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Website Debuts For City Groups And Events

POSTED August 3, 2011 3:11 a.m.

Described as a “one stop shop for groups and events,” city volunteers introduced a new website designed to assist users in getting information about Oakdale all in one location.
Ramona Howard introduced the website known as Oakdalecity.com at the July18 city council meeting.
“It’s not designed to replace the city’s website, but to augment it,” said Howard. “I’ve been here 18 years and I didn’t know many places or groups existed in Oakdale until I started working on it.”
The site lists community and group organizations, live music, public events, tours, eateries, and even facts about the city. A community calendar allows users to share and input information on one site.
Howard said the site, purchased and maintained by volunteers at no cost to the city, was created because there was no single place on the city website to learn about Oakdale happenings. The goal of the site was to put everything at one location but not to take away from individual websites.
“We wanted to create something everyone could be part of,” Howard said. “This makes it easy to find events and organizations in Oakdale.”
Howard explained that any group could join Oakdalecity.com to provide information about their organization and could post information about its events as long as they’re open to the public.
There is the ability for anyone to add an event by using the simple form right on Oakdalecity.com, making it so the person doesn’t have to leave the site to see and do everything they want.
“Someone’s wedding reception or a graduation party wouldn’t be put on here,” Howard said. “Fundraisers, music events, things like that, whether there’s a fee or not, are OK.”
The desire of the organizers is to have the site be a portal for one-stop information on Oakdale. The user can then be directed to the group’s page on the site or their Internet website. 
“A group or organization can have its own page on the site all managed by one person,” said Howard. “It’s sharing community ideas and involvement.”
Howard pointed out that by having each group maintain its own page there would be no bottleneck with a traditional Webmaster to get things listed on the site.
“The person in charge of the group or their representative could update it as frequently as they wish,” she said.
Howard pointed out groups such as Oakdale Movies Interest Group, Burchell Hill Neighborhood Watch, and Shelter Pet Alliance that are already operating.
Oakdale churches also have their own section on the site.
The website’s volunteers will monitor the site for the appropriateness of the content.
A benefit of the way Oakdalecity.com is set up, according to Howard, is that all the information is in a text format that makes searching for the information easier and more accessible.
Howard explained that those interested in being on Oakdalecity.com should send her an email at oakdalevolunteer@gmail.com. Howard will then send an “invite” to the website back to the requestor allowing the ability to post on the site.

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