Letter to the Editor

The federal government should ease the process for searching for information online by aggressively utilizing intuitive domain names for Web portals. The .gov domain was reserved for a purpose. In my mind, part of that purpose is to quickly connect citizens to their government.

FedBizOpps.gov, Disability.gov, and Whitehouse.gov, are steps in the right direction, but more needs to be done.

I offer an example of a typical search using the intuitive approach vs. the existing approach. The intuitive approach would allow a citizen looking for information on the 8(a) program, to type "8a.gov" into his/her browser and immediately connect to the government's 8(a) Web portal. Conversely, the existing approach requires an individual to know which government body administers this program. If he/she does not know, a search can be conducted on FirstGov. Unfortunately, a search for "8a" on FirstGov reveals more than 35,000 hits.

Of the two approaches, clearly the intuitive approach offers the quickest means for success. And this approach would still fit nicely into existing plans expanding FirstGov-type search engines. So, as the push continues to make government information more accessible, I offer that we should not forget the basic things, like intuition.

Bill Gratsch Social Security Administration

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