CHAMBER LAUNCHES NEW WEB SITE by
Lance T. Walker
(Note: this bulletin is a re-release of an announcement originally
made in October, 2001 in Alameda Business, the newsletter
of the Alameda Chamber of Commerce.)
- This month, the Alameda Chamber of Commerce proudly announces
the launching of its all-new, state-of-the-art web site at www.alamedachamber.com.
It is an Internet destination that Alameda's businesspeople, visitors,
and residents will find both useful and enjoyable.
Dressed in uplifting
shades of Alameda blue and white, the new site is designed both
to catch the eye, and to provide a soothing invitation to explore
all that the Chamber - and the community - have to offer. The three
images at the top right of the home page compliment the new logo
treatment, and were specifically chosen to represent the three main
areas of Chamber/community interaction: Lifestyle, Government, and
But this is
much more than just a cosmetic upgrade. The new site also features
full search capability and easy navigation to go along with its
bright, inspiring new look. In addition, there is now a detailed
site map included, which allows visitors to see an overview of the
entire site and go to any specific section of interest with just
been beefed up and categorized for easy use. Newsletter articles,
demographic information, education and employment resources, events
calendar, contact information and much more are all arranged for
intuitive locating and easy reading. Consistency, focus, and ease
of use are evident throughout the experience. And the site will
become an ever more valuable resource over time, as new information
is continually added within this solid framework.
The site is
divided into seven major categories, represented by buttons on the
left side of each page. They are: Membership & Directory, Business
News & Events, Publications & Frequently Asked Questions,
Visitors & Relocation, Jobs & Employment, Education &
Training, and About the Chamber. Each category has a specific color
code, which appears when the button is rolled over and is also seen
as a thin, yet eyecatching bar near the top of each interior page.
Relevant subcategories are shown as links at the top and bottom
of the content section of each page.
and employers will also find the familiar banner link to the California
Chamber of Commerce near the bottom of each page of the new site.
Clicking on this banner will allow you to purchase legally required
postings, kits, and other valuable publications directly from the
California Chamber of Commerce store. The Alameda Chamber receives
a small commission on each item purchased through this link.
with the new site launch, the Chamber has also elected to upgrade
its member directory database. To make it easier to find members'
contact information and web site links, categories have been revamped
to more closely match what a visitor would expect to find in a directory
such as the Yellow Pages. Business owners will receive an announcement
of these changes, along with the new category listings, in their
mailbox in the very near future. Members are urged to select the
category most appropriate for their business and return the form
to the Chamber as quickly as possible.
The idea for
a new site design took root in March of last year, following an
extensive focus group survey of Alameda business owners by the Chamber's
Tech Committee. One concern that emerged from the survey was the
need to enhance local businesses' ability to benefit from the advantages
offered by the Internet. From learning what questions to ask when
having a web site built, to commerce-enabling a current site, to
linking to the Chamber's site, the desire for bottom-line information
was clear. But in order to be a viable, credible resource of such
information and assistance, the Chamber needed to demonstrate its
own grasp of today's technological realities - starting with its
own web presence.
SkyVault Web Design, a Chamber member and Internet business services provider
based in Alameda, picked up the challenge. After consulting extensively
with then-CEO Paula McCloskey, then-President Moira Fossum, and
then-President-elect Floyd Hibbitts, SkyVault went into action and
presented the Tech Committee with a plan to dramatically upgrade
the look and useability of the Chamber web site. As a result of
these discussions, a Web Site Subcommittee was formed, and charged
with spearheading a workable process that would accomplish the goal
within established guidelines. Then, with the continual oversight
of the Board of Directors, the project was successfully guided through
a careful, six-month development cycle to fruition.
important for a Chamber of Commerce to show it can get things done",
says Lance T. Walker, Executive Producer at SkyVault. "The
Chamber site was already a valuable community resource. We just
wanted to help make it more so. The site was already loaded with
great information, so there was no need to start from scratch. It
just needed a few additions and adjustments to turn it into a destination
that we believe Alamedans will want to visit frequently, and show
off with pride."
SkyVault's Director of Operations, agrees. "Once we realized
that the leadership of the Chamber was unanimous in their desire
to upgrade the site, it was just a matter of finding a way to make
it happen. Although we've worked on several very large sites in
the past, our specialty is showing small businesses how an Internet
presence can dramatically improve the effectiveness of their local
marketing - which should include active participation in their Chamber
of Commerce. So we were able to bring the necessary tools, experience,
and perspective to bear on a project that we felt was not only worthwhile,
but a pleasure to be involved with. We saw it as a chance to practice
what we preach."
well-designed, modern web presence is an essential tool for attracting
visitors, businesses, and capital to Alameda. Through the combination
of vision, effective leadership, and due diligence, your Chamber
of Commerce now has such a tool at its disposal. Many thanks go
out to Will Dere, Marcella Helwig, Karen Boutilier, Juan Vazquez,
Donna Milgram, Sandra Kok, Richard Lyons, the Board of Directors,
and the entire Tech Committee for their assistance and contributions
to this effort. We invite all Alamedans to visit your sparkling
new Chamber of Commerce web site today, and see for yourselves an
example of the great things we can accomplish together. Enjoy!
Web Design provides marketing consulting, web development,
and Internet business services to small and medium sized businesses.
They have been developing income-producing online properties since