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RSS, Email Updates Debut on FirstGov.gov

** Note that FirstGov.gov is now USA.gov.

GSA # 10212

February 10, 2006                        
Contact: Neil Franz, (202) 501-1231
neil.franz@gsa.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two new features announced today by *FirstGov.gov make it easier for visitors to the site to stay on top of the latest news and information from the federal government: RSS feeds and e-mail updates. 

"Providing citizens with the most up-to-date information available on FirstGov.gov is a continuing step in keeping the Administration’s promise to enhance citizen access to government information,” said Bev Godwin, Director of FirstGov.gov Operations, a division of the Office of Citizen Services and Communications, the nation's focal point for information and services offered by the federal government.
 
An RSS feed is available for “FirstGov.gov Updates – News and Features” which offers important news and information from the government on such timely topics as a new government Web site reporting the status of federal programs and the top 10 consumer fraud complaints announced by the Federal Trade Commission.

Another RSS feed, “Popular Government Questions from FirstGov.gov,” features the most popular and useful questions and answers related to the U.S. government, with questions like “Does the government owe me any money?” and “How do I find out if a product has been recalled?” being posted several times a week, with answers that link to official, trusted government sources. Each month will highlight questions related to themes such as “Your Money and Taxes” (February), “Travel” (May), and “Back to School” (August).

According to Ms. Godwin, future plans for FirstGov.gov include offering more page subscriptions and a Spanish-language version. The e-mail alert service is automated by Minnesota-based GovDelivery Inc.

RSS or Really Simple Syndication feeds refers to a method of summarizing the latest news and information from a Web site that can be easily read by many news readers. It is an easy way for citizens to keep up with rapidly changing government news and information. Through FirstGov.gov, the official Web portal of the U.S. government, visitors now have access to important and official government news and information.

In addition, visitors to FirstGov.gov can now sign up to receive free e-mails alerts that indicate when new content is added to the site’s most popular pages. Thirty-three pages offer the e-mail updates on topics ranging from benefits, seniors, and Internet fraud to Hurricane Katrina recovery, the arts and parents.

Additional information about the RSS feeds and email updates may be found by visiting FirstGov.gov.