I've been giving quite a bit of thought to this whole blogging thing of late. In fact, when people ask me what I do, I've switched to telling them that I'm primarily a writer and columnist (rather than a blogger, analyst or journalist). Why have I made the switch in language? Because I personally feel that the average blogs, at least as how the average person views them today, aren't serious forms of influence or conversation. Whether this is true or not, does not matter. But to call something a blog I think now comes with at least a bit of built in baggage. This is a shame, especially considering not only the community aspects of blogs and the opinions and debates they introduce, but also the level of influence that certain blogs have achieved. Still, I'd rather not personally get lumped into a genre that brings with it too many preconceptions that then require significant discussion to dispel.
Moreover, I think that more and more business/technology blogs are starting to really step up to fill a void that traditional trade journalism and industry analyst write-ups never went after. And that's the role of providing true expert color commentary and insight around the issues. Need proof? Check out any of the blogs on ZDNet and many on my own blogroll and you’ll see what I mean. Sure, a good many are still just summarizing and commenting on the most important news headlines, but more and more, the best blogs are moving away from just pursuing this type of content alone.
I'm confident that in the next wave of blogs, we'll see a whole new crop of individuals rise up who bring significant expertise and insight to their observations as the true seasoned pros of their market. This goes both in our sector and in others as well. To see my friend Mitch Free comment on the state of manufacturing in the US, for example, is to truly read the opinion of someone who understands the underlying issues and synthesizes an opinion which you may or may not agree with. But chances are, regardless of whether you like what he has to say or not, you won't read it in traditional industry papers, at least not in a timely manner.