I have just noticed in my effort to understand this blogging phenomenon, I have been at it for just over a year now. So what do I think about all this a year later? I am still not sure that I get it entirely. I see real value in reaching out to customers in any and all channels and RSS is another way to reach out. I also understand people wanting a soapbox to spout whatever it is they are interested in. I can remember in my pre-internet youth wanting to start a small newspaper or newsletter. I can’t remember on what topic, but that desire to reach people was there and I think that is common. On the reading end of personal weblogs, I find they seem to go hand in hand with a healthy dose of narcissism that at times rubs me the wrong way. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t subscribe if I didn’t see some value.
Also I am not convinced of the worth of standalone aggregators. Although I do run multiple apps (depending on device), I feel the fewer tools the better. I do see value in subscribing to feeds and having the content pulled into one place versus having to seek out each site in my favorites folder. Being able to read more sites more easily and quickly does give me a sense of being in sync with events/news that I care about.
I have learned much about RSS and am producing a half a dozen feeds of mine own. I have in fact built a prototype aggregator for the hell of it. I produce two photoblogs of mine own and find those are particularly interesting to view, although they are in most cases trivial. I have seen the emergence of blogs.msdn.com and am looking forward to the 1000 employee bloggers mark (671 as I write this). I have seen Dave Winer speak in person.
All in all, I find the popularity and energy around weblogging addictive and fun, but find myself to be a poor advocate of the technology.