blogs create the sense of a virtual public meeting, but one in which we don’t all hope to be there at the same time and in which conversations are not necessarily linked. -- Lawrence Lessig
I don't understand the press around blogs.
A little context: I've been using the net almost, but not quite, as long as there as been a net. I once critisized a friend who introduced me to the web by saying, "but why is that any different from just choosing whether to use archie and ftp, or gopher, or telnet to an appropriate bbs-like-sever?" I was a geek and to me a URL was just a convenience - a tool to access what I already knew how to access but through one program instead of many. Pop whirl. How amazingly wrong I was. I'm not a dinosaur of web history because of my short sightedness then. My friend developed one of the first 100 web sites ever. I found the web a few years later already grown to the point where any contributor was just another anonymous face.
So perhaps I am committing the same error now, but I really do not see the difference between blogs and usenet and livejournals and web BBs.
What, really, is a blog except a webBB (which is just usenet-on-the-web) where the top level threads are indexed by author?
Maybe I'm right and there's no technical difference but one form of medium happend to gain public press due to the people on it while others did not. Maybe I'm wrong and there's a significant technical leap (rating posts is not significant. webBBs allow that, too). Or maybe the answer lies between 1 and 0 somewhere.