Back by popular demand! Our monthly selection of websites that stand out among their peers. This month’s sites include:
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
- FDIC State Profiles
- MedCity News
- National Conference of State Legislatures
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
When an airport website communicates with all potential visitors – from airline passengers to analysts, investors, the media, and even prospective employees – and does so effectively, we think it deserves Top Picks status. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport’s website is one such airport.
As one would expect, its home page is geared toward passengers departing from, arriving at, or connecting through the airport. But from there, the site soars above expectations, with innovative features like an interactive airport map, status updates showing rates and availability for airport parking facilities, and a panoramic tour of each terminal.
The statistical section of the site provides passenger, cargo and other operating data on a monthly basis, and appears to be updated on a consistent, timely basis. Of course from our vantage point, the piece de resistance is its investor information section, which provides its current and recent annual financial reports, continuing disclosure statements, bond ordinances, bond ratings, and current and recent bond offerings.
FDIC State Profiles
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), created in 1933 after the thousands of bank failures in the 1920s and early 1930s, insures deposits at banks and thrift institutions. One of its primary missions, to “preserve and promote public confidence in the U.S. financial system,” involves staying on top of banking activities and the economic pulse in states throughout the country. FDIC State Profiles, updated quarterly, provide a snapshot view of banking and economic trends by state, including asset quality, liquidity, loan quality as well as economic indicators and housing trends.
This unique website covers news, analysis and opinion focusing on key industrial capitals of healthcare – including Cleveland, the Twin Cities, the Research Triangle, Ann Arbor, Boston, Chicago, Madison, and Pittsburgh. Actually, the site does more than “cover” medical-related news; a recent announcement on the site proclaims that “MedCityNews.com obsessively follows innovation in healthcare.” As such, it is launching an endeavor to “recognize and honor medical excellence” with an annual awards program called The Cities, which “will honor innovation, entrepreneurship and achievement from America’s elite medical cities.”
MedCity News receives our accolades on many counts, primarily because it provides an interesting and insightful collection of news and commentary – with relevance that overlaps several of MuniNet’s favorite topics: cities, finance, and healthcare.
National Conference of State Legislatures
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) website is no stranger to our list of favorite websites, but we usually recognize it in the context of best sites for election coverage. In this installment of Top Picks, we recognize the NCSL website for being an outstanding resource for all kinds of state-related research. The NCSL is an advocacy organization comprised of legislative officials and staff from around the country. Its three-pronged mission is “to improve the quality and effectiveness of state legislatures; promote policy innovation and communication among state legislatures, and ensure state legislatures a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system.” Its website is full of great resources, but its Issues and Research section, which is broken down into several timely topic areas – from budget and tax to transportation – is a veritable treasure trove.
One particularly notable feature is State Measures to Balance FY2010 – FY2012 Budgets, a database of enacted, proposed, and failed measures to increase revenues or decrease spending. The database is searchable by fiscal year (2010, 2011, or 2012), by region and/or state, and by type of strategy.
Social media sites often get an undeserved bad rap in the workplace. Granted, there is plenty of potential for misdirected time and focus at the office, but Twitter can be an incredibly valuable tool when used responsibly. The beauty of Twitter is that the user gets to choose who they follow – individuals, organizations, media outlets, corporations. In doing so, the user creates what I like to call a “universe of interest.”
That universe can be highly targeted, to include, for example, only people or organizations that post updates relating to municipal bonds, OR it can be very eclectic for people who want to read posts about municipal bonds, high-tech stocks, law enforcement, gourmet food and updates about their child’s soccer team. Twitter is a highly convenient way to stay on top of news and updates.
As editor of MuniNet Guide, I find Twitter to be a great source for announcements from public policy organizations, news outlets, authors, and government agencies – my own professional universe of interest. And, in addition to posting tweets on behalf of MuniNet, I often “retweet” items that I believe might be of particular interest to our followers. Click here to follow MuniNetGuide.com on Twitter.