Virginia rolls on with tech agenda

In a continuing effort to make the state more technology-friendly to residents

and businesses, Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore rolled out two task forces and

unveiled a new Web site at a recent state technology commission conference.

The "Main Street to e-Street" task force will try to pair local businesses

with e-commerce companies through a series of four to six workshops in the

next eight months. The idea is to help businesses use the Internet to improve

their retail or service operations as well as streamline their administrative

and operating costs.

Donald Upson, the state's technology secretary, said Virginia will act

as a facilitator at these workshops with the help of local chambers of commerce.

"We want businesses to enter the 21st century of buying and selling goods

and services," he said.

The other task force, "Building e-Communities" will try to answer, "What

is it that communities want in the Information Age?" Upson said. Representatives

from business, education, government and philanthropic organizations will

help to design principles for Internet offerings for communities of all

sizes. The state hopes to have such guidelines drawn up in nine months,

Upson said.

The new Web site, The Digital Dominion (www.thedigitaldominion.com),

represents where the state is headed in the future, Upson said.

"Digital Dominion denotes the best of what we are and what we want to

be," he said. "We want to take the promise of this technology and opportunity

this technology affords and put it everywhere. We call it blurring the lines

between education, business and the community."

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