NASA's Baffling, Redirecting Links

Fifty-Seven Student Rocket Teams to Take NASA Launch Challenge

"For a complete competitor list and more information about the challenge, visit: http://education.msfc.nasa.gov/sli and http://education.msfc.nasa.gov/usli."

Keith's note: Simple, yes? Not when NASA's multiple webmasters get into the act. If you go to http://education.msfc.nasa.gov/sli you are redirected to another URL (link) that blinks too fast to copy down and then quickly redirects you again, this time to this link http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/descriptions/Student_Launch_Initiative.html. Why have the intermediary redirect? Why not just have http://education.msfc.nasa.gov/sli redirect to http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/descriptions/Student_Launch_Initiative.html?

If you go to the other link provided in this press release, http://education.msfc.nasa.gov/usli the same intermediate redirect happens and you end up at http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/descriptions/University_Student_Launch_Initiative.html

The answer you get about dueling URLs from NASA is that NASA wants to make it simple for people. I understand that and totally agree. But when you start with a simple URL, jump to another, longer URL, and then end get tossed again to the final (long) URL - that long URL is the one that you are going to save in your browser, cut and paste and share with others, go back to, etc. Why not stick with the short URL in the first place? Baffling.

NASA's Sprawling Web Presence, earlier post

"There is no uniform agency-wide process for ensuring content on the other NASA sites is accessible, updated, accurate or routinely improved. Individual programs and projects at the Centers and offices at NASA Headquarters manage their own content and are responsible for accuracy and accessibility."

NASA's Inability To Speak With One Voice Online, earlier post

"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."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on January 5, 2012 1:54 PM.

Cygnus Spacecraft Under Construction was the previous entry in this blog.

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