King: After we get off the phone, jump on it. I think you'll find it's really pretty neat. For example, as part of a downsizing project that we're doing for state government, we're having to lay some people off. We're putting their resumes on the Internet to try to help them find new positions.

We've got a very sophisticated tourism piece where you can click on the map of Maine and it will tell you what's going on in that region and what the attractions are. Then you can go in and find hotels, motels and restaurants.

In a matter of months, we will have available on the Internet all of the state regulations. A person who is interested in getting a permit -- whether it's something like a duck hunting permit or something as complicated as permits to build a building -- will be able to go in and look at what the regulations are. And that's a customer service function.

The other thing we're developing is a very sophisticated GIS system for economic development. Somebody interested in doing business in Maine can go through this and find out everything they would want to know -- labor market data, sewer lines, schools, tax rates, availability of road frontage -- all in a consistent, easy access database.

GT: Who are home pages for? How does it affect certain constituencies?

King: There are two different constituencies that we are aiming at.

One is in-state people, by giving them access. For example, it gives them

e-mail access to the governor's office. That's a pretty straightforward one. It gives them information about agencies, regulations and their own internal tourism. It's an easy way to communicate with state government quite directly and instantaneously.

Second, we want to be accessible to the outside world. For example, we had some friends in France who were coming to see us. They accessed the Maine home page from Paris and found a bed-and-breakfast in Portland, made a reservation and had everything done before they landed in New York.

Multiply that by 100,000 or a million and that can be a big boost to our tourism business. Tourism is our largest single employment segment. As you will see on our home page, there's been a lot of care taken with our visitor information piece. Also, if a business wants to get in touch with us it's a way for them to get a feel for what the state is about. We're going to be expanding that.

Maine's home page can be found at .

*

none  |