Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Technology Coverage, Then and Now

ARCHIVES

Our sister site Nextgov launches officially today, with a bevvy of stories on the intersection of technology and government. With that launch, it would be proper to take a look back at a couple of the first technology stories appearing in Government Executive magazine and on GovExec.com.

First, April 1995 provided -- our digital archives only go back to 1996, so a link is not available -- "The Lure of the Web," a story introducing the World Wide Web to our readers. In it, reporter -- and current Editor in Chief -- Tom Shoop outlined his experience "logging on" to the web and his thoughts on the future of the technology:

Even with the development of [THOMAS and the Federal Register], much of the Web's potential for federal users has not yet been realized. But it's hard to imagine that a research and communications tool this vast and easy to operate won't find its way to everybody's desktop in the near future.

It's important to remember that this was written in 1995, when some members of the current GovExec staff were in elementary school. The web was in its infancy and a lot of our readers were not familiar with the technology. Nearly a year later Lisa Corbin wrote a longer piece on the upside and pitfalls of the nascent technology. In "Cyberocracy," she predicted some of the problems illustrated recently during the SOPA fight:

But the road to cybergovernment is not without its potholes. Internet technology is still immature, with many incompatibility problems affecting the interoperability and reliability of systems. Experts continue to debate the best methods for safeguarding data and protecting intellectual property rights on the Web.

Reporter Joseph Marks' May 2012 magazine profile of federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel shows just how large and ingrained the web has become in government operations and the day-to-day life of citizens:

[VanRoekel's third phase] includes building internal government mobile apps so that federal workers at animal inspection lots along the U.S.-Mexico border, for example, or at a river contamination site can file reports on their smartphones or tablet instead of trudging back to a field office at the end of each day. It also includes using technology to wrap the complexity of federal government into a cleaner citizen interface. VanRoekel calls this an “outside looking in” perspective.

An early example is the BusinessUSA website, which the federal government launched in a beta testing version in January. The site aims to pull all the forms and information that a small business entrepreneur needs from the government onto a single site so that the government rather than the citizen worries about which form goes where.

Government Executive magazine and Govexec.com have been covering technology since the Internet's beginnings. With the relaunch of Nextgov, we move forward with the most comprehensive and insightful coverage of technology in government and in the lives of citizens. Although the issues are far more complex than they were 12 years ago -- remember Y2K or the fight over personal Internet usage at work? -- Government Executive Media Group remains at the scene.

 

Prior to joining Government Executive’s staff, Ross Gianfortune worked at The Washington Post, The Gazette Newspapers, WXRT Radio and The Columbia Missourian. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from University of Missouri and a master's in communications from the American University.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.