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The holiday buying season

Sorry I've been away for a few days. I spent a few days in the Bay Area with family for Thanksgiving. I flew Tuesday and Saturday, missing much of the madness, thank goodness. And then there is all sorts of catch-up work. The upcoming issue profiles FCW's 2007 Rising Star award winners.

So we're all back at work after feasting on turkey, spending time with family and probably shopping. Did anybody go shopping during the Thanksgiving break?

This past Friday has been termed Black Friday [Wikipedia] because it is the big shopping day of the year. And then some marketing wizard came up with Cyber Monday [Wikipedia], which is supposed to be the big cyber-shopping day. Unfortunately, as BusinessWeek notes, it just isn't true. (The Chicago Tribune did a piece on the faux Cyber Monday stories.) But... oh well. Regardless, many of us will be cyber shopping over the next few weeks.

In this week's issue, in Circuit, we talk about some of the things you can buy online from agencies.

There are e-government options out there. The U.S. Postal Service has been selling stamps online for years, of course. (I never miss an opportunity to take the Postal Service to task for requiring that people register on their Web site -- creating a needless public record. FCW wrote an editorial about the issue back in 2004 -- and it hasn't changed.)

The U.S. Mint has been selling coins online for years. (Another aside: The U.S. Mint's main Web site uses permanent cookies.)

But there are other things out there. What about a Christmas ornament of the U.S. Capitol or the U.S. Supreme Court for that matter? You can buy one online.

You can also buy the ones you love a Drug Enforcement Administration t-shirt. There is also an online store for Washington's World War II memorial and South Dakota's Mount Rushmore.

If your loved ones are more techie than govie -- and given that this is a green issue of Federal Computer Week -- how about a solar-charging messenger bag? The Eclipse Fusion laptop bag provides enough energy to charge a cell phone or MP3 player, not a laptop, but it does allow you to go green. Reware's Juice Bags come in different shapes and sizes -- all outfitted with solar panels.


USA.gov has other online government shopping stuff. I welcome other suggestions of cool stuff out there. (I've pulled some other general holiday gift guides together at del.icio.us/cdorobek/holidaygifts.)

But that should get you started on your holiday shopping.

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Nov 28, 2007 at 12:17 PM


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