Dave Sifry at Technorati has compiled a wonderful list and report about blogs and mainstream media. It’s the “State of the Blogosphere” and supports the obvious – blogs are increasing dramatically both in number and in influence. I think the data supports the notion that we’ll see an information landscape that is driven increasingly by niche interest groups and collaborative online communities. The traditional models for news and information dissemination — TV, Newspapers, and Magazines — will play roles of decreasing importance.
At some point in the decline of traditional media there may be a sort of “tipping point” where advertising simply can’t sustain the efforts and we’ll see a mass extinction but I doubt that. Rather I’d predict (wildly and without a lot of thought) that we’ll see print and TV die very slow, laborious deaths as they struggle to bring online content and online viewers into their spheres of influence and reduce some of the spending patterns (and unfortunately much of the quality, in depth reporting) that has come from the high barriers to entry which kept every Tom, Dick, and Harry news producer out of the space. Blogs reduce the participation barrier to “literacy” (marginaly literacy at that) and therefore will change information and news … forever.