The new word in America's political vocabulary is "blog." (search)

"A 'blog' is short for web-log. It's a form of a diary ... that can be posted on the World Wide Web," said Michael Cornfield, George Washington University (searchassociate professor.

Readers can respond to the blog and post their own comments, anonymously, on the same page. And they can do so regardless of whether they have their facts straight.

Although blogs of every political stripe are being written each day, it Howard Dean's (search) use of them in his presidential campaign that brought national attention to the medium.

"I think Howard Dean's campaign really revolutionized the profile of blogs and brought it to a new level," said Tom Bevan, who is a blogger and who runs Realclearpolitics.com with his partner.

But Dean has no monopoly on political blogs. The campaigns for both John Kerry and George W. Bush use them.

"More information and more competition among purveyors of information is a good thing...to make sure the American people can get the whole story," said Bush-Cheney 2004 (search) campaign manager Ken Mehlman.

Blogs bypass traditional media outlets and provide unusual, unfiltered perspectives on politics, but critics caution that the credibility of blogs varies with the credibility of the writer.

Click here to watch a report by Fox News Channel's Steve Brown.