GFDA Website: No News Is…No News

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A fellow named Jeff left a comment today wondering why the Great Falls Development Authority (GFDA) website still hasn’t been updated. My response: I have absolutely no idea. It completely baffles me.

It looks like the GFDA website has become my windmill, much like GeeGuy and GF Girl have “adopted” the coal plant as their civics project, and Susan Overfield has taken on the animal-welfare system.

Let’s take a look at the story so far:

On October 2, 2006, the Trib noticed that the GFDA website was not quite current, as it still had a picture of the former director, who had been gone for several months at that point. Two days later, after offering to help the GFDA update their site, I got a slightly condescending reply from the interim boss. A few months later, in 2007, I saw that nothing had changed – the site still sported a “current” newsletter that was nearly a year old, contained bad links (Quest vs Qwest, invalid 2005 MT state biz page, etc).

But then a ray of hope in June 2007: the new marketing director made a bold announcement about a project to update the GFDA site. Flash forward to September 2007, and…nothing has changed. But the GFDA president sends an e-mail stating that the new site will be up & running in a few weeks. Uh…

And now here we are in March 2008. What has changed at the Great Falls Development Authority website? Nothing. Not that I can see, anyway. The most current newsletter is still dated April 2006. The Tax information is still from 2005 and links to an invalid MT state page. The demographic data is from 2004. The page that lists “recent successes” talks about Avmax opening a facility in 2005. So here it is, nearly 18 months after the original Trib article and my blog entry.

As I said above: I am completely, absolutely, 100% baffled by the GFDA’s attitude towards the one tool – the GFDA website – that is “always on” and available to anyone in the world at any time looking for information about Great Falls and the economic opportunities in our community.

MORE: the Big Red Onion has some thoughts on the subject. And Jeff, the commenter at the beginning of this entry, sent me a follow-up e-mail: “It really is sad, I’ve sent emails with no reply, and even tried the chamber of commerce but it doesn’t seem to matter, it is a pretty poor site.”



  1. They are clueless. They just don’t get it. Today, the absolute numero uno piece of literature about ANY organization is it’s website. It does not even have to be fancy, just kept current.

    Most of those issues you mention would take about 15 to 20 minutes to fix. Many 15 year olds could help them do it.

    The impression the current site leaves is that they are asleep at the wheel.

  2. It’s not just an impression… they are asleep at the wheel. But, maybe they have another site entirely. I don’t know why they would do that. And more than likely… they aren’t. I’m sticking with the first scenario… our city leaders are either ignorant or lazy. I’m guessing it’s the latter and not the former.

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