South Side Chamber Website now on-line
In a time becoming more and more dominated by cell phones, PDAs and the Internet, people seem to be looking to quick and easy access to information and communication.
This being the case, it should be no surprise that the South Side Chamber of Commerce recently undertook a potentially giant leap into cyberspace.
On Monday, June 6, the organization held the unveiling of its first official website, www.southsidechamber.org. According to Janice Goliwas, vice president of the SSCC, the event was to be held in conjunction with the regularly scheduled monthly networking events sponsored by the organization. It took place at the City Theater from 4 – 6 p.m.
The event was two-fold. There was the aforementioned unveiling of the website. But the SSCC also wanted to give various business owners the opportunity to get information of the company that actually got the website up and running.
The Praktis, a local graphics design studio, took on the task of putting the website into its final electronic format. Goliwas said The Praktis will also be responsible for some maintenance and any design changes that may need to be made to the SSCC website in the future.
Representatives from The Praktis were available to speak with owners of local “Mom and Pop” businesses who might be interested in utilizing the Internet as a resource for themselves.
“There were three companies that were instrumental in making this project happen,” said SSCC board member Brian Diamond.
In addition to the previously mentioned graphic design firm The Praktis, the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation provided much of the background information on the South Side community. And, a company called Pair Networks has agreed to host the website working with the minimal budget the SSCC can afford.
According to Goliwas, Diamond had some technical background and was one of the main individuals to help bring this website into existence.
Until now, the SSCC's presence on the Internet has been rather limited. According to Goliwas, the only real electronic correspondence the organization had with residents and members of the local business community was e-mail.
“There has been some interest in creating a website for the chamber for around the last two or three years,” said Goliwas. “We've been working to make the site a reality for about the last six months.”
Diamond also commented on the development of the website from the very beginning. He said that in the past, some members of the organization were in favor of establishing a website while others simply didn't feel there was a need for it. “A few months ago, the board voted and decided to launch the initiative,” said Diamond.
Some of the specific features available on the organization's website will include a list of chamber initiatives, general news, a directory of SSCC board members and a calendar of events.
In Diamond's opinion, one of the biggest challenges will be the routine maintenance required by the SSCC itself. Now that the website is up and running, one of the main concerns focuses on keeping the various members of the organization on the same page regarding the information on the website. And, of course, making sure all the content available is up to date is key as well.
Goliwas believes the site will be very beneficial for the South Side community as a whole. “It will be a great way to generate publicity and allow people to find out what is happening in the community, with our events and our sponsors,” she said. Essentially, it is intended to serve as an avenue for local merchants, and those who call South Side their home, to have easy access to the information the SSCC can provide.
A few examples of this type of information include the aforementioned monthly networking events as well as special events like the one held in April which featured the various candidates for the office of mayor of Pittsburgh.
Now that the site is live, it can be accessed at www.southsidechamber.org. In addition to the website, for more information regarding SSCC undertakings, you can contact the organization's offices at 412-431-3360.
Anyone interested in using the services The Praktis provides can visit the company website at http://thepraktis.com/index.html.