Letter from the Editor

Today we’re excited to share some new and, we think, exciting changes to our Web site, intended to provide a better news experience for you.
We hope you will find that washingtonpost.com now offers you more ways to engage with and discuss our reporting, and makes it easier to find and respond to what interests you, whether political columns, investigations, movie reviews, Capitals coverage or the Capital Weather Gang's forecasts.

A major part of the new design is an enhanced comments system that ensures that thoughtful, on-topic comments receive special prominence—allowing you and Post writers/editors to easily view and participate in more meaningful conversations. While commenting is open to everyone, we identify select commenters, based on the quality of what they have previously posted, and invite them to take part in open forums around articles with other readers, Post reporters and columnists. While anyone can request to participate in these forums, the idea behind it is simple and comes from many of you: make the conversation around stories both engaging and civil. No amount of technology or rules will automatically keep all Web conversations civil but we want to work with you to make it much more so than ever before.

We are also starting a new blog called @Innovations where we hope to share with you our latest endeavors, whether it is involving readers in storytelling or sharing how we are trying to marry Post journalism with new digital tools, such as graphics you can play with or databases that let you dig deeper.

With the new design, you can look forward to a more logical and intuitive arrangement of content, including a new navigation that points to major destination pages for PostPolitics, PostOpinions, PostLocal and PostSports. You’ll also notice some new tabs: the one called Conversations takes you directly to online discussions and chats, which we know you love, and social content from around the site; a new World section combines The Post's award-winning International and National Security coverage with daily content from Foreign Policy magazine; a new Investigations section highlights The Post's strong investigative journalism. We have also labeled what was Arts & Living before as Lifestyle and Entertainment, allowing you to get to what you like in a faster way. And there is now a clearly labeled Multimedia section that will give you all of The Post's terrific photo galleries, videos, shows and video interviews in one place.

It is nearly a decade since washingtonpost.com has had a top-to-bottom redo. We know some of it will be confusing until you get used to it. We are looking at these changes as only the first stage in a continuous effort to make it easier for you to find, read and react to Post content. As in, we don't want to wait another decade to make the site more user-friendly. So, please continue to come and look for ongoing enhancements throughout 2011, such as an improved search capability that opens up The Post's archives well beyond the current 60 days and a new video player.

For now, chances are that in the first few days and weeks you will find odds and ends that seem like work-in-progress. It is. And that's because we haven't just changed how washingtonpost.com looks. Behind the scenes, we have essentially replaced the entire publishing system that supports the site, also an effort to help The Post respond faster to news and your news needs. In some ways, and because we couldn't have taken a break from the 24-hour business of providing you relevant news and information to swap out the publishing system, it is similar to changing the engines of an airplane mid-flight.

We look forward to your feedback—what you like, don't care for and what else we can do to keep you coming back to washingtonpost.com. Write to us at ideas@washpost.com. Or join me at noon on March 14 when I will answer any questions you might have about what we unveiled today.

Raju Narisetti
Managing Editor