Letter to GCN readers

Letter to GCN readers

Welcome to a new year, a new administration and a new Government Computer News. We believe you'll find GCN even more focused and relevant to your job and community.

Our readers, the decision-makers for government technology, have driven the changes you see in this first issue of GCN for 2001. In extensive research over the past several months, we asked readers how we could make GCN a better, more useful publication.

You told us that with all of the pressures on your time, you wanted a publication that is easier to navigate and faster to read; one in which you can more quickly find agencies and topics of interest. You said you wanted more concise stories and news briefs.

We listened. And we acted.

The publication's new design coincides with an updated approach to how Government Computer News covers technology and the people who make it happen.

The result is the publication you are reading now, a GCN that has undergone a thorough redesign, our first since 1993. The design coincides with an updated approach to how we cover government technology and the people who make it happen.

Also driving our fresh approach are changes occurring in the government technology community. These include the advent of electronic government'with all of its technological, program, policy and cultural ramifications'and the sudden increase in importance of issues such as information security, federal IT employment and outsourcing.

Let me point out some of the specific changes:

The Table of Contents has been moved to where it will be the first editorial item in the paper after Page One. You will be pleased to find we have relocated the index of agencies with major mentions in each issue from the back to the contents page.

A newly created Brief section follows. Check this page for a quick take on recent developments.

The Reader Survey also has a fresh approach, using more graphics and quotes to get the information across quickly.

Inside, a new section, will appear in every issue and gives you a concise look at the important IT goings-on in a particular or agency.

Technology Report, a longtime favorite, now incorporates editorial features from a couple of discontinued sections, and it brings together agency application stories, new technology information and product reviews. The Product Reviews section, coming as the last feature in Technology Report, will concentrate on enterprise products, including hardware and software and services.

One reader told us that GCN is valued because it 'offers views and expert opinions on different topics, applications, hardware, etc. It has regular columns one can look forward to.' Well, you will still find those valued features in Technology Report.

The Manager, another new section, will focus on policy and management and is aimed at chief information officers and high-level managers of IT in government. Of note here is the introduction of Ira Hobbs, deputy CIO of the Agriculture Department, as a regular columnist. He will alternate with GCN's long-standing procurement columnist, Joseph J. Petrillo.

The Community section will now carry more news, including photo reports, of the government IT community nationwide.

Logging Off, still another new section, is where you will find the popular R. Fink column plus some other entertainment items new to GCN.

The new look is the work of publication designer Kelly Doe of Washington. She had ample input from GCN's art director, Phyllis Maringer. For the detail-minded reader, GCN's new typeface is called Miller Text, and headlines are Miller Deck Condensed and Miller Display Condensed. All of our sans serif typefaces are of the Knockout family. We think these faces are easier to read and, as a bonus, they actually take up less room than our old typefaces. This allows for a slight, three-quarter-inch reduction in the height of the paper, making GCN a bit easier to fit into your briefcase or travel bag.

As our readers' information requirements and reading habits change, so too is GCN changing. But our reporters' and editors' commitment to providing the most relevant, timely and interesting coverage of government technology affairs remains constant, as it has since the paper's inception more than 18 years ago.

As one reader put it, 'Government Computer News is a great source of information...that we can learn from.'

We hope and trust that it will remain so; and that you will see continuous improvement in GCN along with a number of initiatives we are planning in print, on our web site, at www.gcn.com, and at our conferences and events.

This year inaugurates a new era in government and in government's use of technology. You can count on GCN continuing to be your reliable companion'in print, in person and online'as we move ahead together.

Thomas R. Temin

Editorial director


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