FirstGov adds RSS, e-mail alerts

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Users of the government’s Web search engine can now stay in the know with Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds and e-mail updates.

FirstGov announced the two new features today that build on the recently renovated Web site. Aided by private-sector partners Vivisimo and Microsoft, the search engine connects visitors to more than 40 million related documents from federal, state, local, tribal and territorial governments.

An RSS feed is available for “ Updates — News and Features,” which offers news and information from the government. RSS feeds give users quick access to a site's news and information.

For example, the RSS feed “Popular Government Questions from” features the most popular and useful questions and answers related to the government. Questions include “Does the government owe me any money?” and “How do I find out if a product has been recalled?” Each month, FirstGov will highlight various themes. This month, for example is “Your Money and Taxes.” In May the focus will be “Travel,” and “Back to School” will appear in August.

FirstGov is also offering to send subscribers free e-mail alerts when new content is added to the site’s most popular pages.

Bev Godwin, director of FirstGov operations, a division of the Office of Citizen Services and Communications, said this was another step in enhancing citizens' access to government.


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