The beauty of blogging
Now I never thought I'd find myself writing this but... My name's Nick Robinson and I am a blogger.
If, like me, you're not a trainspotter of all things on the web you might not know what a blogger is and might not much fancy the sound of it. Worry not, it's painless. Please read on, though, because this blogging business is something special.
You see, the funny thing about broadcasting is that you speak to a vast number of people but you all too rarely have a conversation with them - beyond perhaps with someone who asks "Are you that guy on the telly?" or "Why do you wear those ridiculous specs?"
Which is where Newslog - this weblog - comes in. It's a chance for me to add a thought or an observation from my political front row seat. I may also invite you to listen, watch or read something that's particularly interested me. It's a chance too for you to add your thought or pose a question (though preferably not about my choice of glasses).
As well as being a conversation, weblogs can be more personal, which is why the format is finding ever more uses in the mainstream media.
A good weblog can really change the relationship between author and reader. And the politicians themselves are in on the game too - as my colleague Alan Connor argues in this article, a good weblog can also change the relationship between politician and voter.
So welcome to Newslog, although I really ought to say "welcome back" for, as those with long memories might remember, I'm really picking up where I left off three years ago.
I first started writing Newslog in December 2001, when I started keeping a daily live diary of goings on in and around Westminster (that's a shot of the old days, on the right). Published on this website, it was a continuation of a column we had started during that year's General Election campaign, in a daily article called The Campaign Today.
I naturally stopped doing Newslog when I went to ITV News to be political editor - it was only polite, really - but ever since I returned to the BBC in September, I've been anxious to start blogging again.
The BBC is about to start a trial series of blogs, each of which will be built using the kind of software employed by millions of weblogs around the world. This is the first of that trial. There are more details about how it works here.
With plenty going on in the world of politics in the next few months, not least the new leader of the Conservative party, the prospects for lots of weblog action are pretty good. I think it will be an interesting time, and I hope that makes for an entertaining blog.
But remember - to work, this thing needs your comments too. Come on in, the water's lovely.