- NASA Watch
- June 4, 2018
There's No One Home at innovate.nasa.gov
Keith’s 30 Oct 4:52 pm note: What is innovate.nasa.gov? It claims to be “a collaboration platform to foster open discussion about technology across NASA and its external innovation community. This is the place for you to rethink and reinvent existing research, learn about NASA technology, and shape the conversation about future NASA innovation. We post information about NASA’s inventions and technology focus areas. You join other technology experts, researchers, and innovators in conversation about this NASA technology. We challenge you to think about new ways to use NASA inventions, share a new perspective to encourage innovation, and inspire new ideas.”
But in order to see what they do you have to login by giving them access to your Twitter account. If you create a new user account you are asked to add a picture of yourself and provide other social media account information. If you are under 13 you are told to get your parent’s permission. Once you get in – well, no one is there. If you go to “The Buzz” touted as a “real time news feed” other than “njaiuto” and “colin_graham” who visited last year (apparently) no one is home. Yet someone regularly operates their Twitter account @InnovateDotNASA. They have an up to date Facebook page too.
None of the usual (and required) responsible official or contact names are included on this website. No mention is made of this site from any NASA technology websites at NASA HQ. The site says “Innovate.NASA is the web-based component of NASA’s Innovation Ecosystem–an agency-wide initiative to foster technology innovation.” The NASA Innovation Ecosystem page explains little about itself and seems to be a year out of date. It refers to “(In)novation Partners” except there are none. When you go to the contact us link you get “access denied”. And so on.
The Innovation Ecosystem page is run by NASA CIO so maybe they are responsible for innovate.nasa.gov. But what is this website supposed to do if no one visits it? Why is this information hidden behind a firewall that requires usernames and logins? How much did it cost to create – and now – how much does it cost to maintain this NASA website – that no one uses?
Keith’s 30 Oct 9:42 pm update: Several readers have noticed that the site’s firewall/login has been lowered. Gee, what a coincidence. Isn’t it pathetic that NASA spent all this money on this site and then let it sit dormant — and only when they got caught with their pants down did they start to get active. Makes you wonder if this site is even needed given that no one noticed it until I posted some snarky observations.
Keith’s 2 Nov update: The website now has this message: “Our site is currently under construction, but we will be re-launching soon. Stay tuned…” Despite repeated requests, the NASA CIO has refused to respond to all inquiries about this website. I guess its FOIA time.