When Boston city employees who are nontechnical want to add or change content on the Boston Web portal,  they don't bother sending job orders to IT staff. They adjust the Web site themselves using an SDL Tridion content management system (CMS) that was deployed in December 2007. Removing IT workers from the process resulted in faster posting, more content on the site and 25 percent increase in Web traffic, according to Raj Pareek, manager of e-government services for Boston.

"Individual departments are creating more interesting, relevant, fresh content because they control it," Pareek said. "They publish the content and feel empowered to take ownership."

Also, once city employees post content, they don't have to worry about removing information that's due for removal from the site. Using the CMS, the employee programs a sunset date, and the CMS automatically removes the item on the correct day.

However, the solution wasn't instantly usable for nontechnical workers, Pareek said. City IT staff gave employees hours of practice time before going live with the system.

"We had a training room where people could walk in every week for a few hours and go over their material before they published it to make sure they were doing it right," Pareek said.

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Andy Opsahl  | 

Andy Opsahl is a former writer and features editor for Government Technology magazine.