First and foremost, at the smallest possible scale, a weblog is not social software. Instead it is a point in cyberspace from which to speak - it's a representation of our very self - our voice. At the most very basic of levels, a weblog isn't just part of a commmunity that shares and interacts, it's an individual voice as yet unconnected. It takes time for the second-order properties to emerge - and when they do so it's not as a rapid consolidation or phase-shift between stable states of 'singular publishing' and 'many-to-many communication'. Instead familiarity is gradually gained, recurrently interesting and communicative webloggers become friends, people gradually find their communicative voices.
from a long but definitely "must read" post from Tom Coates