Mass-appeal blogs have a special function, according to Vik Rubenfeld: They provide analysis and collectively forge a kind of group wisdom for which the mainstream media isn't equipped or to which, maybe, it isn't disposed. That's at least true, I think of political blogs and may be true of the entire blogging world.
Much of what is written about blogging by bloggers is self-aggrandizing and self-congratulatory. But I think that this piece by Rubenfeld gets it right in many ways. It may be the single best piece of writing about what the blogging phenomenon is that I've read, at least in a shorter format.
Mass-appeal blogs, is my term, not Rubenfeld's. He calls them "wide-appeal" and says that they're different from web logs that are personal diaries, aimed basically at the families and friends of the bloggers.
Anyway, read his piece, to which Glenn Reynolds.