Sarah Boxer of the New York Review of Books examines what is distinctive about blogs. There is quite an emerging field of literary work on blogs comparing them to newspapers, analysing their style (or lack of it) and so on. Boxer captured a few aspects but still misses the mix of anarchy and information provision that characterises blogging and the blogging movement. It is a slightly snobby, literary rant.
When I ask myself why I operate a blogsite I am unsure. I just do it and often manufacture what is only ever a partially accurate motivation if pressed on the issue. It has something to do with ego, with keeping an online diary, with summarising interesting observations as I scour the web and with having an online conversation. There is also a fun element. But to be frank the motivation varies - it is an open-ended activity that provides surprises.
By the way Boxer claims there were 100 million blogs at the end of 2007 with 37% of posts now in Japanese. At the end of 2003 there were 2 million.