FRAMINGHAM (07/24/2000) - Those of you who've recently launched or relaunched your Web sites would recognize the look in our eyes here at Computerworld. It's that slightly crazed, distracted gaze. Optimistic yet worried, hopeful yet somewhat panicky. You jump at the sound of your Web developer's every expletive. You obsess over type sizes and page-loading speeds. Why does the site work so well on Internet Explorer but crash on Netscape Navigator? (You suspect Bill Gates and his monopolistic minions, but then chide yourself for paranoia.)Finally, you just launch and be damned. You hold your breath. You fix a bunch of glitches. You hope the Internet Angel of Death doesn't land on your windowsill. Eventually, you exhale. Feels good, that does. We've been exhaling, gratefully, for about a month now, having relaunched Computerworld.com late last month to a very positive reception from alert readers who noticed the many changes and were kind enough to drop us notes.
What's so great about the new Computerworld.com? The word that comes to my mind isn't even a real word: findability. It's just so much easier to find what you're looking for, mainly thanks to the way we've cleaned out our own content closets and reorganized them with readers in mind. Clearly worded navigation bars at the top of the site let you quickly browse and access everything, from news, business and technology stories to opinion pieces and IT resources like our salary surveys or Emerging Company profiles.
But the most experimental and exciting part of our new site lives under the navigation tab marked "Community Services." That's where we're building a series of special-interest IT communities by topic, beginning with e-commerce, enterprise security and Windows 2000. We plan to expand your communities to include a dozen IT-specific, hot-topic interests. We need your direction and help with that.
At its heart, journalism is a service profession. So the chance to serve readers more directly through communities - to advocate for you, to deliver the information you need, to hook up the experts you want to talk with in forums - is journalism at its best.
And our communities editor, Brian Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org), is at your service for that very reason. So go pester the man, with our blessing. You'll know him by the slightly crazed look in his eyes.