E-Gov Startup Offers Citizens Personal Touch

E-Gov Startup Offers Citizens Personal Touch

By William Welsh, Staff Writer


JUNE 12 ? A new electronic government startup is offering local governments a way to send personalized information to constituents about programs, events and services in which they are interested.


Known as "narrowcasting," the targeted e-mail system is the brainchild of Chicago-based Netgov.com, which launched June 9. The information will be delivered to citizens either individually or by interest groups, according to the company.


Narrowcasting is part of a comprehensive citizen-service solution that also includes an action center, resource center and events calendar. These applications provide citizens with ways to report problems, search a directory of government resources and check out upcoming events.


All of the applications are designed to be integrated into existing government Web sites, according to Netgov.com.


"Consumers and businesses are using the Internet in exponentially increasing numbers for commercial transactions and to find useful information," said Bruce Masterson, Netgov's president and chief operating officer. "They expect to use the Internet to conduct business, too. The appeal for constituents is powerful: no more telephone tag, no more driving to the government office, no more waiting in line, no more wondering if the application ever got there."


Former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith and e-commerce veteran William Lederer are Netgov's chairman and vice chairman, respectively. The new company was formed by the merger of Goldsmith's e-Gov Solutions of Indianapolis and Lederer's AX.com, a government marketplace for the disposition of tax liens, deeds and real estate.


Netgov.com has appointed three former mayors to serve on its advisory board: Ed Rendell of Philadelphia, Kurt Schmoke of Baltimore and Jerry Abramson of Louisville, Ky.


Netgov.com offers local governments assorted services, including citizen-service, business, commerce, payment center, procurement, auction and citizen access. Local governments may choose to compensate the company through licensing fees and transaction or convenience charges paid either by the government or constituents, sponsorships or any combination of these methods.

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