Phoenix Site Proves Popular

LOS ANGELES — A Phoenix city leader showed off his city's World Wide Web site and gave tips on how others can create one like it at a seminar titled "Building Technology Strategies" at last month's 1999 Congress of Cities.

City councilman Cody Williams said the site, "Phoenix at Your Fingertips," was 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.

The site, located at www.ci.phoenix.az.us/index.html, received 6,800 hits in its first year. 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 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 resources, the site's search engine, a community calendar and information about the city's airport.

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