Is www.gcn.com your favorite Web address? Here are some of mine

An informal process of discovery is going on as federal workers explore the nooks and
crannies of government networks. Chances are you've bookmarked several good sites for data
mining on the World Wide Web.


They may not be the flashiest sites, the largest databases or the biggest libraries.
What pulls you back to certain pages is that someone took the time to organize and present
relevant information in an understandable way.


I'd like to share some useful government and commercial bookmarks, and I hope you'll
share yours with me for mention in a future column. To avoid being inundated with mail
from webmasters promoting their sites, I ask that you recommend a site other than your
own.


It should be a place you visit often in the course of your job, a place other federal
employees should know about as a key resource for government business.


Everyone knows the popular Library of Congress site at http://www.loc.gov/ and
the National Technical Information Service's massive FedWorld Information Network at http://www.fedworld.gov/. But other sites are
equally valuable.


The best entry point to the Government Information Locator System (GILS) is through the
Government Printing Office's site at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/gils/gils.html. You'll find forms there to help streamline searches. GILS records identify public
information resources within the federal government and then help you retrieve the
information.


If the information you seek might be at a regional office, visit the InfoSpace list of
federal regional agencies at http://gov.infospace.com/Gov?QP=0004&QV=info.


If equipment procurement is your thing, you may know about the General Services
Administration's GSA Advantage site at https://www.fss.gsa.gov/cgi-bins/advwel. Try the Federal Acquisition Jumpstation at Marshall Space Flight Center, too. It has a
list of government procurement and acquisition servers at http://procure.msfc.nasa.gov/fedproc/home.html.


When you visit GSA, stop by the Office of Information Security at http://www.gsa.gov/irms/ki/ois.htm
and the Office of Information Technology Integration at http://www.gsa.gov/iti/.


Also under the procurement heading, visit the George Mason University Procurement
Technical Assistance Program at http://www.gmu.edu/gmu/PTAP/,
sponsored by the Defense Logistics Agency, and the Army's Procurement Network at http://procnet.pica.army.mil/ with links
to several procurement resources.


The Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy's site lists statistics culled
from 70 agencies in a searchable database, covering everything from agriculture to
education, at http://www.fedstats.gov/.


If you work with financial systems, FinanceNet is the best starting point for
everything from training information to software resources. It's at http://www.financenet.gov/.


Most users know about the massive list of federal Web sites on the Yahoo search system
at http://www.yahoo.com. But did you know there's also government employee
information? Visit http://www.yahoo.com/Government/Federal_Employees/
to find out about training, retirement benefits and more.


Other useful sites include the Federal Web Locator at Villanova University's Center for
Information Law and Policy at http://www.law.vill.edu/fed-agency/fedwebloc.html. A Cornell University interface lets you search current and past Supreme Court
decisions at http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/.


Maybe you want to be a Net whiz but don't know a cookie from a clickstream. Visit the
NetLingo Dictionary of the Internet Language at http://www.netlingo.com/brmenu.html. It
has a "pocket dictionary" of Netscape Navigator browser terms.


On the AmeriCom area-code decoder page at http://www.inconnect.com/~americom/aclookup.html, enter the name of a city to find
its area codes or vice versa.


To find a quick address and phone number for anyone listed in a U.S. telephone
directory, see Maaznet Directory Services' White Pages directory at http://www.555-1212.com/. The site also has an
interface for finding Web sites within an area code.


Looking to join an e-mail list that covers a special interest? CataList, a catalog of
Listserv lists, tracks about 13,000 mail lists to which you can subscribe. Connect to http://www.lsoft.com/lists/listref.html.


See the NetMind free services page at http://www.netmind.com/
for some great productivity tools. There's a uniform resource locator minder that will
e-mail you whenever your favorite Web pages update.


I look forward to learning where GCN readers spend their Web time. Look for a
"best of bookmarks" column this summer.


Shawn P. McCarthy is a computer journalist, webmaster and Internet programmer for
GCN's parent, Cahners Publishing Co. E-mail him at smccarthy@cahners.com.


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