Weblog as a networking instrument
Nardi, Whittaker & Schwarz article distingush between three tasks in networking:
1. Building a network: Adding new nodes (people) to the network so that there are available resources when it is time to conduct joint work;
2. Maintaining the network, where a central task is keeping in touch with extant nodes;
3. Activating selected nodes at the time the work is to be done
It seems that weblogs are good for the first two and not good for the last one:
1. Reading weblogs helps to find like-minded people. You read someone, he links to someone else and this link serves as a personal recommendation. Then regular reading turns into linking and commenting, you get on the radar of this new person and after sometime you say "we know each other by reading blogs".
2. Weblogs are particularly good for maintaining the network. With the power of RSS you know that you don't have to remember to check what someone is doing/thinking. Weblogs really help to stay in touch.
3. It seems that weblogs are not really good for activating connection for a joint action: my experience shows that it's usually done by e-mail ("I know you from reading your weblog and I wonder if you can help me with this") or in some other ways. See recent post on weblogs weakness as action tool for more details.