The dark secret behind the City of De Leon, TX, Website was that it was designed, developed and deployed in 24 hours.
I did some simple customization on the flight from San Francisco to Austin. When I got to my hotel in Texas that night, City of Manor CIO Dustin Haisler and I set up the WordPress site, installed the theme and added content from the legacy site. We also integrated 311, social media and Google Docs features. All of this was done via Skype chat.
There was no design by committee, and I didn’t make it my personal art project. This was a rapid-development process and a practical approach to modernizing one town’s Web and social media presence.
De Leon officials knew they were getting a WordPress-powered site using the GovFresh theme and that it would resemble the City of Manor Website. They weren’t concerned with color or design minutiae. They wanted a Website they could easily manage themselves and update immediately, and that’s what they got.
It wasn’t perfect on Day 1, but within 24 hours a local government had a modern-day Website. Within 48 hours, De Leon published its first blog post and began using Facebook and Twitter to communicate with its citizens.
This is a perfect example of how local governments can use new technology to save money, empower themselves and better serve citizens. See also the White House Blog post about the De Leon Makeover.