Hi! Do you remember blogs? Well, this used to be one. Now it just serves as an archive for my multiple Twitter accounts.
Im not sure that “the masses” will ever embrace weblogs, even if they end up being a no-brainer.
I, on the contrary, think that weblogs can ultimately be as widespread as email addresses, to the point of having more than one per person.
I find that weblogs facilitate contact with people I know: there are many people I didn’t get (nor ask) news from regularly but, now that they blog, I know all that happens to them, every day. Writing/reading a blog is much less intrusive than asking/sending news to someone. If you feel like reading, you read it. If you feel like skipping some paragraphs, you do, no questions asked. If you don’t read it every day, it’s not big deal.
I can totally imagine grandparents writing daily inanities knowing that their grandchildren would come by and read once in a while. Or a group of friends using a collective blog to keep in touch. Or a family. Or a class. Or any group of people, for any reason. Rather than maintain large recipient lists and harassing everyone you know with stupid jokes and QuickTime movies, why not just post them in a central place? Not to mention the blog would be virus- and spam-free (MovableType blogs are attacked by comment spamming, but group-restricted blogs would just be immune).
And, on the professional level, I think weblogs can be quite a good collaboration tool. Because it’s simple, it’s obvious, it’s a completely natural organization: it fits our natural tendency to use chronology in order to classify information.
With this in mind, I’d say that what blogging software developers should focus on, right now, is access rights management: if you can offer a blog platform that’s easy to set up, easy to publish on, and easy to restrict access to, you’ve definitely got something.