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New Downtown Santa Monica Website to Offer Instant Info
By Melonie Magruder
July 19, 2012 -- In the 21st century, the race goes to the swiftest; news and information not available instantly is frequently too late to be relevant.
That’s why Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.’s new website, to be unveiled in July, aims for immediacy in an effort to bring fresh information to local businesses and residents, as well as visitors.
“Our goal was to create a modern website that reflects Downtown Santa Monica as the vibrant, progressive and sunny downtown that is for everyone,” said Heather Hoffman, spokeswoman for M & C Saatchi, the Santa Monica-based agency that helped design the website.
The new Downtown website is aiming to stay ahead of the times.
According to a recent Pew Research Center study, people looking for information about local restaurants and other businesses rely on the Internet, especially search engines, ahead of any other source. Furthermore, Internet searches tie with newspapers as the top source for news about local housing, schools and jobs.
Those are the target audiences Downtown Santa Monica is looking to satisfy, according to Debbie Lee, vice president of DTSM.
“We wanted to provide a site that exudes our brand while giving detailed information about local businesses and events,” Lee said. “Our new site allows users to explore the area before they get here and makes planning a trip to Downtown Santa Monica effortless.”
The new mapping technology that has been integrated into the site makes finding a businesses easy through search functions and categories. You can pinpoint your destination and locate landmarks, parking structures and more around your destination. It makes mapping out a day in Downtown much easier, DTSM officials said
This technology comes courtesy of Bing, a search engine that finds, categorizes and organizes pretty much any aspect of your life. Driving or walking directions are a mere few keystrokes away.
“The user will now be able to digitally put themselves in Downtown Santa Monica as the new website gives them everything you could imagine in one destination,” Hoffman said. “From shopping to entertainment to great food, it really is everyone’s downtown.”
The site also offers users a registry that directly ties DTSM to consumers, businesses and stakeholders.
The business owner registry allows Downtown businesses to send updated information to DTSM so it can help communicate directly with them, Downtown officials said. And with more than 600 businesses — as well as property owners and stakeholders — in the district, the goal is to streamline efficient and timely communications.
A consumer email registry allows DTSM to communicate with users through an email platform. Locals, as well as visitors, can be informed of breaking news such as road closures or special promotions, including holiday events, such as ICE at Santa Monica and specials for events like L.A. Marathon.
The website calendar will include listings that allow users to select a certain date to search for local specials, promotions and events. Businesses within the district will be able to submit information to DTSM conveniently on the site to help keep real-time information.
Busy mothers can find Saturday afternoon family-friendly, sporting or cultural events with a mere click of a button.
In the locals section, DTSM will highlight ongoing projects from new construction to graffiti removal throughout Downtown and provide useful links, City updates and status reports.
“Business owners and users of the new website will benefit most from the simplicity and vibrant design of the site as it will encourage visitors from surrounding communities to choose Downtown Santa Monica as their downtown,” Hoffman said.
Lee agrees the new website will be a boon to businesses and consumers alike.
“We are pleased to be launching this engaging website,” Lee said. “It meets our objective to continue to provide the public with accurate, interesting and timely information on all things Downtown.”
Look for the new, user-friendly DTSM website in July, 2012.
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