Rocklin.ca.us has been recognized by Juggle as one of the top city government websites of California. Below you'll find an interview with Dayna Amboy, Website Administrator for the City of Rocklin
- Rocklin.CA.us is a top-notch web portal; what has been your role in its development?
The City of Rocklin website was redesigned to better serve the needs of citizens, businesses and visitors. The design and implementation was a collaborative effort between the myself and all of the department heads, as well as staff at Rocklin.
- Can you summarize the history of Rocklin's web portal?
Before the redesign, the website was primarily informational only; now, the site is designed to be interactive. When you are in Rocklin, what do you want to do? Where do you want to go? How can we serve you? These are the questions that drive the City of Rocklin’s web portal. The website has three main avenues to guide people towards the answers that they need - one avenue each for residents, businesses and visitors - as well as one specifically about City Government.
- What are the overarching objectives of Rocklin's current e-government initiatives?
Connecting people to Rocklin government is extremely important. How can we provide government information more conveniently? Can we enable citizens to pay for services online, from the convenience of their homes? Overall, it is about making local government more accessible.
- From a marketing standpoint, what are some of the strategies that you have utilized to draw attention to the information and services provided by Rocklin.CA.us, both on- and off-line?
First of all, we make sure that the City of Rocklin website is easy to find on the web, regardless of where you search, be it a search engine or otherwise. Most importantly, we connect with people based on their demand for information. For example, we offer many e-newsletters which people request on a regular basis. We also have "e-notify" which updates people when new information is added to the website, in the topics that they request. Podcasts, RSS feeds, videos, presentations, and other interactive features give people the information they want in a format that keeps them connected and keeps them coming back.
- How has citizen feedback influenced the development of Rocklin's e-government services?
Citizen feedback is one of the most important tools we have to improve the website. Feedback is a big part of what helped shape the website to what it is today. Our "Access Rocklin" feature offers people an easy way to submit feedback directly to City staff who can help them. Additionally, we have anonymous comment forms on the website through which citizens tell us what they think of the website, and how it can be improved. We take all of these comments as valuable pieces of advice and continue to improve the site.
- What is the most-used feature or service on the site?
Our searchable City Council Agendas & Minutes are very popular; however, there are many interactive features that also allow people to pay for services online. Our Recreation division offers citizens the ability to pay for services online, such as Preschool, Kids Junction before & after school program, sports, classes, etc. This online feature - RecDirect - is very popular, since people can pay for these recurring services from the convenience of their home, 24/7.
- How can citizens get the most out of using their city's website? In what ways can they have a more personalized online experienced?
The website is updated daily with the most up-to-date information, and people can dial-in to these updates via our e-notify and e-newsletters. Our frontpage offers the latest news in the City, while our website Calendar shows upcoming meetings and events. For Contractors, our Bids feature lets them view and download bid plans and specs directly from the website, along with emailed addendums, as needed.
- How are you using your online guides as an information portal for Rocklin visitors and residents?
As part of its core design, the City of Rocklin website has main entry points on the frontpage specifically for Visitors and Residents. These entry points take people to resources geared toward those specific topic areas. The goal is to make it easy for Residents to find the local information that they need, such as: Where is the local library? How do I contact the utilities? Where are the schools? What are the demographics? Weather? For Visitors, we offer information such as: Where are the local hotels? What can I do for fun while I am Rocklin (museums, golf courses, etc.)? How do I get there? We offer downloadable and interactive maps, directions and driving distances to Rocklin.
- Where do you see e-government heading in the next 2-3 years? Are there any exciting new features or services currently in the works for Rocklin's web portal?
The trend toward providing services online will continue to gain momentum. As people get accustomed to doing business online, they will continue to expect the same from their local government. The ability to pay for services online is only part of that equation - people want to interact with City leaders and connect with staff about their questions and concerns. Our goal at Rocklin is to help them to do that. Currently, our goal is to make our services as convenient as possible - whether it is obtaining a dog license, HVAC permit, or downloading a City publication. We will be working on all of the aforementioned online features in the near future.
- What else that you would like to tell us about Rocklin.CA.us?
We are continually adding more interactive features to the website, so check back often!