Theodore Zeldin defines the blogosphere ....

... well sort of!

Having met the guy I got the feeling that he is a bit skeptical about the quality of conversations on the web and this quote, taken from An Intimate History Of Humanity, is about "real" relationships rather than the web but it is also IMHO one of the best descriptions of what makes the blogosphere special:

I see humanity as a family that has hardly met. I see the meeting of people, bodies, thoughts, emotions or actions as the start of most change. Each link created by a meeting is like a filament, which, if they were all visible, would make the world look as if it is covered with gossamer. Every individual is connected to others, loosely or closely, by a unique combination of filaments, which stretch across frontiers of space and time. Every individual assembles past loyalties, present needs and visions of the future in a web of different contours, with the help of heterogeneous elements borrowed from other individuals; and this constant give and take has been the main stimulus of humanity's energy.