The "Echo Chamber"
While blogging has been around for some time, years before the last presidential election, it picked up fast with Rathergate. It should be obvious how this worked; a couple blogs picked up on the skepticism, and with enough analysis and "echoing", it came to light that the Killian documents were forgeries. The rest, as they say, is history. A number of similar cases have followed, though none as big as Rathergate. A few more popular blogs can put up a couple posts and get a lot of attention, but the real power comes through when many blogs are talking about the same thing.
Bloggers enjoy first amendment rights that they share with journalists; however, blogging is more of a testament towards democracy. The voices that come together on a common goal are able to see their hopes accomplished; audiences are essentially combined and can all speak together. I applaud the efforts of bloggers to add some new insights online with untouched topics, but these hit only small niches most often. And yes, a lot of the echo chamber may still not do much to impact the way some people think. However, united for a cause, bloggers are more effective than divided.