Dave Sifry has just announced that Technorati is tracking over 3,000,000 weblogs and had this to say:
One of the things that drives me personally is that weblogs are turning us all into producers, creators, and participants in our society, not just consumers. As Doc Searls likes to say, "consumer is an industrial-age word, a broadcast-age word. It implies that we are all tied to our chairs, head back, eating 'content' and crapping cash." Of course, the act of producing, creating, and participating means that we're not doing something else - and here's the best news of all: A Forrester Research report asked Internet users which activities they were spending less time doing in order to spend time at their computers. 78% of the people polled said that they gave up television viewing. A study from The Georgia Institute of Technology's Graphic, Visualization and Usability Center showed a clear shift in media habits with more than one third of respondents saying that they "use the Web instead of watching TV on a daily basis."
Now for my Independence Day message: We're connecting with each other, we're talking to each other, finding people of similar interests, and we're having conversations. My dear hope is that this is the beginning of a rebirth of civics in America. Much in the same way that email revived the lost art of letter writing, Blogs are reviving the lost art of civilized civic dialogue - of argument, of well reasoned thought and response. And 3 million people (heck, even if you only assume that it is only 1.65 Million people, given the current abandonment rate) participating in worldwide civic discourse puts hope into my heart.