Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Ms. Greene is an information ferret. She keeps digging until she gets what she wants.

For example, the city of Plattsburgh mayor’s office – what’s the phone number?

She checked a phonebook. Not there.

She went to the city’s website. Still couldn’t find the number.

That’s because the phone number isn’t listed where you think it would be, the City Resources and Departments link. Building inspector’s number, sure, but not the mayor’s.

I’m something of a data digger myself. I found the mayor’s number on the city’s site with some oddball clicking. The number is listed on the Message from the Mayor page, accessed through the About Plattsburgh link. Even then it was placed not under his name but that of his assistant, way at the bottom of the page. You had to read and scroll through the message to get to the number. If you gave up or nodded off while reading, too bad.

And as for the phonebook situation…

The Clinton County Area 2008-2009 phonebook published by Verizon does list the mayor’s office under the City of Plattsburgh in the white pages. Now go to the latest edition, 2009-2010 and you can’t find the City of Plattsburgh listings unless you realize that Verizon has split the white pages into residential and business listings. The city offices are now under the business white pages, including the mayor’s office.

Effing great job, Verizon, pulling a switch like that. (Looking for City Taxi in the new book? Business section.)

During the Space Age they put a man on the moon. But during the Information Age someone has to laboriously search out a phone number that should be readily available? Man can walk on the moon but he can’t contact another man?

Ms. Greene did get phone the number for the mayor’s office on her own. How? She availed herself of an arcane tool used by leading deep researchers.

She called someone who knew the number.

1 comment:

tourpro said...

Mayor Graham of Watertown is on both Twitter and has his own blog.

It would be awesome if our mayor could also avail himself of these great tools to communicate with his constituents.