The City of Gloucester, which I love, is going though tough economic times, like many of us. One of the hardest decisions the mayor had to make was to eliminate the position of Director of Tourism. This left the tourism council with a tough problem, how to maintain their web site. They asked for volunteers and I raised my hand.
As I familiarized myself with the web site I saw a lot of problems with it. It is loaded with good information but is not particularly attractive (it suffered from too many cooks...), loads slowly and is not particularly enticing.
Because I love Gloucester and all it has to offer I contacted two of my fellow lovers of Gloucester, Jay Albert, the photographer who maintains Cape Ann Images, and Joe Ciaramitaro, of Good Morning Gloucester. "Let's make an awesome web site that really promotes our city," I said. "Count me in," they said. Thus began the redesign to show the world the Gloucester we love in the hopes it will entice people to come here.
Once we had the site underway, Jay and Joe supplying the images for my design and organization, we approached the Tourism Council. The response was very positive. This is the new home page which features audio and a Flash video you have to visit the site to see.
Many of the pages have been completed but we still have work to do. But the main objectives are to 1.) show the many amenities Gloucester has to offer including activities, culture, dining, shopping, etc. and 2.) to provide as much information as possible that will allow those planning their vacations to consider Gloucester as a desirable destination.
As a further enhancement we are adding a new, sexier URL: www.iLoveGloucester.com. Right now it points to the test server but eventually it will be attached to the actual site along with the exisiting URL.
So, we have work to do but progress has been exciting. We have a fantastic product in our beloved city, packaging and marketing it is the challenge. Take a look at the site and let us know how we're doing: iLoveGloucester.com