NASA's Inability To Speak With One Voice Online

Dawn Obtains First Low Altitude Images of Vesta

Keith's note: This press release says "More information about the Dawn mission is online at: http://www.nasa.gov/dawn and http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov." That's two separate websites at NASA for the same mission. But wait - there's yet another here. But you also reach this site if you go to http://www.nasa.gov/dawn. Two websites and three web addresses.

Then there are the multiple official Kepler websites: http://www.nasa.gov/kepler/, http://kepler.arc.nasa.gov/, http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html , http://www.seti.org/kepler, and http://kepler.nasa.gov/ as well as the multiple official Cassini websites: http://www.nasa.gov/cassini , http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/main/index.html, and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/, and so on. Virtually every NASA mission has more than one "official" NASA.gov website - and in each case the websites are regularly out of synch with one another.

Probably the most blatant example whereby NASA simply cannot make its mind up as to where an official mission website is has to do with Hubble - here are the official websites: http://hubble.nasa.gov/, http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/main/index.html, http://hubblesite.org/, http://heritage.stsci.edu/, http://www.nasa.gov/hubble, and http://www.spacetelescope.org/. This recent hubble press release is typical. NASA offers 3 links - on three different official Hubble websites - for the same image.

I hear constant complaints from within NASA that funds for websites, education and public outreach, and PAO are limited - and likely to be cut further. Yet the agency continues to waste money on dueling websites - and they use multiple web addressses to send people to the same website. If you gave NASA more money would the number of websites decrease and efficiency of overall NASA website design increase? Doubtful. In a time when budgets are being cut, one would think that increased efficiency would be the focus - and that the number of duplicative websites would decrease and efficiency of NASA's overall website design would increase. Again, doubtful since the agency simply does not want - or care - to try and speak with one consistent, coordinated, efficient voice.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on December 29, 2011 1:43 PM.

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