Saturday, January 16, 2010

Time Capsule

With the presidential palace in ruins from the recent devastating earthquake, it is not surprising that visitors to the website for Haiti's office of the Prime Minister will only get a message about a parse error if they travel to the online representation of the virtual state for the central government, which is currently in disarray.

The government websites that are actually online seem to be frozen in time before the disaster. The Ministère des Affaires Etrangères d'Haïti shows images of cruise ships and visiting royalty rather than foreign aid workers landing to dig citizens out of the rubble.

Similarly, the Ministre Haïtien de la Planification et de la Coopération Externe is bordered with PDF policy documents that frame the national narrative that explains a history that goes back to the country's 1946 revolution. There is no sign of the tumult that has gripped the country on a site that still bears a 2007 copyright.

Unlike the old Microsoft FrontPage sites that represent many of the Carribean nation's agencies, the site for the Ministère des Travaux Publics, Transports & Communications seems to celebrate the emerging infrastructure of the country with a more contemporary and dynamic page.

Of course, not all interactive contact is a good idea, as the website for the Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances, which features cheezy animations of Santa Claus and blinking hyperactive text.

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