The Austin Chronicle

Austin Going, Going, Gone

By Wells Dunbar, January 2, 2008, 4:47pm, Newsdesk

Austin GO – the city outreach program surveying what the public wants from the official City of Austin website – is drawing to a close, January 4 being the last day to take the city's web survey. After bemoaning the lack of LOL Cats, pirated downloads and … ahem … adult material on the site, here's the comments Newsdesk left:

– The city needs to cross-reference their existing info more. For example, if I'm reading a meeting agenda for the Downtown Commission, I'd like to be able to click on a link that would take me to a page listing their members. But I can't – I have to open a new tab and look under a completely different section (the City Clerk page, I believe [See how quickly you can find it! – ed.]) to get the commission make-up.
The rest, below the fold.

– I feel a lot of pertinent information is buried in the City Clerk page (lobbyist info, campaign donations, etc.); I would like to see it more easily accessible.

– The information attached as backup to council initiatives should be similarly expanded and cross-referenced.

– Real time updates of items' status each City Council meeting (whether they've been pulled for discussion, delayed, passed on consent, etc.) would be very helpful. It can often be weeks before the minutes from a previous meeting are approved, preventing such info from becoming widely available.

– It should be easier to watch video of city meetings, maybe with a YouTube-like Flash interface. Nobody uses Real Player anymore.

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