FirstGov.gov rechristened USA.gov

Officials have changed the name of the popular government information portal FirstGov.gov to USA.gov to have a more recognizable name. They also gave its Spanish sister site, espanol.gov, the new name GobiernoUSA.gov.

Officials decided to make the change after conducting public surveys and receiving e-mail requests to change the name. They conducted a telephone survey last year in which nearly 79 percent of the respondents said they preferred the new name rather than the old one.

Along with the name change, the General Services Administration, which manages the site, added a new feature to the portal:  the Visitors to the United States Gateway. It is a site designed for foreign visitors want to travel, study or work in the United States.

“About 25 percent of visitors to USA.gov come from outside of the United States,” according to statement GSA posted on the Web site.

Earlier this week, GSA revealed that it had added online chat functions to the Web site's Frequently Asked Questions section in an effort to reduce e-mail traffic to the site.

To promote the new name, GSA officials said they will launch a nationwide television, radio and print campaign in the spring.

When users try to reach the FirstGov.gov and espanol.gov domains, they will be redirected to the renamed sites.

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