What’s the deal with blogging?

Subtitled “Explaining blogging to my mother.”
I’m starting off my What’s the Deal series with blogging, because without blogging there wouldn’t be a What’s the Deal series. I imagine everything in here will be somewhat old news to most of my regular audience, but I’m writing this for the people who want to understand what these “blogs” they keep hearing about are.
It’s an incredible act of hubris on my part to say “this is blogging” and “this is why it’s important.” There are already far too many people explaining blogging online (mostly on blogs, natch), you’ll get a much more rounded idea of why blogging is so big if you seek out those resources.
Updated in response to comments from my mother.

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What’s the Deal?

Happy 2005! One of the things I noticed in 2004 is the growing disconnect between what’s hot with the cool kids online and what the majority of people online actually have heard about and understand. This year I’ll try to write posts explaining what these cool things are and why they’re cool/important/useful. My goal is to write a persuasive argument for my parents to, if not try the technology in question, at least understand it.
I’ll be posting them in the What’s the Deal category, which I hope will allow me to address the quality of airline food when the time comes. My first post in the series is about blogging, and I hope to cover wikis, RSS, del.icio.us, BitTorrent and more.
Update: I picked blogging as my first topic. I figured “I’ll just write a quick overview of blogging” which is kind of like saying “I’ll just write a quick overview of every aspect of Roman society and culture.” I need to stop myself whenever I use the modifier “just.” I’ve got it written but it’s an incredible act of hubris on my part to say “this is blogging” so I keep rewriting. Sorry for the delay.