What's in a name?
- By John Monroe
- Sep 03, 2001
Welcome to Government E-Business.
After four-and-a-half years, we've changed civic.com to reflect the
changes we've seen in the state and local government community. It should
come as no surprise that e-government is at the heart of this change.
Civic.com, of course, had always been about e-government, even before
that phrase had currency. From its first issue in November 1996, civic.com
showed how information technology in particular the Internet could change
how government does business. We put the ".com" in civic.com for that reason.
Those were heady times for covering state and local IT. Every week,
it seemed an agency somewhere discovered a new way to take advantage of
the Internet. Motor vehicle departments were in the lead, followed closely
by agencies responsible for licensing business or recreational activities.
Others followed suit, as their budgets and imaginations allowed.
Four years later, the excitement seems a thing of the past. New applications
still crop up every now and then, but not as before. And the Internet market
has gone boom and bust, leaving many people to wonder if it was all just
Think about the name civic.com. In November 1996, many people did not
understand the significance of the ".com." It made a lot more sense once
the Internet market exploded, but once the market imploded, the name sounded
out of vogue.
But if the buzz is over, e-government is here to stay. If anything,
government agencies are dedicating more resources than ever to moving their
operations online. They are less concerned with breaking new ground and
impressing their constituents than they are with dealing with the challenge
of making this stuff work.
The business of e-government is what Government E-Business is all about.
We'll still report on the latest ideas in the state and local community.
But more than ever, we'll focus on the technology, policies and management
strategies that turn good ideas into good government.
This month's cover story, "Government at the grass roots," shows e-government
at its most mundane and most exciting. It's the story of how leaders in
Rochester, N.Y., are using technology to involve more residents in city
planning. It sounds prosaic, but it's not.
This is a case of government changing how it governs. Rochester officials
did not set out to develop an e-government application. They just wanted
to give people a stronger voice in city government; the technology itself
was a secondary concern. That is e-government at its best, which is why
we thought it was appropriate for this first issue.
Please let us know how you like the new magazine.