Five Web Sites You Must Access in 2000

John Makulowich

By John Makulowich

For those government workers and channel partners resolved to finally get a handle on the Internet and the World Wide Web in the new year, there are a number of Web sites to steer you in the right direction. Here are five I strongly recommend to help you become more productive at work and more efficient and effective with your time.

First is the outstanding work of David and Fiona Novak on what is called the spire project (, which bills itself as "Serious help with serious research." You will note the top level domain identifying the site as originating in Australia.

According to David Novak: "This site is devoted to information research. Prepared as a collection of articles, we add clarity and speed to your search for information. This is about Internet, library and commercial tools and services you can use to find information."

The feature I especially like is one that offers the contents of the site in a zipped, or compressed, format that you can download to your hard drive and study offline at your leisure.

The most recent version is the December edition. Also, you can also sign up for an e-mail alert when a new edition surfaces (

My second choice is FedStats (, which I wrote about last year.

At this site, you find hyperlinks to more than 70 federal agencies that generate statistics and information for public use. It is the classical treasure trove of data for your company presentations and market research.

Third on my list is the World Wide Web Consortium (, a must-know site I wrote about several times in the past few years. This site is critical for government staff and channel partners simply because it is the one place where you can find the latest information about new Internet specifications and protocols, from voice browsers through XML to HTML validation services.

For keeping up with government projects, one of the better sites is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (, the same people who brought you the Internet. Here you will find indicators of how the Internet and the World Wide Web are likely to morph over the next five to 10 years.

My last suggestion is the site of The Office of Intergovernmental Solutions (, hosted by the General Services Administration. It offers the user "a hub for information about intergovernmental management, targeted specifically for information technology managers at all levels of government."

Set up in 1996, the OIS seeks to spark change by sharing successes and lessons from organizations worldwide. OIS also participates in two international programs, G8 Government On-Line and International Council for Information Technology in Government Administration.

You can send e-mail to John at; his Web address is

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