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RE: Request for site review

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 11:17:08 -0400
To: "David Poehlman" <poehlman@clark.net>
Cc: "Web Accessibility Initiative" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001901bfa55b$559ca740$53fe330a@msde>
Dear David (et. al),

I don't think it is fair to call it "devolution".  Sailor has been under
pressure from sometime now to be more valuable to more people.  They are in
real danger of loosing their place as THE website for the state of Maryland.
They do NOT have new people.  The Maryland Electronic Capital (MEC) is also
under a great deal of pressure to be of more utility to average citizens.
They also compete for mind share as THE website for the state of Maryland.
I don't think MEC has any authority over Sailor, if anything, its the other
way around.  Sailor is, after all, in charge of the ...state.md.us IP name
space.  My experience with both groups has been extremely positive.  Both
want to keep their sites accessible, but both groups also want to appeal to
as wide a range as possible.  Sailor obviously thinks that the new GUI
homepage facelift moves them in that direction.  From this point of view,
they are not much different from the millions of dot-com sites.  Sailor and
MEC are both open to constructive specific suggestions for how to improve
their sites.  The real problem is that they are under funded and
understaffed.

Personally, I am wringing my hands worrying about the day the Governor gives
both groups the boot and puts up his own site at http://www.state.md.us/  I
have a few pessimistic predications about that day.  These are based on
patterns from other high-tech projects Maryland has pursued:
(1)  The site will cost millions of tax payer dollars.
(2)  It will be full of eye candy.
(3)  It won't be P1 WCAG compliant.
(4)  It won't be very functional.
(5)  They will spend just as much as they did for (1) making marginal
improvements to (4) and nothing on (3).
(6)  Continued consumer grumbling.  Additional dollars spent totaling (1+5).
More marginal improvements to (4) and token but fundamentally flawed
attempts to address (3).
(7)  Lawsuit ensues, more dollars spent totaling (1+5+6).  Site is redone
from scratch, finally addressing (3).  Turns out that addressing (3) helped
(4).
Hopefully by then,
(8)  I won't be working for the state!

Cheers,
Bruce


> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Poehlman [mailto:poehlman@clark.net]
> Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2000 10:25 AM
> To: Bruce Bailey
> Cc: Web Accessibility Initiative
> Subject: Re: Request for site review
>
>
> I don't understand the devolution in the first place.  We worked
> on this for
> a long time and it was good and now it is not.  I guess they have
> new people
> in there and it is not carrying over.  I would also guess that the m e c
> would have something to say about this because at least they used
> to monitor
> sites that they linked to for access issues.
Received on Thursday, 13 April 2000 11:20:30 GMT

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