Why Is Recovery.gov Making Online Access to ARRA Difficult?

Note: This post has bias to no political party — other than the optimizers of freedom.

There has to be a reason that the good folks at recovery.gov want to make it difficult
to view the full ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) bill.

First, I had to fish around before finding the actual law that the entire
site is built for. WTF?
Right now what else is of more interest on the site! 

The link is on the homepage placed in small text well below the fold. It is also below the fold on an internal page and the FAQ.  Let’s remember, these folks are not optimization beginners.
One has to think with their acumen this placement is intentional.


What’s most amazing however is that once you click the link a
PHP call (the site is built on Drupal) brings
a shadow box requiring
a second click
to perform the link request. WTF II?


Maybe the data they intend to share with the public will
include the drop off rate after that first click (they are running WebTrends SmartSource Data Collector). It would be
interesting to see how many people who wanted to read arguably this Nation’s
most important legislation in a generation were prevented in doing so by the
site design.

This raises one last but important point I’ve been thinking
about (mostly because of Google’s dominance as a source of information). As we develop our nation’s
technology policy there should be certain standards and conventions around universal digital access to documents, especially public ones. Vint Cerf alluded to this idea from a
historical perspective (information decay) at his SMX keynote. My perspective is one of equal and simplified access to our nation's laws right now! This seemed to be a position Obama endorsed as a campaigner which is why this recovery.gov situation is even more surprising.

Let's start by pressing recovery.gov to change this experience and then ensure query enabled search and one-click access across as many
browsers and operating systems as possible to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Who’s with

2 thoughts on “Why Is Recovery.gov Making Online Access to ARRA Difficult?

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