Who listens to the blogosphere?

The question sounds simple enough, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to arrive at a conclusion.  People talk about ‘Web 2.0’ and ‘The rise of the bloggers’ quite often, but seriously - who cares?  And to be clear, I don’t mean to discount the value of blogs but I do want to understand who values blogs so highly andy why.

Why are you here reading this?  What do you seek to gain from reading this or the plethora of other blogs?

Personally, I read blogs for a variety of reasons.  To gain perspective, to enrich my understanding of technology, to see what my family and friends are up to. 

So each blog has a unique audience, with a distinct goal in mind?  Or perhaps different subscribes have different aims for reading the same blog? 

I think it is interesting to think about this with regard to the current trend of personalization of media and technology.  Laser-engraved iPods and custom wallpapers for your Xbox360 dashboard. So the blogosphere is producing more and more material which we find more and more relevant and interesting.

So where does that leave us two years from now?  Is the trend of producing more, specialized content in the form of RSS feeds going to replace the news?  Is the Slashdot main page going to simply be a collection of RSS links to feeds on various subjects?  Gasp.  Will we go so ‘meta’ that we no longer browse internet links, but rather feeds of links?

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the matter.  What do you use blogs for and how do you see them being used in the future?