NASA Webmasters take the lead

Goddard Webmasters Group home page

NASA's first Webmasters conference could be the start of a more active role

for Webmasters in the transition to "eNASA."

The agency's first conference for Webmasters, held this month at Goddard

Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., included NASA civil servants and

contractors who manage NASA Web sites.

About 170 attendees discussed issues common throughout NASA and explored

ways to improve use of the Internet to communicate with the public and conduct

NASA's business, said Brian Dunbar, agency spokesman and manager of online

services at NASA headquarters. NASA has more than 1 million public Web pages.

"We're all facing the same problems and concerns," Dunbar said. The

conference looked at the many types of groups that have taken on the Webmaster

role. It also dealt with content standards and other issues, such as search

engines and portals.

The space agency's Webmasters would like to continue having similar

forums and become an advisory board for the NASA chief information officer

on Internet use.

NASA CIO Lee Holcomb told the Webmasters to ask for help in defining

eNASA, which will integrate NASA's public communications, missions and administrative

business in an electronic environment.

Improvements already under way include:

* Updating the NASA search engine to return results more in line with

what the public wants.

* Creating portals that enable NASA employees and eventually the public

to access specific information about a single field from across NASA centers.

* Creating new information security training programs and notification

procedures.

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