FirstGov among 50 most useful

Yahoo! Internet Life's 50 Most Incredibly Useful Sites

MapBlast, PriceGrabber, BookFinder and FirstGov?

Its name might not be as catchy, but its ability to find government information fast has won FirstGov a position among Yahoo Internet Life magazine's "50 Most Incredibly Useful Web Sites."

The annual list, which was published in the July 2002 issue of the online magazine, calls FirstGov "the most surprising addition to this year's list of useful sites."

Web site raters Jeremy Caplan and Don Willmott wrote: "Pardon our amazement at the fact that it's become this easy to get government forms and information from a single site. It's now a cinch to get passport applications, birth and marriage certificates, change of address forms and online tax payment information, right from the homepage. It's about time, Uncle Sam."

The rating puts FirstGov in such exalted company as SpeedTrap.com, which is supposed to warn motorists where police are nabbing speeders. However, SpeedTrap appeared to have run out of gas during several unsuccessful attempts to access the site July 22.

Yahoo's listing focuses on sites that help people find useful information: Street maps pop up in a jiffy at MapBlast.com. Price comparisons guide shoppers at PriceGrabber.com. And BookFinder.com, not surprisingly, locates hard-to-find books for sale.

FirstGov aims to deliver any information its users want from the federal government in no more than three clicks of a mouse. The idea is "to make the government more accessible and responsive to citizens," said Mark Forman, the Office of Management and Budget's associate director of information technology and e-government. FirstGov is "just the beginning," he said.

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