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Okay. First things first.

Why does your organization want to "be on the Internet?" Because it's the latest and greatest? Because everyone else is doing it? Because the boss says so? None of these is a bad reason, but none of them is a sufficient reason for joining the World Wide Web. You and your agency need to think through the answers to these questions:

  • What information or information-based services of your agency are suitable for electronic delivery over the World Wide Web?
  • Who wants this kind of information or service? Are these potential customers likely to be connected to the Web?
  • Who in your agency is responsible for the information resources you want to put on the Web? Are they on your team?
  • What kind and level of skill and effort will it take to turn existing information resources into Web-friendly ones? Are those resources available?
  • What will it cost in terms of dollars, people, and technology to build and operate an effective Web site?
  • Who will benefit from a Web based service and how will they benefit?

These and other questions are discussed in the document 'Developing & Delivering Government Services on the World Wide Web: Recommended Practices for New York State' created by CTG. The document gives a holistic view of creating government services on the WWW. It emphasizes important topics that are often neglected: setting service objectives and policies, organizing and managing staff and other resources, assessing costs and effectiveness. In short, it attempts to supply government managers with a set of planning tools and good practice guidelines for approaching the WWW as a mode of service delivery.