Five years after the bubble burst, the Internet is still changing the way we get information. Whether it's "the sky is falling" stories like this, or more thoughtful stories,  we are getting our information from new places and in new ways.

This story asks the question, are web logs to replace trade magazines? We have some great trade mags in our industry, but new media (and some not so new) provide real value too. An anonymous site like HIStalk or the BIOMEDTALK listserv, managed by Mike Kauffman, provides unvarnished frequently updated information without the corporate-speak. In almost 2 years, HIStalk has had over 80,000 visitors, and BIOMEDTALK is up to 2506 members in 33 countries. Sites like these (and I hope this one) are an up and coming means of communications.

This unfiltered means of communications is hard for vendors who face FDA oversight and where every written word on a company website is considered "labeling," and thus regulated. Companies in other industries are starting their own web log sites. Scobleizer is a weblog by Robert Scoble, Technical Evangelist, at Microsoft -- he's paid to blog, and evangelize of course.

Vendors, don't forget to think about this site, and others like it, when you want to start some buzz or scoop the competition. And you end-user visitors, keep giving us the straight story from the real world. Comments can be left under every post on a web log, so share your experience or opinion! Contact info, including my phone, are on the Contact page -- drop me a line.

UPDATE: I picked up the current Business Week at the airport today. Cover story: Blogs will change your business.

UPDATE: Okay, this is just too much. Highpoint Regional Health System has started offering web logs for patients. Here's the story in the local paper, which may surprise you.

UPDATE: Here's another indication of change, a WSJ story on declining newspaper circulation. And here's another on weblogs by two of the greatest, Instapundit (who get's about 200,000 visits to his site per day) and Nick Denton (rumored to be the only guy making real money out of blogs).

UPDATE: The WSJ weighs in with a story on patient blogs, broadening the discussion beyond Highpoint's efforts -- summary at iHealth Beat (registration required).