When I started blogging, a scratch under three years ago, I had a tight circle of blogs which I read and commented on regularly. It helped that I had a gap in my work at the time. But over the years, the number of blogs in my reader has ballooned such that now I can rarely do more than skim lightly over the surface of them all, picking out the odd thing of interest to respond to. I imagine this is a common experience.
I often make the comparison that having a blog reader is like having a custom newspaper - you decide which columnists to "hire" to add content to your daily rag, and then you flip idly through the pages looking for whatever happens to interest you. Yet there are distinct differences: there are no front page headlines in your blog content, for instance, and if you miss a newspaper one day you can just pick up the next day's; if you miss reading your blog content one day, you have twice as much to look at the next.
I now acquire a tremendous proportion of my fresh information from blogs, although to be fair the feeds I read include news services such as the BBC... I'm sure I'm not alone in facing this situation. The internet has become the de facto source of information for a whole generation, and doubtless beyond. I would, I suppose, lament the fact that my new sources for information are not trained journalists - if it were not abundantly apparent that most trained journalists (in the US, at least) have all but lost any trace of the professional ethics that once went with this profession, and are more interested in the news as a profit centre (or a partisan political tool) than as a public information service.
In a scant twenty years the internet has insinuated itself in almost every aspect of our lives, a trend that seems likely to continue. In the 1950s, it was said to be the dawn of "The Atomic Age" - but it was the computer, and the internet it spawned, that has risen to become the most pervasive technology of our time. Now people talk of "The Internet Age". By 2050, even the internet may seem old hat, and who knows what will have our attention then. While we wait to find out, we can still take a moment now and then to marvel at the tremendous transformation that has taken place within our own lifetimes.