webslight of hand

To say that the Town of Aurora’s corporate website has resulted in continuous face-palms from myself and the community at large would be an overstatement.

I can’t even begin to imagine what first impressions those that don’t live here have when they hit the aurora.ca landing page other than dizziness and nausea.

I wrote a letter to the Auroran over 4 years ago characterizing the offering as a bi-polar whore: https://wattstrending.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/letter-to-the-auroran-burying-our-towns-website/

The site has remained unchanged over that period and I am aghast at the amount spent directly (most recently a $90,000 capital budget amount on CMS) as well as the annual operating budget of the Town’s communications department which has ballooned to just under $600,000.

Of all the N6 Aurora’s website it is the closest comparable to the Obamacare website fiasco south of the border.

I commented on how Aurora wasn’t getting its $ worth in this post:
https://wattstrending.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/you-dont-always-get-what-you-pay-for/when news came late last year that a new site would finaly be landing in the 1st quarter of 2014: http://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/4196735-new-aurora-website-to-launch-in-march

Well, here we are entering the final month of Q1 and where is our website?

Apparently a Memorandum from the Manager of Corporate Communications included in the most recent agenda from the environmental advisory committee shows that this has now been pushed to May:
http://www.town.aurora.on.ca/app/wa/mediaEntry?mediaEntryId=62595

WTF?

On whose calendar is May considered 1st quarter?

Considering the amount of time and resources expended (including full time staff!) to date why is the launch date pushed out?

And why isn’t the town communicating to any of us about this delay?

In talking with someone from the town’s waste services division last week they admitted that they didn’t know anything about any pending new website.

Wow!

Not to mention that during the February 10th budget meeting I attended the the CAO was unable to answer the most basic of questions surrounding the apps that are being launched in concert with the site.

If these internal shortcomings are any indication on how the town’s communications department is set to deploy the website it should be safe to assume that we will hear all about it on 88.1 The Jewel.

Both Mayor Dawe and Clr. Thompson assured me early in the term that with the hiring of the the town’s current communication manager, who came to us from the Region of York, that swift changes would be made to shore up several communication deficiencies left by the previous.

That hasn’t happened.

As time marches on Aurora continues to live in the shadow of others in the Region.

We can’t even muster up a website in a timely fashion and The Town of Newmarket, which has a social media team, recently won Gold at the AVA Digital Awards for their promotion of our Ice Lounge at Riverwalk Commons.

The AVA Digital awards is an international competition with entries from all over the world.

Yet here in Aurora it appears that attempts to execute on “innovation” and “sustainability” in our strategic plan amount to little more than what is contained in the Websites for Dummies book.

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One thought on “webslight of hand

  1. “On whose calendar is May considered 1st quarter?”

    I get the point of the above quote. Aurora should have better defined the roll out of the new website.

    To answer the question, while I sit here in Ottawa, the federal government. The federal government’s financial year end is March 31st. Thus, May is in their first quarter. 🙂 <–inserted smiley face emoticon in case the Aurora communications web department is reading this which means the preceding is an attempt at humor. Now back to reading Websites for Dummies….

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