A recent article in the The Knowledge@Wharton Newsletter (requires free subscription) on blogging shows how mainstream the medium is becoming:
What is clear is that opportunities for blogging abound. Companies can use bloggers to put a more human face on interactions with employees and customers; marketers can create buzz through blogs; and bloggers can act as fact checkers for the mainstream media. There are dozens of applications for blogs, [Prof. Kevin] Werbach notes, and many that haven’t even been conceived yet. To be sure, the concepts behind blogging aren’t exactly new. Comment and feedback have been around as long as the Internet itself. What’s new is the ease with which anyone can publish their thoughts on any number of topics, whether it’s the latest Congressional hearings, the newest gadget or the hottest pair of shoes. "Blogging is really driven by interest and desires, not commercial activity," says Wharton marketing professor Peter Fader. "It’s rare to see something take off like this when commercial prospects are so minimal. People just want to share ideas."
This article covers a wide variety of perspectives on blogging and is a good read for the uninitiated.
Blogging seems to be taking off much as the telephone did – people just want to connect. In many ways, blogging is not so much a new enabling technology, but a technology that has reduced the barriers thrown up by previous technologies and business models.