Editorial: A brave new world

Federal Computer Week launches its blogs this week.

First things first: For those who don't know, "blog" is short for Web log. Sounds simple enough, yet there are about as many definitions of a blog as the number of blogs themselves. Essentially they are Web sites where people can post mostly whatever they want.

If you spend some time poking around on blogs, you will quickly realize how easy it is for a blog to become tedious or frivolous, if not both. That's no big deal for someone's personal blog, but it's a serious danger for a site with official associations. The risks are even greater for blogs associated with journalists.

The world of journalism is much more complex and nuanced than ever. There are more sources of information — some reputable, others not. The barrier of entry in the blogging world is exceedingly low.

This likely will mean more work for readers. Even among those trusted sources of information, there are a variety of types of stories — even here within Federal Computer Week. The news stories that fill the pages of FCW have been fully reported to the extent possible — reporters talk to the players involved and try to get opinions from people on various sides of the issues. Web stories, however, are quick hits, sometimes even based on a single source. The Web has become our first draft of history.

But Circuit, Intercepts, blogs and comment pages are different. They are a hybrid — they are not news stories and they are not opinion. They are something different that enables us to write about subjects that may not make the news pages.

Despite the dangers, we believe blogs can be both interesting and useful for our readers. Most of all, we hope FCW.com's blogs are a place where you can find a niche and communicate with us or with others. Our inboxes are always available at cdorobek@fcw.com or jsmonroe@fcw.com. We will address your comments wherever and whenever possible. (Please put "Blog: ..." in the subject line because it will help ensure that messages don't get mistaken for spam.)

So ... let's give it a try and see how it works ... www.fcw.com/blogs.

— Christopher J. Dorobek and John Monroe

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