As we continue evolving Digital Communities as a publication, Web site and program - an exercise that will bring some exciting changes moving forward - we continue to explore the dimensions of the digital community. What does building communities for the 21st century really entail?

Like so much related to government and technology, the devil is in the details, and municipal Wi-Fi is no exception. Making municipal Wi-Fi sustainable so that local governments and citizens benefit is something that communities still struggle with. So in this issue, we look more closely at ways local governments might approach the task of creating a sustainable business model. And as we have in the past, we continue to explore other interesting and innovative uses of wireless.

However, we're also starting to stretch the magazine's scope in this issue, away from a predominant focus on wireless (which continues to offer exciting and important possibilities) to other technological issues that affect local governments and their communities. This expanded direction for Digital Communities will become all the more apparent in the months ahead.

The reason for emphasizing far more than just wireless is simple. A digital community isn't just a technologically savvy community that uses the latest IT innovation in one department or another. Rather, what truly defines a digital community is how successfully it uses all the tools at hand to meet whatever challenges this digital age throws in its path.

Ideally a digital community should be a safer, healthier, more vibrant community -- one that can thrive in our rapidly evolving globalized society because it effectively harnesses 21st-century IT tools to help meet current and looming challenges.

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Blake Harris  |  Editor