USPA Nationals Website Explained

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We’ve been asked to explain the disappearance of a website that intended to cover the USPA Nationals. Here goes. One of the main reasons a DZ bids to host the USPA Nationals is for the resulting exposure to skydivers as well as the general public. A Nationals host DZ is anxious to have its website host reporting of the event, to drive up web traffic and increase its search engine ranking. This was the case this year as well, with Skydive Chicago making plans early to host Nationals team photos, standings, scores, official updates and informal blogging on its DZ’s website here.
Two days before the 2010 Nationals started, USPA was contacted by a third-party that had activated a website using USPA’s name in the url and USPA’s name and trademark on the homepage. The website claimed that it would feature team photos, standings, scores, reports, etc., all without requesting or receiving permission from either USPA or Skydive Chicago. USPA had no control over the site, and there was incorrect and misleading information on it. With plans already firmly in place for web coverage, USPA had no choice but to request that the third-party site come down.

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12 Responses to “USPA Nationals Website Explained”

  1. Blue Skies Magazine » 2010 USPA Nationals Says:

    […] were able to dry the tears and move right along.  You can read more about USPA’s stance here –  and really it’s pretty easy to identify with their point of […]

  2. Andrew Metcalfe Says:

    It really seems like the USPA can be doing a better job here. When the system breaks down and just plain doesn’t work, as jumpers – we don’t blame the DZ, we blame the USPA. Additionally, the results are reported in a different site every year, we NEVER know where to look for results, and our friends at home NEVER are able to find updates throughout the day.

    USPA should take control over the reporting of their national competition and end this endless frustration.

    (just an opinion)

    _Am

    • Ed Scott Says:

      You’re absolutely right, Andrew. In fact, USPA has already been looking into its own online registration system and Nationals reporting website. Stay tuned.

  3. Aja Niemann Says:

    How very disappointing.

  4. Damien Says:

    I have been looking everywhere and the first place I went was Skydive Chicago’s website. I did not and still have not seen skydive Chicago posting anything about nationals. I finally did see a forum thread but that is no where near what was described above. So if they wee supposed to do it and didn’t then why not let someone else do it?

  5. Jake Says:

    A short term gain of “hopefully” increased Web traffic and higher SEO ranking is a pretty weak excuse for hosting the Nationals reporting and results on different Websites every year. It does more to damage the image of the USPA than it does to help any of the hosting DZs. Furthermore, assuming USPA has more Web traffic than say Skydive Chicago, if the USPA links out to Skydive Chicago, that would help boost their rankings. My guess is that no DZ is spending the money on a qualified SEO specialist or service anyway.

    A smarter idea would be to have the USPA build and maintain a site (similar to the one taken down), and hosting DZs can iframe that content in their site. Both the DZ and USPA can cross link to each other and share that traffic, plus boost their SEO rank (assuming that even matters for a DZ, given how people most likely search for DZs).

  6. Christy Says:

    Agreed that a single place to host all archived Nationals scores would be a great thing, and that that place should be uspa.org. It was so easy when Omniskore was the only scoring system in use and they would do it all for us. 🙂

  7. matt Says:

    This is too bad really… for all who wish to follow our sport. One more thing that turns away any potential “outreach” and frustrates the remainder. I can understand the USPA logo thing… but the rest is not the property of anyone. Drop Zones included; they are getting “traffic” by hosting in the first place. Afterall, NASCAR and Formula One tracks (for example) don’t have exclusive rights to who broadcasts and or reports…. USPA like the aforementioned should be on the ball.. and get this out to the masses as well as the efforts everyone has been trying to do for years now. Please!

  8. Eric Says:

    I’ve heard from many people and believe myself that this year’s Nationals coverage was very disappointing. As a competitor I was very excited to have people follow the competition from home and the only thing people could realistically do it keep checking for score updates. Last year there was video, chat, etc that really made being a “spectator” a possibility.

    We had a couple people at the dropzone who were very excited to follow the Nationals action as they did last year. They were extremely disappointed with the lack of real coverage.

    In the current world of facebook, youtube, etc, there is no reason something like this should be static. Even adding links to the judging videos from the scores would have been a major improvement. It really feels like we took a major step back this year and looking at this explanation doesn’t make me feel any better about it.

  9. Denise Anderson Says:

    After the great coverage that was provided last year, the USPA did a terrible disservice to it’s members this year by not making sure that at least the same quality of material was delivered. The ONLY thing that was provided via the dz website was scores. You call this coverage?? There was skydive-tv, but by the time they put up any coverage, it was well after 24 hours after anything had happened. Being that the event was on the same planet, you can barely call that coverage with all of the technology available. It seems that the USPA should require some level of consistency from dz to dz from year to year. Expectations should be set when a dz is selected to host nationals. It seems that it would be even better to have one dependable place with video, scores, blogs etc. that each dz website could portal to if they desired. Take out unneeded redundancy from year to year and streamline this process, both for your dzs and your members. You are the USPA. You do govern this sport no? Please take some responsibility for the representation of your “national” event.

  10. Ron Says:

    Once again USPA drops the ball. USPA claims to want to further the sport, but then takes action against an organization that is trying to bring publicity to the USPA’s National event?????

    So what if more than one website brings the scores? This happens on every major sport in the World. The more exposure the more chances we have to reach the public… Isn’t that one mission of the USPA?

    While I hear the USPA claiming to want to provide the DZ with a way to increase traffic to the hosts website…. Then they should make a part of the bid process for the host to provide online coverage.

    In the end, USPA should be responsible for the USPA Nationals reporting. Heck, hire the NSL to provide coverage or send one of the USPA’s own reporters.

    I was at the Nationals…. Chicago didn’t seem to have any intention of hosting the scores and seemed to have been surprised by the thought. They worked as best they could, but the 4way event was pretty much done by the time they had something running well.

    To me… It just seems like the USPA once again took short sighted action against the other website just to be a bully. The BEST course of action would have been to let them do the great job they did last year and fix it next year. But the USPA seems unable to actually do what is best for skydivers and instead does what is best for the USPA’s ego.

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