In 1995-96, I ran two large political websites: first PoliticsUSA and then PoliticsNow. The latter was a joint venture between National Journal (the company I worked for), ABC News and the Washington Post Company. We had 25 employees and we were on the cutting edge of the brave new world of the Internet. It was a heady time.

It was also a scary time. The technology was new and the infrastructure was unreliable. On election night, our servers crashed and millions of people couldn’t get into the site. This all happened as Don Graham, then publisher of the Post, stood at my side in anticipation of our expected election night success.

For their brief lives, PoliticsUSA and PoliticsNow played important roles in the election process. Fourteen years later, I’m confident that the new will play an important role in our community (and be around for a long, long time).

I like to think of as the fraternal twin of Bethesda Magazine. The website and magazine have the same DNA, but they are hardly identical. We will run some Bethesda Magazine stories on the site, but much of the content will be original in the form of blogs and other features. We’re starting with five blogs, including Food Editor Carole Sugarman’s Table Talk blog on the latest restaurant news. Soon we will introduce more blogs on a variety of subjects, as well as video, coupons and much more.

I hope that you find the new interesting and informative. But most of all, I hope you find the site is a great place to interact with other residents about subjects that are important to you—and that the site gives you a strong sense of community.

So what do you think of the new site? Please post your comments about what you like and how you think we can make it better.