Rural Towns, Web Pages, and Google Sites through Swanville.org

I was so annoyed. When would my town ever get a website? Even just a basic one page, here-we-are and this-is-how-you-can-contact-us page. It was not going to happen in my lifetime. Through a generous volunteer policy from my company, and permission from a graduate school professor, I set out to make one myself.

To kick off the project, I did what anyone in a small Maine town wanting to introduce 20th century technology would do (yes, I really mean 20th, not 21st century). I attended the town meeting. I got my father to talk about my project. I got buy-in and even a bit of excitement from the selectmen and town employees. I did not just set up a website and then show it to the town - that would have been disastrous!

To keep it simple and the idea was, to pass it off to the employees, I implemented Google Sites. If you can edit a word doc, you can use Google Sites. Not only was the idea to make it usable for our town employees, but to provide a template for all Maine towns.

The result can be seen at www.swanville.org, a result of constant updating by yours truly. Still working on training the town employees, but the feedback I get via our Facebook page tells me someone out there is paying attention.

Does your town have a website. If so, is it worth your time? Does it provide useful information or just enough so that you know your town exists in the digital world?

If you like the idea of Google Sites, you may be interested in these books:






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