City of Boston launches Boston.gov on Drupal

The before and after of Boston.gov

Yesterday the City of Boston launched its new website, Boston.gov, on Drupal. Not only is Boston a city well-known around the world, it has also become my home over the past 9 years. That makes it extra exciting to see the city of Boston use Drupal.

As a company headquartered in Boston, I'm also extremely proud to have Acquia involved with Boston.gov. The site is hosted on Acquia Cloud, and Acquia led a lot of the architecture, development and coordination. I remember pitching the project in the basement of Boston's City Hall, so seeing the site launched less than a year later is quite exciting.

The project was a big undertaking as the old website was 10 years old and running on Tridion. The city's digital team, Acquia, IDEO, Genuine Interactive, and others all worked together to reimagine how a government can serve its citizens better digitally. It was an ambitious project as the whole website was redesigned from scratch in 11 months; from creating a new identity, to interviewing citizens, to building, testing and launching the new site.

Along the way, the project relied heavily on feedback from a wide variety of residents. The openness and transparency of the whole process was refreshing. Even today, the city made its roadmap public at http://roadmap.boston.gov and is actively encouraging citizens to submit suggestions. This open process is one of the many reasons why I think Drupal is such a good fit for Boston.gov.

Boston gov tell us what you think

More than 20,000 web pages and one million words were rewritten in a more human tone to make the site easier to understand and navigate. For example, rather than organize information primarily by department (as is often the case with government websites), the new site is designed around how residents think about an issue, such as moving, starting a business or owning a car. Content is authored, maintained, and updated by more than 20 content authors across 120 city departments and initiatives.

Boston gov tools and apps

The new Boston.gov is absolutely beautiful, welcoming and usable. And, like any great technology endeavor, it will never stop improving. The City of Boston has only just begun its journey with Boston.gov - I’m excited see how it grows and evolves in the years to come. Go Boston!

Boston gov launch event
Boston gov launch event
Boston gov launch event
Last night there was a launch party to celebrate the launch of Boston.gov. It was an honor to give some remarks about this project alongside Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (pictured above), as well as Lauren Lockwood (Chief Digital Officer of the City of Boston) and Jascha Franklin-Hodge (Chief Information Officer of the City of Boston).

Patriots

Patriots game
Patriots game

Went to watch my first Patriot game at Gillette Stadium last night. It was cold and wet but fun but we got field access which made it pretty special. Check out all the photos in the album.

Ben and Ione

Ben and Ione

We had a fun and jam-packed Fourth of July weekend with Ben and Ione. They are some of our best friends from Belgium, and they'll be living in Boston for two months. Should be a lot of fun. Ben and I go back a long time; among other things we started Mollom together.

Second birthday Stan

Party

Exactly two years ago, you took your first breath. Now you run, jump, climb, cook (with help from mommy), communicate and exert your independence (with help from tantrums). It is incredible to see your personality and skills shine through. Can't wait to see more of you, small buddy. Happy second birthday, Stan!

Pajamas and helicopters

A short video of Axl and Stan for our family and friends in Europe who don't see them every day. Axl started learning English 6 months ago when he started pre-school. It's fascinating to see how fast his English gets better. The video is shot with the Panasonic GF-1 and the Lumix 20mm f/1.7 lens that I got for Christmas two years ago.

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