You might think that after blasting the new economy in my last column I’d be abashed to promote a Web site.
Not at all. Technology Review accepts the emergence of the Web as a significant new technology. The Web will ultimately have a large impact on how we do business, exchange personal information, and even on how we make art, since almost every new information technology ultimately breeds its own art forms.In fact, every enterprise that exists to promulgate information must keep up with the Web as it develops. And Technology Review is an old hand at the Web business. Our magazine was one of the very first to create its own Web site, in 1994-a project led by two people who have since risen to senior levels in our organization: vice president and general manager Martha Connors, and deputy editor Herb Brody.
Since building that first site (quite primitive by today’s standards!), we have maintained a small but efficient Net presence. We have gradually increased the amount of the magazine’s content we post and added interactive features, such as discussion forums linked to articles. We didn’t have the resources to do more, since we were relaunching our magazine over the same period; the site was maintained by the print staff.
Now all that has changed. We have hired a group devoted solely to extending Technology Review’s Web presence. The captains of technologyreview.com are vice president and general manager Bradley Hecht and editor Eric Bender. In a few short, intense weeks, Brad, Eric and their group assembled an entirely new site. There is a completely new design that’s cleaner, clearer and crisper. Within the framework of that design, you will still find a healthy proportion of the content of the printed magazine. In addition, we are now, for the first time, offering additional material on the Web that doesn’t come from our printed pages. Some of these articles are culled by Eric and his staff from other publications. Some are original pieces written by our Web team. All of this content is available (at least for the time being) without charge.
For convenience and ease of navigation, we have divided this material into three “channels” corresponding to the core areas covered by Technology Review: information technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology (into this third channel we’ve lumped, for now, everything that doesn’t fit comfortably into the other two, such as energy and transportation).
The additional content is in principle much like the content of a magazine, but we’ve also added some features that can’t be duplicated in print. Interactive elements of the site, including the discussion forums, have been moved front and center-starting with a forum soliciting your feedback on the new site. The new site makes it easier to subscribe or renew your subscription online. And soon we plan to offer other Web-based services, such as listings of hot jobs in the high-technology sector.
Over the coming months, technologyreview.com will continue to develop, adding new features when they’re ready. This evolution will demonstrate the same restraint (no New Economy hysteria here) and high quality that have characterized our work on the Web and in print thus far. Our goal is to broaden and deepen the Technology Review community and improve our efforts to help you understand emerging technologies and their impact. After all, that’s our mission.