One of the best articles about the value of blogs that I've read in a long time was posted by Robin Good yesterday.
Information Overload: Blogs As Content Navigators, Information Filters, Trusted Niche Guides provides a good perspective on one of the curses of modern life, which isn't how to find information - it's how to find, interpret and trust the information that matters to you.
The bottom line:
[...] Blogs stand to benefit in the present media landscape for a number of reasons:
- Because of the overload of information it is impossible for people to keep up with all of it. Information needs to be sifted through and made sense of.
- Bloggers also add richness to the already established reach of mass media.
- Blogs can cater to niche audiences that mass media cannot because mass media must focus on the most important or biggest issues at hand.
- Because of the Internet a blogger can have a niche audience of 5,000 readers a day from around the world.
- A major factor is that blogs have little to no overhead to set up and run. All that is needed is a computer and an Internet connection and a blogger can be up and running, so the distribution costs are cheap.