My latest for Urbanicity is on newsstands - Time for Website Crawl

My latest column for Urbanicity is now on news racks across Hamilton. (And viewable on page 3 of the online flash version)

This month, I write about the need for citizens to raise-up and act to clean up our city’s website by building a new community focused site using the open-source CMS Drupal.

From the opening of my article:

You arrive on the outskirts of Hamilton to discover a highway sign in a decrepit state, hanging by a single bolt dangling in the wind, worn paint, with the faint outline of letters “We com t Ham lt n”. As you stare at this post-apocalyptic sign, you think: is this the Hamilton?

Would we as citizens tolerate our road signs being in such poor condition? Would we not act and mobilize a community clean-up?

The city’s website,, is the road sign in this allegory and it’s time for a community clean-up. Let’s call it Website Crawl. (and no, I’m not paying royalties Matt Jelly)

We cannot tolerate a city website that turns away investment, which turns away visitors, and makes our city seem populated by digital cavemen. On the “information superhighway” (to use digital caveman terminology), our website is the post-apocalyptic city with the off-ramp everyone avoids.

One of Open Hamilton’s projects is the creation of a Drupal distribution for cities. The idea is simple, a easy to use open source solution to municipal websites that focuses upon community needs and lets the community ensure their municipal government is electronically responsive.

Open Hamilton is organizing a big hackathon for the beginning of December. Registration will open shortly and you may wish to sign up for this project – it’s time for us to clean up our electronic city gateway.