The way I see blogging.
Blogs have to take the place of something. I have x hours per day to select what to do with. I have to go to work. I live in southern California, so I have to sit in traffic. I choose to play with my daughter and talk to my wife. The rest of the time is up for grabs. I read a lot of newspapers (online, but still...) and other web sites (Slashdot, ESPN, Groklaw) to see what is going on with the world. Then I have free time in which I play computer games, work around the house etc....
SO, where do blogs fit in to this. I subsribe via FeedDemon, to places where the people either entertain me or inform me. I don't look to blogs to help with with current events for the most part, as they are in general just repackaging the content from the original sources, and I am already reading that. Can I read it all? No, but most of the content sites are just redistributing the AP newswire anyway for the beginning, and after that it is all Op-Ed anyway so I don't have to waste a lot of time with that.
Rober Scoble, amongst many others (Hugh - cluetrain manifesto etc...) , has blogs as a conversation with customers. Could be... but I don't really look at those with any sort of unbiased eye. Most of the breaking stories will come from other sites, not from internal folks who could lose their jobs. After that they are just marketing sites and I can get my spin from any number of places besides them. Many of these folks trot out the Kryptonite lock debacle as an example of how not to do things. Have to say though, that if you look at the financials, that Kryptonite wasn't affected by the whole thing so I don't think Blogs have the power that is advertised.
Others (and I am being a bit lazy here, so not cites) have blogs as replacing news media. This is, I think, totally bunk. I can see blogs wiping out the Op-Ed pages, but I don't think most people on the planet would notice if that happened. I want to know the bias of my reporters, and I want the info NOW. An individual blogger can be in 1 place to see things. What if they aren't where the action is? Then they are just re-packaging primary sources. I would rather read the primary sources. Looked at this way, the "Old Media" is just a 'feed collection' from reporters around the world. Oh yeah, in general they spell check well too. One can argue about "old media" getting stories mangled and reporting bogusness, but I don't see anyone tracking individual blogs for their accuracy so I don't really know how to compare them. As long as you are willing to admit that everyone, 'professional journalists' included, are biased and you understand the bias's then you can sort of work back to what might have happened.
So, in the end, what do I see? I see a lot of blogs being done because people like doing them. I see a lot of people reading some of them and them coming and going over time. I see some people making some money off of them and the rest of the people just having a place they can write and have the world see it. I don't see the whole world media order being stood on it's head. At the end of the day, it is just another outlet for people like me to read stuff that might be interesting, informative, or funny.