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Abstract

In an age of increasing reliance on the World Wide Web for researching destination information, geographic communities that once relied on conventional mass media for self promotion now find themselves obligated to maintain a virtual presence. Our North Country-Adirondack communities have the tools to make their defining regional features known to Web navigators around the world. But are community stakeholders indeed working toward a virtual identity that is commensurate with the region's physical reality, ensuring they are sufficiently present, visible, and presented online? This article reports the outcomes of Phase I of a long-term Community Web Visibility project, focusing on one fundamental component of community virtual identity - Visibility. Visibility is an important indication of the comparative virtual area that any community inhabits on the Web. The discussion of results reveals a connection between Web visibility, online identity, and a community's potential for self promotion and economic development.

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