This month Chuck and I will be researching the states of our United States of America. The websites of our states, to be more precise! I randomly chose Arkansas.gov, because I’ve never been there and I was curious about what they’re up to.
To start with, the Arkansas website prominently displays their “Alert” system. The alerts range in scope from amber alerts for missing children to terror threat level changes. While it’s interesting to note that the top two Citizen services offered on the website are “Probation & Parole Payments” and “Driver’s License Reinstatements”, I’m more fascinated with the go-green attitude of Governor Beebe. See the ad below. While ambiguous at first, I’ll give you this hint: they’re talking about tightening up your house to be more eco-friendly!
I have a feeling that in general I’ll be encountering a lot of Microsoft-powered code on government websites, but perhaps I’ll be surprised over the next month. The usual social networking icons appear in the right nav of the site, but the site could use a little facebook love. Only 82 likes? We shouldn’t be talking, but we don’t have millions of people living in us either.
While overall this is a straightforward and optimistic website with a lot of pictures of barns (who knew there were so many barns in Arkansas?), my only wish is that the coloring book PDF files weren’t buried deep in the site. Because as an outsider, it’s the cool things like history, music, and the local ecology that I’m interested in. But who to cater to, tourists or your citizens? Ah, happily I’m not involved with governmental decisions.