Change is in the air

Civic.com is changing because government is changing. That has been our

mantra here during the last several months as we prepare for a September

relaunch of civic.com as Government E-Business. It's a shorthand way of

explaining why we've decided to shift the magazine's focus and change the

name.

The change is less of one than it might initially appear, but significant

nonetheless. Perhaps the best way to begin is to invite you to look at the

winners of this year's Civic 50 awards program, recognizing the best information

technology projects from state and local government.

Just about every nomination we received involved the development of

Internet-based applications. And those nominations came from all levels

of government and from just about every segment of government, from the

Idaho Department of Agriculture to the Development Services Office in Savannah,

Ga., from Florida's public defender to Indiana's Family and Social Services

Administration.

Of course, we saw a lot of Internet-related nominations last year too,

showing the many innovative uses of the World Wide Web to disseminate information

and conduct transactions. But if last year's list looked like a reading

list for E-Government 101, this year's list looks like the beginnings of

a curriculum for advanced studies.

Web portals, for example, have become much more sophisticated. Agency

officials now realize it's not enough to put information or applications

on their Web sites. The Web site itself must be designed with the audience

in mind, so visitors can actually find what they're looking for. Pennsylvania

and Virginia are just two of the states using second-generation portals.

Agencies also are giving more thought to how they might use the Web

to improve communications within government. North Carolina, for one, has

embarked on a process to reduce the duplication of data entry at state and

county offices.

Civic.com, like other publications, has focused primarily on E-Government

101, showcasing the pioneering agencies that do business on the Internet.

But what does it take to get to that next level? That's the question Government

E-Business will tackle.

Each issue, we will delve into the technology, management and policies

needed to bring the benefits of commercial e-business technology to government

operations. And as always, we will focus on providing you with new ideas

and lessons learned that you can apply at your own agency.

We look forward to this exciting change. Please let us know what you

think.

John Stein Monroe

Editor

civic.com

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