Our colleague, Mary-Lynn Bragg (herself a blogger), has been taking steps to furnish Computing Reviews with a minimal weblog “ecology.” The most obvious manifestation of this is the orange RSS feed icon on our top-level page. This gives readers a way to see the item titles in each day’s issue from the feed reader of their choice. In addition, we also have notices and news items relayed by Mary-Lynn from a blog linked to the CR masthead.
Like so many things in the field of computing, the definition of a term like “blog” may not be as rigorous as we think. From one view, a blog is a collection of chronologically sequenced entries, created by one or more individuals in a topical area with some coherence. From the technical angle, perhaps the key observation accounting for the popularity of these vehicles is the small content management systems behind them, which enable entries to be easily created and interwoven via links.
For a number of years now, I and other professional colleagues have posted items to a listserv dedicated to our common professional activities; all of the postings end up in chronological order in an archive on the Web. So, maybe this would be a blog in a sense. This would evidently not meet the technical definition: an old technology (listserv archive) does not interlock with other things the way blogs do.
So much for those criteria. The main difference between CR and the blogosphere is editorial. We have agreed-upon editorial guidelines, and an array of people (category editors and copy editors) who play specific roles under those guidelines. We welcome new participants who may or may not be bloggers.
In concluding, I welcome some new category editors, Larry Bernstein (Stevens Institute of Technology) and Shawn Bohner (Virginia Tech), who join Phillip Laplante in covering the software and software engineering areas for CR.
Editor in Chief