A Cynical Realist Speaks.
As blogs become more common, they become less like what made them interesting in the first place.
Political blogs are now mostly places where everyone posts finely-crafted talking points or howls at the moon with their pack.
Likewise, while I'm sure Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit.com) is quite an interesting fellow, I'm pretty sure there are hundreds if not thousands of other interesting fellows out there whose opinions and tastes we will never know about because Instapundit has sucked up 98% of the oxygen in the room.
He will likely not be replaced until he quits blogging. Like every other medium, blogging gives more power to incumbents than challengers, though the balance is far better than TV or newspapers, where challenging the established voices is nearly impossible.
There are still interesting political blogs where good conversations happen with a minimum of acrimony. They are vastly in the minority and are of miniscule impact compared to sites like Daily Kos or Little Green Footballs.
Blogs have not improved the quality of the political discussion, they have simply given more people megaphones to shout at each other with, which is what people want (as measured by what they do, rather than what they say) these days.
Similarly, I see no reason to believe that companies as a whole want to build and sell their products any differently than they did ten or fifty years ago.
Everyone still wants to buy raw inputs for a nickel, put a dollar of labor into it, and sell the finished product for fifty dollars, until somebody comes along and offers it for a buck ten.
Companies will use blogs to manipulate consumers just as they used every other medium. They just haven't all figured out how to do it yet. When they do, they will all blog, and almost none of them will be worth reading.
Update: Jerry O comments on Colin here.