As those of you who’ve been with me from the beginning know, Via Meadia is an experiment and a work in progress. I didn’t know how to blog when I started – and one of the things that attracted me to the form was that nobody else did either.I don’t mean there aren’t some excellent blogs around. There are, and I’ve learned many things from them – and I rely heavily on good blogs for information and analysis.But blogging as a literary form is still young; we are all still learning what this form can and can’t do.Here at Via Meadia, I’ve made many changes over the last couple of years. Most recently, last summer I began to mix short posts and long posts together into the feed. I think that’s worked out well. The blog is covering more subjects more consistently and readers seem to like the new material.What hasn’t changed is my core vision for what I hope this site can do. I want to call attention to the most important issues and stories of our time and share my ideas and perspective on them. I want to build a civilized online community where people comment freely but in a civilized and sensible way. (These days, my rule of thumb for what kind of language and comments we take: if my grandmother wouldn’t tolerate something at her dinner table, I won’t allow it on Via Meadia.) I want to challenge the way the mainstream media cover certain topics and events and promote better, smarter coverage of the news. I want to find ways to make personal essays and commentary on the news economically sustainable in the changing media environment. And I want to teach and train promising young people to be a new generation of public intellectuals in a very different kind of world.The part of the effort that readers know the least about is the last goal: working with young people to help them grow into a new kind of public intellectual. Obviously, some of the posts on the site address this subject, but along with my colleagues at The American Interest I’ve been doing some work on this behind the scenes that is now ready to come out into the open.Readers know that interns help with the research and writing on the site. Those of you who check the comments know that we’ve adopted a “spare the thumbscrews, spoil the intern” approach to handling any research errors or other shortcomings that get onto the site. That isn’t going to change.What most of you don’t know is that we’ve been building a program to increase the ability of our interns to contribute to the work. Editors at TAI and I have been working on ways to help the interns write better prose and I’ve been holding a series of seminars and weekly phone calls with the interns where we go over the issues of the day and work out how they can best be covered on the site.Over the last month it’s become clear that we are ready to step this up. Some of our interns are now experienced enough and good enough that I’m now ready to let the editors post some of their edited short post drafts directly on the site without prior WRM review.These aren’t random posts on random subjects. The interns involved in this project have been through the mill and the posts they write are based on assignments and guidance they get from yours truly. Obviously this is still my blog and I am responsible for what goes up on it; what I’m saying is that some of my collaborators have reached the point where, on short posts developed with a lot of input from me, I trust them to speak on my behalf.No doubt there will be some snafus and some problems along the way and if this isn’t working out, we will make the appropriate changes. I will continue to read every word on this site and when necessary I will make edits and otherwise deal with anything that goes awry. I will also be tracking comments closely and hope readers will let me know how this is working for you.If this works, the blog won’t feel less “Meady”. It will feel as if we are making more soup, not as if we are diluting the old soup with more water. And it should let us cover more subjects more adequately even as I continue to forge ahead with the essays and the ideas that help us shape day to day coverage.It’s a little nerve wracking to open the blog up in this way; I feel like a parent whose 16 year old kid has just gotten a driver’s license and now wants the keys to the car. But as readers know, one of my themes on the blog has been a criticism of the way so many Boomers have failed to prepare coming generations for the rough waters ahead. Having talked the talk, it’s time to do a little walking.I’ll be watching the traffic and checking the comments and emails (you can contact me directly at email@example.com; these comments get read but aren’t posted to the site). The new posts will begin to appear during this coming week; they won’t be specially marked so I expect the interns and editors will get blamed for posts I write and vice versa.Let me know what you think. The test of everything we do here at Via Meadia is whether readers find us useful and engaging. We pay attention to your feedback; we have to.