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Meet akleg.gov - the Legislature's new online domain name

Change will affect email addresses, state website

Posted: December 14, 2012 - 12:05am

The Legislative Council voted Thursday at a meeting in Anchorage to approve the change of the Alaska State Legislature’s Web domain from legis.state.ak.us to the pithier akleg.gov.

Sen. Linda Menard, R-Wasilla, chairwoman of the council, said the new name had been selected and secured after study of other state legislatures’ domain names.

“After considerable consideration, deliberation and study, which included researching other state legislators’ email address, the IT subcommittee was determined that the akleg.gov is the best combination of a short and descriptive domain,” said Menard.

Curtis Clothier, information services manager at the Legislative Affairs Agency, said the old domain will remain active through 2013.

“We intend to keep the old address good for one year, essentially, until Dec. 31 of 2013, in order for offices to be able to transition their constituents and contacts, to get them familiar with the new name, as well as allow you to transition your letterhead and email and stationary and all those items as well,” Clothier said.

The new email addresses could be available as soon as next week, Clothier told the council.

“It’s a fairly simple change, so we can get it going fairly quickly,” said Clothier.

Part of the email address change will be to do away with the underscore characters that are in many legislators’ addresses, Clothier said.

The domain change affects legislators’ email addresses — Menard’s, for example, will be Senator.Linda.Menard@akleg.gov, whereas it is currently Senator_Linda_Menard@legis.state.ak.us — as well as the Legislature’s official website, to which http://akleg.gov already directs.

Rep. Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, suggested that the state hold onto the legis.state.ak.us domain for as long as possible to ward off potential fraud.

“I encourage us to keep the domain as long as we can,” Johnson said. He raised the prospect of the domain expiring, allowing “someone to come in and buy it later and start saying they’re Craig Johnson at legis.state.”

Clothier responded that it would be possible to do that, but cautioned that keeping the old domain online for longer would reduce legislators’ incentive to make the changes.

“The more time you give to people, the longer they take to do it,” Clothier said. He suggested the issue could be reviewed again next December.

• Contact reporter Mark D. Miller at 523-2279 or at mark.d.miller@juneauempire.com.

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