Question: If you are cruising on the information highway, how well marked is the road to Sudbury? Answer: You can find it if you are looking for it, but there is room for a much larger sign.
If you are from Sudbury or know the exact website address, it is easy enough to find information about the City of Greater Sudbury, local businesses, tourist attractions and other services. Without these though, it gets a little more challenging.
As well, many of the websites are used mainly as static repositories for information rather than a more comprehensive sales and marketing tool.
If you look at the statistics generated by 2001 survey conducted by e-sudbury.com, a division of the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation, it appears that Sudbury is ready to embrace the technological revolution.
According to this survey, 86 per cent of local business with computers stated they had Internet access. Additionally, 82 per cent of these wired businesses indicated they have their own websites.
As well, approximately 44 per cent of households in the Greater City of Sudbury have computers and Internet access in their homes. The main uses for the Internet are accessing information on-line and e-mail correspondence.
There are projects underway by both local government agencies and private businesses to increase the visibility of Sudbury on the Internet and to develop more e-commerce strategies and initiatives.
CyberSudbury Inc., a local Internet marketing company, was the first company to recognize the need for a Â?virtual communityÂ? for the Sudbury region. They created Search Sudbury, a business database searching utility, which allows visitors to find direct links or contact information for local businesses, services and tourist attractions.
Kurtis VanWallegham, owner/operator of CyberSudbury Inc., says they will be launching Â?a very large e-commerce projectÂ? in the near future.
Jody Cameron, the economic development technology officer at e-sudbury.com, would like to see more engagement by Sudbury businesses in the e-commerce field. He says e-sudbury.com can help local businesses incorporate technology into their websites. By incorporating the technology, the web sites can become a valuable sales and marketing tool instead of being just another information source.
e-sudbury.com is also working on a business plan to obtain funding from the Provincial government to develop a Â?one-stop portalÂ? or website that will actively promote the Greater City of Sudbury and its businesses and services.