Wyatt Kash | GCN's new look

Editor's Desk | Commentary: The form and function of GCN's new look

Wyatt Kash

THE PRINCIPLE THAT form follows function might seem a quaint truism left over from the industrial-design days of the 20th century. But that notion ' that an object's design ought to be predicated on its intended purpose or function ' still holds true in the Information Age.

Most software engineers can appreciate the parallels between the architecture and design of great buildings and great software. They flow; they balance public spaces with smart workplaces; they engineer flourishes where it matters ' and economy where it counts.

Magazines, and their designs, are a lot like buildings and software. They offer both a place where people meet ' figuratively speaking ' and a means for capturing, processing and producing value-added information.

Yet, just as government information technology managers must adapt to a changing world, so too must GCN in the information we provide and the way we deliver it. And so, after 25 years as a tabloid publication, GCN is updating its content and taking on a magazine-size format with a whole new design.

Our latest research confirmed that GCN readers want three primary kinds of information: what information technologies are impacting government agencies (civilian and defense); how they are being implemented; and how well technology products and services actually perform.

GCN new look coverGCN is endeavoring to deliver on those needs in print and at GCN.com, which is also undergoing a redesign. We are expanding the number of original GCN Lab product reviews, including a new, every-issue column, Test Drive. We are expanding the number of feature stories each issue on technology trends and agency IT applications, and we are introducing Tech Strategies, which examines new technology applications designed to tackle common agency challenges. We are expanding the GCN Insider report, and moving it forward, with insights and perspective on products and ideas worth watching in government IT. And we are opening GCN's pages to a broader array of thought leaders in the government IT community.

This issue also contains a special report that salutes this year's outstanding innovators in government IT.

We know change is sometimes risky, but not changing is often riskier. We hope you'll find GCN's new form not only follows function, but also enhances it.

About the Author

Wyatt Kash served as chief editor of GCN (October 2004 to August 2010) and also of Defense Systems (January 2009 to August 2010). He currently serves as Content Director and Editor at Large of 1105 Media.

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