Dave Winer: “My thesis: it doesn’t matter if only 25 people read your blog, or even 2.5 people, if they’re the right 2.5 people.” Exactly.
Making money and influencing people can happen but that’s a small part of the story. Replacing a traditional media stream with weblog that looks and feels like a traditional media stream is a small part of the story. The big story IMO is that weblogs and weblog technology make it easier for us to find each other. In “old” days (Yahoo! Groups), we had to run central servers and require people to sign up before connections could be made. If the server went down, the community went on hold. If the organization running the server died, the community died. In the “old old” days (Usenet), we were all locked in a room together, No Exit style, and did the best we could to keep the trolls at bay.
Weblogs, among other things, facilitate highly robust, amorphous, constantly changing, overlapping, individually filterable communities that are like nothing that has come before.