Here’s an interesting talk by a communications professor on the cultural and political implications of YouTube. Much of what he says applies to the medium of the blog as well. Civil, rational, and constructive discussion is much more difficult when anonymity and distance characterize a media. But there have been enough examples of healthy discussion and respectful disagreement at FPR to suggest that there are possibilities in the context of this medium. At the same time, the medium is fraught with limitations. I think this speaker is probably too hopeful.
h/t Scott York