Award-winning techie weaves terrific City of Great Falls Web site

Racheal Arms’ career involves an endless search for missing links.

Designer and master of the city of Great Falls’ Web site , Arms works diligently to make sure viewers can flow through Web pages without hurdles or roadblocks.

Tribune Staff Writer

Such finicky perfectionism is a job requirement, she said.

"To a degree, a Webmaster needs to be willing to be meticulous," she said. "This Web site represents the city. I’m constantly telling people ‘If you see a typo, tell me’."

Arms’ job with the city grew from internship to temporary to a permanent full-time position.

Today she oversees the 5,344-page site that contains everything from agendas for upcoming City Commission meetings to a how-to list for sorting recycling material for the Citizens Convenience Center.

Although Arms’ career plans solidified once she got to college, she always knew she wanted to attend the University of Great Falls.

"When I was a kid, my parents would take me swimming there," she said. "When my mom had appointments nearby, I’d play on campus. It just seemed natural; then I got a scholarship."

Vibrant professors made her classes exciting, Arms said.

"Even when I was a lab monitor and they were teaching subjects I already knew, they taught in ways that would still get me excited."

The city’s Web site earned two Golden Web Awards from the International Association of Webmasters.

But Arms said her biggest pat on the back came the summer of 2001 when the pop group Smash Mouth canceled its concert at the State Fair eight hours before show time, after lead singer Steve Harwell’s infant son died of leukemia.

"We posted the cancellation on our Web site immediately with condolences to the family," Arms said. "People called and said ‘Now, that’s how you use a Web site.’ That’s the best comment I’ve gotten."

Black can be reached by e-mail at [email protected], or by phone at (406) 791-6502.

Rachael Arms , designer and Webmaster of the city of Great Falls’ Web site, studied at the University of Great Falls. Arms says perfectionism is a requirement for her job.

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