Sometimes it feels like UCSF has way too many separate websites, but we’re not the only ones with that problem. The US federal government’s .gov Task Force has identified 1,759 distinct federal websites, most operating under the .gov domain. The .gov Task Force is cracking down on confusing duplicative content, e.g. www.invasivespecies.gov and www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov, or redundant websites like www.centennialofflight.gov, untouched since 2003.
How are they dealing with out-of-control namespace and content?
- there’s now a freeze on the issuance of new executive branch .gov domains, up till the end of 2011
- 25% of executive branch .gov domain websites must be eliminated or redirected by the end of September 2011
- 50% of executive branch .gov domain websites must be eliminated or redirectd by July 2012
Harsh, but effective.
- “TooManyWebsites.gov” (White House describes problem)
- “Campaign to Cut Waste: .gov Effort to Improve Federal Websites” (White House announces results of survey)
- List of all 1,759 federal executive branch Internet domains (via Data.gov)
- New executive branch website/namespace policies (via the Campaign to Cut Waste)
2 thoughts on “Too many websites?”
Very interesting, and useful for our conversation and goals on a ‘single home for research’ at UCSF.
Definitly an important topic, and for me it brings up a number of questions:
1) What is the motivating factor behind this drive. Are they concerned about space, resources, confusion, or something else?
2) If the decision is made to deactivate a web site, is the information stored somewhere that it can be found? Many people don’t know about sites like the internet archive, and I don’t think a general Google search would bring it up. For example, if I want to learn more about the “Centennial of Flight”, and the web site is no longer around, is there someplace else I can go with the same comprehensive information? Is “no longer updated” always synonymous with “no longer useful”? (I’m not being sarcastic…I’m honestly not sure)
While I’m all for making things more efficient, and saving taxpayers dollars, I wonder if the time and effort being spent to remove websites could be better spent in organization and indexing. If a future administration decided that the Library of Congress was taking up too much space, and we really don’t need to maintain 50 different biographies of Shakespeare, would anyone object?
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