The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

3 October 2005

The Ambassador needs a new suit

The Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau has, shall we say, a serviceable Web site; it's not particularly cluttered, which is good, but it reeks of 1999. (Which is to say, there's nothing on it that I, with my decidedly-limited portfolio of mad Web skillz, couldn't have done.)

Others take a dimmer view of it. This letter was sent by the techier-than-I Gerard Morentzy to the OKCCVB, and is reprinted with his permission.

Dear Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, I was shocked to go to Oklahoma City's Visitors website at and see the site that promotes your growing city. I simply couldn't believe this is your introduction to your town. I was told I need to visit Oklahoma, and Oklahoma City in particular. I went to the site and saw this distorted picture of your city at the top of the page. What's that about? The picture size doesn't fit the space. The Oklahoma City 'logo'?? My god! That looks like something from 1975 — it's horrible! Bottom line: I was surprised at all the good things I am hearing about Okla. City and then see this horrible website. I travel often and visit many Visitors Center sites. I wonder if you realize how awful your site really is? For comparison in your region, I visited — and you should too:

I would hope that all the progressive things that I hear are happening in your city will eventually make its way to the Internet gateway to your city — the Convention and Visitors pages on the web are considered just that. You have much work to do.

Gerard Morentzy

And while we're on the subject, a URL that might actually stick in the mind would be a useful thing to have. (They own, but I don't remember seeing it promoted anywhere.)

Why Topeka rates a (!), I don't know, unless it's because of that CSI episode.

Posted at 5:51 PM to City Scene , Outgoing Mail

It's been a long time since I had visited the OKC visitors site and - ugh - it looks pretty poor. I can see his point after visiting those other sites. OKC looks light years behind. He is also right about it being a "gateway" site for many to our city and its image. That site should really shine and it clearly does not. I liked that the links were in the email for comparison as visiting just a few makes his point. Maybe this is something some of the movers and shakers at OKCTalk could take up?

Posted by: Mike Swi... at 8:05 PM on 3 October 2005

It's stuff like this that makes you wish the Downtown Guy would come back.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:47 AM on 4 October 2005

It's not that bad.

The most important aspect of success is that the site be functional and up-to-date.

A lot of the sites on the list look pretty, but are pretty worthless interface-wise. Study after study shows that users would much rather find the information they are looking for than be dazzled by fancy graphics. (Yes, it's ironic that I should say that.)

The site could be improved significantly, but it certainly doesn't deserve that vicious flogging.

Posted by: Dan at 1:03 PM on 4 October 2005

Well, I did say that it was a dimmer view than my own.

The OKCCVB site is more or less vertically oriented, and all the "cool" sites stretch horizontally like TV screens. That alone may explain some of the opposition, since TV is the highest form of our culture.

Posted by: CGHill at 1:41 PM on 4 October 2005

Being a substance over form fella myself I thought the site wan't that bad either. Yes, it is definitely NOT hip but it does give you the information you need.

Kind of like all this 70's stuff in style now ... bright furniture, gaudy ties and bizarre teenage styles ... this too shall pass.

I must be slipping into a premature geezerdom. :)

Posted by: Ron at 8:06 AM on 5 October 2005