Portal open, public enters

At first blush, FirstGov.gov is finding favor with the Web-surfing public.

The Office of Management and Budget reports that the newly opened governmentwide

Internet portal attracted 250,000 visitors during its first four days of

operation. FirstGov went online Sept. 22.

FirstGov's popularity appears to be boosting traffic at other government

Web sites as well.

Since FirstGov came online, the multiagency site Disability.gov reported

a threefold increase in Web traffic, and the Transportation Department reported

a "large increase," according to Sally Katzen, deputy director for management

at OMB.

Such an increase is expected because Firstgov is designed to search for

government information and direct Internet traffic to the federal agencies

that have it.

Katzen said FirstGov received 700 comments from users during its first week

of operation. "The vast majority were supportive," she said.

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