People will be able to customize the state portal, much in the way people can choose their favorite content on World Wide Web sites like Yahoo
In a cutting-edge move that could signal the next generation of state World
Wide Web portals, North Carolina has signed a contract to build a portal
that will merge the features of Yahoo with state information, allowing users
to customize the site.
A fisherman, for example, could customize his site to showcase weather,
traffic and tide information, license regulations and even sign-up for an
e-mail to remind him when to renew his fishing license, said Melinda Pierson,
spokeswoman for Commerce Secretary Rick Carlisle, who chairs the e-commerce
"If you can customize the site and get all the information you want handed
to you instead of searching for it, then state government is serving you
the best," Pierson said.
The site will be similar to Yahoo's My Yahoo site, where after signing up
and receiving a user identification and password, users can choose what
news interests them the most, organize it by importance and choose its location
on the page. In addition to news, people can choose music releases, sports
scores, stock quotes, travel information, local weather and scores of other
This format will be used by North Carolina for three of its four Web portals,
citizen, employee and business. The fourth portal, local government, will
be added later. The portal will first be available at the end of July, transferring
information at the state's current e-commerce portal, NC @ Your Service
(www.ncgov.com) to the new portal. New features will include items such
as Yahoo general interest information and the Yahoo store, where electronic
payments can be made.
A second release, two months after the first, will add additional features
incorporated from Yahoo.
The contract is with Andersen Consulting, which is subcontracting with Yahoo
for content, and Bell South to host the site. Andersen will be in charge
of a NC @ Your Service Project office, which will be run similar to the
Y2K office, but will manage the state's e-commerce initiatives.
The contract will not exceed $3.5 million for the first six months, when
the portal and office are implemented. It also includes three additional
years for "enhancement" and an optional year to transfer the portal to the
state, if necessary. No figures are included beyond the first six months.
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