Federal Bytes

The real power of PowerPoint. During the recent Milcom '99 conference in Atlantic City, N.J., Army Gen. John Coburn, commander of the Army Materiel Command, borrowed a word of advice from legendary Gen. George Patton when he warned the crowd of onlookers about the dangers of presentation fatigue when using Microsoft Corp.'s PowerPoint slides.

Paraphrasing the great World War II commander, Coburn told onlookers that "you don't win wars by making [PowerPoint] charts for your country, you win wars by making the other poor bastard make [PowerPoint] charts for his country."

***

Taking the pain out of campaigning. Campaign World Wide Web sites. Everyone's got one. No big deal, right?

Well, the people behind the latest in political Web sites think they have a new angle on the market: A Web site that real people actually read.

Christina Lisi, political outreach director for the newly unveiled Voter.com, the first for-profit political site, pulled no punches last week when explaining why her site will draw in crowds, a skill that politicos - Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura aside - apparently have not mastered.

"The only people that look at [George W. Bush's] Web site are Gore and Bradley," Lisi quipped.

Voter.com's secret weapon for pulling in visitors, Lisi said, is political information tailor-made for individuals. Visitors plug in information about where they live and what they care about, enabling the site to show them only the campaign goodies they want.

But, if that alone isn't draw enough to blow away the presidential hopefuls' own home pages, Voter.com has another trick up its sleeve: good old-fashioned advertising - and boatloads of it. Starting in January, Voter.com plans to put about $20 million into TV, radio and print ads. Better start surfing now to beat the rush.

***

The secret of IAC's success. The membership of the Industry Advisory Council - that group of sales types interested in what the federal government wants to do with information technology - just doesn't stop growing, it seems.

Why does it keep growing? Bob Golas, IAC chairman, offered some insight last week during an IAC meeting at which FBI information resources manager Mark Tanner spoke.

Golas, who rattled off a list of new IAC members, said membership may be increasing because when IAC members change jobs, they stay involved with IAC at their new company while their replacement at their old company also joins IAC.

"It's a pyramid scheme," Golas joked. "But don't tell the FBI that."

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