A blog is a chance to get a detailed behind the scenes picture of your favorite writer, celebrity or normal person. It's more detailed orientated than Facebook, it's more personal than email. In my case, when I have stuff appearing in publications, it can be viewed first here, with bonus footage/content. Also, while we may be used to a one-way flow of data (from a page through our eyes into our brains), a blog allows the opportunity for the reader to respond. Increasingly, you might find a curious detail and want the writer to expand on it. Or, as is often the case, you want to show/tell the writer that you are more intelligent than he/she is.
I started to appreciate the power and usefulness and thrill of blogging while living in Broadband Heaven - South Korea. I had read what I thought was a rare and astutely insightful book (The Long Emergency - by Jim Kunstler)and then was referred in the epilogue to his blog (www.kunstler.com). It's not the best design, but he writes well, has in the millions of visitors and it was fascinating following his commentary on events (updated daily and a column weekly), and seeing how predictions and reality became increasingly congruent. I have also emailed the author a few times and received several interesting responses, which is something you could never do until modern times. The same thing occurred with Weston DeWalt, author of The Climb, who actually contacted me via reading my blog.
It is amazing that we have the capacity now to read one another's minds, and for one person to infiltrate millions of minds, and for those millions (I almost said 'minions') to respond en masse. Kunstler says he wades through masses of emails each day.
The point of a blog, for me, in the beginning, was to provide a place for those people who wanted to get in touch with me, to visit (instead of sending group mails and getting 5 irritated responses each time). I am still shocked, surprised, awed, weary of the fact that what is published on the web can be read by a little girl on a computer in Australia, or a hairy nosed scientist at the North Pole, and everywhere in between.
I only worry that few of us take this technology seriously. So much - the majority by far - of what enters the public consciousness is drivel. And drivel begets drivel. Drivel and our fascination with drivel (rather than what is necessary) is what has driven us to where we are as a civilisation, and we know it is not a safe, happy, sustainable or even sane place. Blogs - if enough people experience a koo koo moment - may be able to reverse this effect, this mental malaise. Change begins with a change in mindset, and blogs can do, I believe, plenty to shift the zeitgeist to a more meaningful level of functionality.