This Wednesday, Sept. 13, The Independent Weekly launches our own blog, Da Bog, at www.theind.com/blog.

Part of the challenge in publishing a weekly newspaper is deadlines and space constraints. Since The Independent's launch three years ago, there are countless stories, scoops, news items and humorous episodes we've wanted to report that couldn't make it into our print pages because of timing. In today's 24-7 news environment, the nine days between our Monday press deadline and the Wednesday street delivery of the following week's issue have sometimes felt like an eternity for our editorial staff.

With Da Bog, that won't be an issue anymore. When we want to share something with you, we can do it immediately.

It's going to be a total free-for-all when it comes to subject matter. We'll be covering politics, hard news, local business, food, music, art, books and more ' whatever compels us to post on the blog at that moment. The beauty of the blog is that there are no space limitations; our posts can be breaking news, mini-essays, or simply one sentence. And we can post pictures accompanying our blog posts too, so if we discover an out-of-the-way boudin joint that knocks our socks off, we'll have pictures and the full details of that afternoon's lunch specials.

Most importantly, it's a way for us to have more dialogue with you, our readers. You can comment directly on our posts and let us know what you think.

If you'd like to receive news alerts when we post breaking news on Da Bog, simply sign up for our e-mail service by visiting www.theind.com and clicking on the menu item "Email News." It's easy (we don't ask you those annoying registration questions about your employment or salary), secure and private, and we will never give your registration information to a third party.

And we intend to have some fun with Da Bog. There's no shortage of absurd news that happens in Acadiana, and now we'll have a place where it will always be highlighted. It'll also be a great place to keep up with all the eye-popping ridiculous mistakes in The Daily Advertiser and The Times of Acadiana. You can read about it first on Da Bog when The Advertiser refers to a Catholic Church as a synagogue in a front-page story headline, says Axl Rose is coming to 307 Downtown, proclaims Gregg Allman is dead, or publishes the "LSU watering schedule." We'll keep you informed when a Times of Acadiana cover story says that missing an episode of American Idol is worse than the destruction from Hurricane Katrina, or its Managing Editor Gene Williams woefully tries to cover his back when we catch him publishing fake letters to the editor. You won't have to wait for the next day's Advertiser for corrections like their latest doozy from Saturday, Sept. 2, which said: "A headline on a story on Page 1C Friday about Lafayette Parish Animal Control's method of euthanizing animals did not reflect the context or content of the story." Seriously. We can't make this stuff up. (And we won't mind praising 'em when they do get it right, like with their great sports special section last weekend on the historic upset 10 years ago when UL Lafayette beat Texas A&M.)

The ground rules for using Da Bog are pretty simple. If you'd like to post comments, you agree not to engage in personal attacks, antagonize other users, make inflammatory remarks, use obscene language, make slanderous or libelous statements, or make hateful or bigoted remarks. We will edit or delete any posts or comments fitting those description from Da Bog and will ban any users who don't adhere to our user agreement.

And the blog doesn't change our core mission at The Independent Weekly. Our traditions of hard news, narrative journalism, extended Q&As, insightful arts, culture and entertainment coverage and an eye for the stories ignored by other local media will always remain our hallmarks. The blog is an extension of those philosophies in a different format and a chance for you to get to know The Independent's writers and editors a little better.

We look forward to meeting you and talking with you in Da Bog. C'mon in. The water's fine.

To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.

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