Thursday, January 18, 2007 replaces

We have some very exciting news that I want to share with the Depository Library Community. The official portal of the U.S. government is changing its name -- to is now; and FirstGov en espaƱ is We soft launched these changes on January 11, 2007. Media launch is Thursday, January 18. We are very excited about these changes and wanted you to be among the first to know.

Check them out at <>. continues to offer the same great government services:

**Shop government auctions

**Apply for government jobs or benefits

**Contact elected officials

**Get or renew a passport

**Renew your drivers license or get vital records

**Get answers to frequently asked questions

**Find all federal, state, local government information and services

We're changing the name for many reasons, including:

***Even though we get over 80 million visitors a year, random telephone and other surveys tell us name recognition of "" is still very low

***We've found in focus groups and usability testing that "" is cumbersome to say and is difficult to remember

***The name "FirstGov" lacks meaning for our users. It doesn't intuitively reflect what the site is about -- the official web portal of the U.S. government. Some think it is a website for a bank, an insurance company, or for the "first governor."

***Spanish speakers (over 41 million in the U.S.) and speakers of other languages have a particularly difficult time with the name.

We chose and because:

**** and ("gobierno" is Spanish for "government") very clearly speaks to what the sites are --- the official web portal of the U.S. government, in both English and Spanish.

****We tested the names with many users. They agreed the names are intuitive, simple and easy to remember.

****We already know that people prefer Many of our users - who like to guess URLs -- type into their browser to get to our site (about 600,000 visits per year).

****"USA" is the term that everyone around the world recognizes for our country. Any visitor from outside the U.S. would be likely to understand what the website is.

****Both and follow the naming conventions of most other national portals

Please help us spread the word about, the U.S. government's official web portal.

Thank you all,
Bev Godwin
Director, and Web Best Practices Office of Citizen Services and Communications U.S. General Services Administration < >
1 (800) FED-INFO
Bev Godwin
Director, and Web Best Practices Federal Citizen Information Center, Office of Citizen Services U.S. General Services Administration

For all your government information needs:
Click on
or Call 1-800-FED-INFO