San Carlos opts for e-newsletter

City of San Carlos home page

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The California city of San Carlos, a longtime leader in the use of the Web,

has added an online newsletter to its list of informational services, something

that's becoming common in the commercial Web universe but is still a rarity

at the city government level.

The newsletter is a result of feedback provided by a 10-member citizen

Quality of Life Communications Subcommittee. San Carlos has provided several

print and online publications to its citizens, but the subcommittee found

that these offerings — most of them quarterly — still weren't enough for

a complete information package.

The newsletter called "Today in San Carlos," is written in a "folksy"

style, said Brian Moura, the assistant city manager, and is made up of tidbits

that are current and would be out of date by the time the next quarterly

publication rolled off the presses.

It's free, but people have to subscribe to it through a central e-mail

subscription service.

"So far, it's been well-received," Moura said, "so much so that the

county and other cities in our area are now also talking about doing something

similar."

San Carlos also has dipped its toes into the emerging arena of intergovernmental

Web links. Links to selected county and state sites have been added to San

Carlos Web pages, again following citizen comments.

The city had provided links to its own services, Moura said, but officials

had noticed that users were requesting information about similar county

and state services. As other government agencies begin to Web-enable their

services, Moura said links will be added to those deemed to be of most value

to San Carlos citizens, such as Department of Motor Vehicles services.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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