Web Site Of The Month

As you log on to www.MyPlumber.com, you can almost hear Ed McMahon's voice saying, "Everything you ever wanted to know about My Plumber is on that Web site!" It wouldn't be much of an overstatement. The Web site for Fairfax, Va.-based My Plumber not only has a plethora of information, facts, tips, links and coupons, it has 12 cameras (many with live video feeds) giving the user a behind-the-scenes look at virtually every department - including the parking lot!

The family owned plumbing business employs 49 technicians serving Northern Virginia and Maryland. My Plumber was founded in 1983 by Wendell Presgrave. The site's designer, Willam Baumbach II, wrote to tell us of the company's site: "I bet it's the only plumber in the world that has this. My Plumber has had three Web cams in its office for a year now, and has just added nine more." The result is a fascinating Web site that gives an unprecedented view of the plumbing contractor's inner workings.

You can check out the "Dispatch Cam," the "CSR Cam," and the "Bookkeeping Cam"; you can check out the view outside, check on the break room, or even get live streaming video from several cameras at once!

And if you can't find the Webmaster in the office, you might catch a glimpse of him on the Web cam in his office at home. Asked about the inspiration behind his Web cam coverage, Baumbach stated that he simply wanted to create something unique and different for the Web site.

But there is more to this Web site experience than mere voyeurism. Customers can place service calls over the Internet, and prospective employees can fill out an application online as well. The colorful graphics and detailed subsections convey a wealth of information about the company's history, products and services.

Its banner promises "Same day service or our visit is free!" and offers monthly specials and a $10-off coupon. The section offering plumbing tips - such as how to prevent frozen pipes and what to do if you have no hot water - is the Web site's second most popular feature, behind the Web cams.

The pride in this business is evident throughout the site, but perhaps nowhere is this pride more evident than in the existence of the Web cams themselves. It takes a proud company to invite the public into virtually every corner of its operation.

Are the folks at My Plumber happy with their award-winning Web site? Apparently not - they just informed us that they are in the process of giving it a total overhaul, and promise us even more impressive graphics and video links in the future. We can hardly wait.