Phoenix shows off Web site

City councilman Cody Williams said the site, "Phoenix at Your Fingertips," was first developed in 1994 after feedback from a task force of city staff and residents. With a goal of leading the charge toward the Internet, Phoenix's site debuted in June 1995 featuring basic information, including a calendar of city events and zoning information.

That first year the site, located at www.ci.phoenix.az.us/index.html, received 6,800 hits. This year the site boasted 1.5 million visitors, Williams said.

"We could not have imagined how popular this would be," he said, explaining that the city now offers Web access from 58 public workstations at 37 sites. The aim is to have a terminal no more than three miles from every neighborhood.

Also, the city offered training to residents who had never used computers. Through a program called Computer Buddies, volunteers helped novices learn to log on. And for those who wanted nothing to do with computers, anything available on the Web site also was available by phone through a dial-up service.

Studies have shown that most people use Phoenix at your Fingertips at 1 p.m. and stay for an average of 11 minutes, Williams said. The most popular features are job recruiting resrouces, the site's search engine, a community calendar and information about the city's airport.

Phoenix is working on adding features such as interactive mapping for neighborhood groups, reservation and scheduling services for residents and electronic payments.

"We can't sit on our hands," Williams said.

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