This item originally appeared in the September 30, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
By ERIN BASS
Ruston will be able to browse its very own official Web site in the near future at http://www.ruston.org.
Brenda Stone, information technology manager for the City of Ruston, said Ruston has needed a site for quite a while.
"We know people need easily obtainable information on Ruston," Stone said. "We want it out there just as much as everyone else."
Out-of-town, out-of-state or even international students will benefit from the site, which will provide navigation, a brief history of the city and local department information.
"For students first coming into the country it would be a definite help," Bijoya Chakraborty, a senior marketing major from Zambia, Africa, said. "They will be able to get a visual feel of the city before they come over."
Stone said getting the Web site organized and compiling data are just a couple of the steps toward completion.
The home page was designed by HB Media Group in Austin, Texas.
The company approached Ruston about needing a Web site, John Frost, information manager with HB Media Group and a Tech graduate, said.
Frost said he previously had experience in local government Web pages and said he thought with his knowledge of Ruston, he could do the best job.
"We went to [Ruston], put in a proposal and competed against several other companies," Frost said. "And we were notified in February we had been chosen and we could start work on the page."
Frost said part of the role of HB Media is to help the customer decide what type of content to put on a page, what would appeal to the viewer and how to market their site.
"We give them ideas of what to put on the site," Frost said. "But in all actuality it is the client who decides what goes on and what doesn't."
Different city departments such as police, fire, chamber of commerce and the city court are organizing and completing data for Stone to put on the Web site.
"Once we have all the links we should be able to get it done rather quickly," Ryan Doss, information technology technician for the City of Ruston, said.
The new site will be the information technology department's first priority and it will be updated at least once a day, Stone said.
The Web page will serve mostly as an interactive tool, as opposed to a travel guide, Doss said.
"[The Web site's] main purpose is for interfacing with the city itself rather then just a list of restaurants and shops," Doss said.
Mark Kroll, a professor of management and marketing, said that any information out on the Web is always beneficial.
"The site will be very beneficial for Ruston because anything to put the word out about the city is always good," Kroll said.
Stone said there was no set date of the launch of the site, but it is definitely a high priority.