What goes around, comes around

By a roundabout route I've arrived back at Computerworld, having last made an appearance here in 1996.

By a roundabout route I've arrived back at Computerworld, having last made an appearance here in 1996.

Back then, as assistant editor, I used to eye the editor's chair occupied by Don "my eyes feel like pee holes in the snow" Hill and wonder whether it would ever be vacated. It was, but not until last year, when Richard Wood took it over.

I left Computerworld to take charge of IDG's "special projects", which conspiracy theorists warned was the first step on a slippery slope leading out the back door. Wrong.

Instead it plunged me willingly into the Internet world, as editor of publications like The Internet Plain and Simple and Getting Your Business on the Internet, newbie guides to the wonders of the Web.

There's a touch of irony in that now, three or four years later, I find myself a newbie in the business of publishing on the Internet.

That is, I've discovered in my first week on the job, that Computerworld is no longer just a weekly newspaper but it's also a daily online news service.

In fact, deadlines happen as often as the news happens, which last week meant getting a story on to the IDG.net.nz and Computerworld.co.nz Web sites within minutes of hearing that the Commerce Commission was taking Telecom to court over the 0867 fiasco.

I haven't been part of getting news out to its audience in such a rush since interrupting Radio i's soporific programming one evening in 1984 to flash the story about the arrest of the Rainbow Warrior bombers.

Clearly, I have lots to learn about the new Computerworld.

As a publication we need to know, for example, whether being first with the news is what matters to readers, or whether you're more interested in depth of coverage (if you say "both, thanks", I'll hit you). And we're feeling our way in getting the print and online publications to complement each other.

Richard Wood and the editorial team he led have made solid pioneering steps; now it's my turn.

Don Hill, these days the telecommuting editor of CIO magazine, happened to wander through the office last week, greeting me appropriately with a "gidday boss". I liked that.

Fresh in the job, I asked the man who'd been editor for more than a decade what I should do. He just laughed and said his eyes weren't anything like as troublesome now as they were in his Computerworld days.

Send email to Computerworld editor, Anthony Doesburg.

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