This is a small point in reference to Joe’s "Bad Blogs" just below. While the WSJ comment is perfectly sensible, it ignores a couple of points regarding blogs (never mind the fact that without blogs Dan Rather would still have a job, and Bush may not have been re-elected in 04). The only one I want to mention is this: The real reason for having a blog is to find out what your friends and trusted colleagues are reading and thinking about and then to speak plainly, or right on. And much of that has nothing to do with what is called "news." I have found a point, a thought, an intellectual disposition, to be very helpful in to me in thinking something through (and not only as an "instant response" or a "coagulant for orthodoxies"), or amusing me, or simply sharing a good piece of writing, even if it is only a good sentence or a phrase. A blog is a form of conversation, and at its best is a kind of dialogue. But this seems odd to people who keep their eye only on something called "instantaneity" vs "rigor" (never mind the crap about "mob behavior"). Let me repeat myself (just like in a conversation): A good blog is like a conversation. Of course, it kind of looks like writing, but in this case (hence its appeal to me?) the writing means to encourage talk (even not only in writing, but as orality) and therefore that kind of thinking; that is, thinking that is not simply full of "rigor" (no one ever talked in the form of a methodical exposition of a subject, as in a treatise) but is also witty and amusing and poetic and allusive and sometimes says more in a story than does a "rigorous" phrase or a march of logic that could only be followed in print, but not in conversation. The stuff about the news and instantaneity is just sharing some information of mutual interest, but mostly is just an excuse for a conversation. You know, like calling your friend on the phone with a specific point ("calling because I just finished grading my finals and wanted to talk to a human being") and then for an hour you bethump him with words (and he you) from and about Shakespeare, the manliness of Rummy, the passing beauty of a student, a musical note, what is currently worth reading, what isn’t, and why the world is golden. And a blog--like a conversation in a tavern--is with more than one person, as the world as pageant moves on right next to you. You note it as you keep talking with your friends.