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Diversity: messages, audience, site, need

It's not even the end of the second day and my mind's already in
a whirl.  As much as part of our focus is how the EPA and its
website might better serve the public, virtually every
respondent has listed other sites or organizations that might
be of help.  And perhaps that's part of our lesson.  No one site,
be it library, internet or agency, will meet every visitor's

As I look through the many responses that have been posted so far,
I note a variety of needs for a variety of audiences.  Are we
hoping to meet the need of a local goverment entity for hard
research, the citizen trying to determine the risk of something
in the community, a student working on a report on some environ-
mental issue? I suspect the simple and complex answer is yes! 

We do want our sites to meet everyone's needs and when we're
doing the search we want our information when we want it. 

It's also obvious that the education / training that needs to
go along with these needs and wants is equally complex. In-house
we need to recognize how our audiences are likely to access our
sites (by the way the term "sites" is nondiscriminatory - it can
mean either physical or cyber sites) and what they may be looking
for. For those trying to access information that may be on our
sites, we may need to offer broader outreach and education on how
to do just that.

It's way too early in this discussion for me to offer suggestions
but you've already got me thinking about how to provide visitor
services, as information or training, as we (the Philadelphia
Water Department) are developing our Water Works Interpretive 

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