One good way to create a website is to pay a single agency just enough money to do the job, put them on a tight deadline, fact check the content, and then publish it. Easy! Many people who are incompetent in several vital areas of life-human interaction, for example-have nevertheless managed to start and run successful websites with few start up costs at all. But the nation of Italy decided, hey, why don't we do the opposite of all that, and see how much money we can burn through in pursuit of a conceptual online fiasco? So they did! Italy wanted to build a website to market the nation to prospective tourists. The cost so far: $66 million over five years. And it doesn't even exist yet! Among the problems: Too many cooks in the kitchen ("Several government ministries — in two administrations — and each of Italy's 20 regions were involved in creating the portal"), a product that went live in 2007 full of embarrassing errors, databases that weren't compatible with each other, and a logo purchased for $150,000 that was eventually discarded for sucking too much. A consultant tells the WSJ that the government could have had an agency complete the entire project by now for around 2% of what's been spent. Try Blogspot.com, yo. [WSJ]
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