Blogging is a wonderfully confusing concept. It is important to point out that the world of blogging really exists on several different levels.
The first level is technical. Blogs are simple text or multimedia articles that are written and stored in a way that is easily organized and accessed.
The second level is also technical but it is about distribution. While early blogs were largely delivered via web sites, the power of blogs drove the adoption of several new technology protocols like RSS and Atom (more on this later). These protocols are somewhat like HTTP and HTML that power the web itself.
The last level, the one that disrupts presidential elections and gives us first hand views on natural disasters, is really a social phenomenon. The technology underlying blogs is powerful, widely available, easy to use and generally free. As a result, there are absolutely no barriers for someone that wants to be a published blog author. Anyone can create and publish a blog and many people have decided to do so. All of a sudden, content like news or editorials are no longer limited to the major media outlets like newspapers, TVs and books. The world is suddenly flooded with hundreds of thousands of authors, each with their own opinions or expertise. Because anyone with internet access can read any blog, no matter where it was written or who it was posted by, we have seen a complete democratization of opinion almost over night.
I can't begin to predict how blogging will evolve but it will most certainly change the power structure of the news media and, most importantly to us, it will be yet another change agent driving the quiet revolution in online marketing.