Everyone seems to be pointing to Meg’s column “What We’re Doing When We Blog”.
The “a-ha” moment for me was the paragraph:
Freed from the constraints of the printed page (or any concept of “page”), an author can now blog a short thought that previously would have gone unwritten. The weblog’s post unit liberates the writer from word count.
As Jonathon keeps pointing out “blogging can offer infinitely more than journalism”. I think this is one of the major differences. Blogging is mostly just sharing thoughts. Thoughts that, if you had to write 400 words on, whould never escape your own head. But in a format that allows, encourages, and even expects you to write less than 100 words, the thought gets written.
Of course, most of these thoughts probably aren’t really worth sharing.
But they’re out there. Waiting for someone to pick them up and expand on them or refute them.