Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Planning for the Future

Yesterday we launched “Sounds of the Registry” – recorded interviews stored as audio files that can be heard by anyone visiting our website. While I expect the inevitable anonymous email comment complaining about us wasting money and acting unprofessionally, the truth is that we’re propelling the registry into the future. Maybe it would be slicker and more professional looking if we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on “consultants” – that’s standard procedure in government – but we don’t have hundreds (never mind hundreds of thousands) of dollars in extra money to spend. And in the age of computers, the best way to do something is to try to figure it out yourself. That’s how you learn about technology and grow comfortable with it. When you eventually do hire an expert, you know what to ask for and what to monitor, so you end up getting a better product. As for our vision of the future, it’s nothing unique. Glance through the Business section of yesterday’s Globe and notice the headlines: “Web radio quickly finding niche markets” “As Verizon hikes 411 cost, rival offers a free tryout” “Online kitchens a recipe for the future” “Newspaper creates Web town square.” The Internet has revolutionized the way to deliver information to people, but all kinds of businesses – newspapers, telephone companies, radio stations, grocery stores, and yes, registries of deeds - have to figure out what works and what doesn’t. And that’s what we’re doing. Your comments, even the negative ones, help us the most.

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