Tacoma city government has launched an electronic update service, where anyone can sign up for email or text alerts on dozens of topics. It’s the first hint of changes ahead for the city’s online presence.
Registering for the alerts is free. Go to www.cityoftacoma.org and follow the link under “sign up for updates” in the left-hand column. Once you’ve created a profile, you can select topics and delivery method. The updates simply inform you of a change to the city’s web page where the chosen topics reside. Subscribers must click a link to go to the updated page.
The subscription service is from GovDelivery, a St. Paul, Minn.-based company that provides digital communications management services. According to its website, GovDelivery is used by more than half a dozen federal government agencies, the City of Dallas, and the Oregon Department of Human Services among others.
The City of Tacoma is paying GovDelivery $27,000 for a year, city spokeswoman Karrie Spitzer told me this morning. The city is in the process of updating its website systems, she said, and if the new content management system can provide email updates, the city will end its use of GovDelivery. “This was an interim solution to enhance our engagement,” she said.
Moving to a new content management system is a much bigger job. The city has selected a vendor, Toronto-based Intrafinity, and is in the process of finalizing the contract, Spitzer said. The city budgeted $350,000 for the project, and Spitzer said Intrafinity’s contract “will be in the ballpark of $65-75,000 with ongoing annual maintenance fees of $5,000 (per) year.”
At $63,216, Intrafinity was the lowest-priced responsive bidder, Spitzer said. The three other finalists were Tacoma-based SiteCrafting ($126,500), Lacey-based Cayzen Technologies ($157,700) and Tacoma-based Business Internet Services/Rusty George ($49,900).
Spitzer said Intrafinity ranked the highest of the four finalists based on factors including extensive tools for archiving and meeting document retention requirements, integration of social media tools, and the ability to set up collaborative workspaces with residents.
The city’s new website is expected to launch at the end of January, Spitzer said.