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www.huh?: "Best" Sites Make Searches Easier

By Doug Gillert
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 12, 1998 – It stands to reason DoD web sites would be included in "best of" lists: The Internet is a Defense Department creation.

So it was no surprise when three DoD home pages made GovExec.com's "best feds on the web" list published in May.

What's important about these sites, aside from the organizations and audiences they serve, is their ability to communicate clearly -- their "user friendliness," if you'll pardon overused and basically worn-out cyberslang. Simply stated, the judges selected the sites because they present information clearly and in an inviting way. They serve as good models if you're updating or creating new web sites.

GovExec.com is the on-line Government Executive Magazine, a commercial magazine that reports on federal organizations and issues. The web site concentrates on technology, procurement, travel, reinvention of workplaces and processes, and on-line government resources.

Writer Alison Maxwell listed 15 award-winning federal web sites, including the three from DoD. The winning defense entries, and Maxwell's read on their excellence, were:

o Army and Air Force Exchange Service (www.aafes.com)

Maxwell notes the site's electronic commerce capabilities -- you can actually shop and buy. AAFES customers can be notified by e-mail of sales and special events, she says, adding, "It's like having a department store at your fingertips."

o GulfLINK (www.gulflink.osd.mil)

Easy to navigate and well organized, says GovExec.com, this site leads veterans concerned about Gulf War illnesses in the right direction to get help. GulfLINK provides a collection of declassified military and intelligence documents about the reported illnesses and information on what DoD and the Department of Veterans Affairs are doing to help veterans. There's also a current news section and calendar of events. The latter lists upcoming "town hall" meetings scheduled by Bernard Rostker, DoD special assistant for Gulf War illnesses, at military installations around the country.

o Air Force Link (www.af.mil)

GovExec.com labels Air Force Link the "cream of the military's crop." Maxwell highlights top-notch photographs, crisp graphics and "information that is current and comprehensive. Visitors can easily find information on the latest Air Force job openings and upcoming Air Force events."

Go to www.govexec.com. for Maxwell's report and links to each of the honored sites.

Questions or comments? E-mail djgille@hq.afis.osd.mil.

NOTE: Joint Ethics Regulation (DoD 550.7-R, section 2-301) spells out legal and illegal use of federal communications resources while on the job. In general, the restrictions that guide office telephone use also govern Internet use. See your supervisor or local computer policy experts for details.

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