh god, the memories are returning. I’m starting to panic: Let me check out that Y2K link right in the middle of this version of the city’s web site to see if it will calm me down:
Whew, now I feel better! (yes, this is really from the Y2K section of Aberdeen’s web site)
We now have 3 slogans on one page. Take your pick! You can choose from “Proud Yesterday, Progressive Tomorrow,” “All-America City,” or my favorite, “People of Vision.”
Not much had changed with the site since 2002, other than the color of the link buttons. The new 2008 version is a welcome surprise. The most important feature of the new site is the use of a content management system to store the data. The site was developed by the Piccirilli Group in Bel Air, and is using Drupal, an open-source CMS. Drupal is a great tool, and to make some in Aberdeen happy, it is completely free.
It seems they are still working out some of the glitches, like the previously mentioned snow header and the site missing all 2008 documents, but we’ll cut them a break. After all, they might still be recovering from some of those Y2K expenses…