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City web sites: Do they promote economic development, or branding, or anything at all?

City web sites: Do they promote economic development, or branding, or anything at all? The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which cities in the United States use their web site to promote strategic goals, in particular the goal of economic development. With growing use of and reliance upon web-based information in modern society, it becomes increasingly important to understand how local communities use their web site. Do cities in the United States use the Internet to promote their city as a beneficial place to conduct business, as urban economy literature suggests that they might? If not, what kinds of information do cities convey via their web sites? Are web sites used for purposes of city branding at all? To address these questions, this study uses results of a content analysis of 345 city web sites. The cities are home-rule cities in the state of Texas. Relying on literature on web page usage, we examine a web site's homepage image and title, the links provided on the homepage, and the destination of these links. The study's findings suggest that while some city web pages reflect a strategic goal, for the most part cities are not using their web site to promote any strategic goal, economic or otherwise. We argue that even if uncertain of results, city leaders should consider at least modest changes to their web site to better promote and brand their city. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Information Polity IOS Press

City web sites: Do they promote economic development, or branding, or anything at all?

Information Polity , Volume 19 (3) – Jan 1, 2014

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Publisher
IOS Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by IOS Press, Inc
ISSN
1570-1255
eISSN
1875-8754
DOI
10.3233/IP-140340
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which cities in the United States use their web site to promote strategic goals, in particular the goal of economic development. With growing use of and reliance upon web-based information in modern society, it becomes increasingly important to understand how local communities use their web site. Do cities in the United States use the Internet to promote their city as a beneficial place to conduct business, as urban economy literature suggests that they might? If not, what kinds of information do cities convey via their web sites? Are web sites used for purposes of city branding at all? To address these questions, this study uses results of a content analysis of 345 city web sites. The cities are home-rule cities in the state of Texas. Relying on literature on web page usage, we examine a web site's homepage image and title, the links provided on the homepage, and the destination of these links. The study's findings suggest that while some city web pages reflect a strategic goal, for the most part cities are not using their web site to promote any strategic goal, economic or otherwise. We argue that even if uncertain of results, city leaders should consider at least modest changes to their web site to better promote and brand their city.

Journal

Information PolityIOS Press

Published: Jan 1, 2014

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