Telling the big stories about new technologies and how they will change our lives is what Technology Review has always done best. We don’t get particularly excited about whether Google’s stock price is $380 or $420, or how GlaxoSmithKline plans to market its latest pill. But we do care about Google’s grand strategy to become the mediator of almost every type of online information exchange and are interested in how Glaxo and its competitors plan to invent the next generation of life-extending pharmaceuticals. Covering these big stories is what our bimonthly-magazine format – with its deep well of feature pages, longer lead times, and high-quality graphics and photography – is designed to support.
On the other hand, there’s no law giving print magazines a monopoly on thoughtful technology writing. Faster-paced media such as the Internet may not be traditional outlets for Technology Review, but we do believe that Web publishing, in particular, can make our brand of technology coverage more timely, accessible, and interactive.
In November, we relaunched our website with a new look and a new mission. Every weekday, we’ll publish original articles by our own staff writers and our trusted freelancers. We will tell the bigger story behind the little stories – and hope to become your first stop every day for authoritative, provocative analysis of the key trends in information technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, energy, space, and all the other technologies transforming our lives.
Highlights from our first month of coverage on the website included two stories, by TR chief correspondent David Talbot and Kenneth Neil Cukier of the Economist, on the debate at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, Tunisia, over U.S. domination of the Internet’s name-and-address system. Talbot concluded that the ruckus was a dangerous distraction from more pressing problems, such as access, security, and censorship. Cukier described the story behind the summit’s compromise solution: the new U.N. Internet Governance Forum, which will continue the international dialogue over domain names and other matters but will have no binding powers – allowing both the U.S. and its critics to leave Tunis claiming victory.
We aim to bring you similar insights into breaking technology news every day. Of course, the website will still be a place for subscribers to get the online version of the print magazine, and selected magazine stories will be offered free to all readers, often enhanced with interactive and multimedia elements. We’ve also revamped our discussion forums, making it much easier for readers to sustain conversations with us and with one another. I hope you’ll stop by and let us know what you think. Write me at wade.roush @technologyreview.com.