Coming Soon: www.puttingthecaninkansas.com

When I was updating Governing's Sourcebook the other day, I came to a startling realization: State economic development department Web sites have some really goofy ...
by | June 26, 2007

When I was updating Governing's Sourcebook the other day, I came to a startling realization: State economic development department Web sites have some really goofy URLs.

Whether it's www.yesvirginia.org (funny, I didn't think governments got in the business of suggesting Santa Claus exists) or www.1800arkansas.com  (I wish they'd opted for www.1900arkansas.com, with a slogan "relocate here for a good time"), states come up with the darnedest Web sites then they're trying to lure companies.

Some are arrogant, like www.iowalifechanging.com. The Web site itself is no more modest, stating, "You've arrived. Living in Iowa is more than just a lifestyle - it's a preferred way of life." Huh?

Others make you think, like www.thinkkentucky.com and www.thinkvermont.com . And many try to be hip, like www.expand2nevada.com -- "two" was just too uncool. (Note, also, the aversion to .gov endings.) I haven't even mentioned www.choosemaryland.org, www.growingnd.com , www.newpa.com and www.sdreadytowork.com.

It is, of course, great fun to try your own hand at these branding activities. How about alaskabutnotleast.org, homesweetoklahoma.com, aperfecttennessee.com, whynotwyoming.org or, for Michigan, pleasepleasecomeherewewilldoanything.org?

But, if there's a serious angle here, it's this: I can't help but wonder whether these silly URLs and the generally flashy Web sites behind them say something about the priorities of government. I'm not saying I want every agency to spend time thinking of a catchy Web address (D.C.'s garbage collectors don't need to be available on the Internet at www.washingtonwhatawaste.org), but sometimes governments seem more concerned with attracting new businesses than serving the companies and citizens they already have.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.

More from View