La Shawn Barber wants to know why we blog and why we read blogs. For me, the second part is easier to answer than the first part. I started reading blogs during the Iraq War in 2003. I tried to follow the war in the usual news outlets--CNN, MSNBC, ABC. It became clear very fast that I wasn't getting the whole story. The doom and gloom that they were preaching just didn't match up with what any idiot with a map could see. I found a bit of insight on MSNBC in the form of glennreynolds.com, where I could find links to other places with more accurate information on the war. This in turn brought me to Glenn's "other" blog, Instapundit. From Instapundit, of course, I discovered all sorts of other blogs, and soon I was reading them daily.
As for why I started to blog myself: the first reason was just one of productivity. I felt that with all the blogs I was reading, I just wasn't producing a whole lot, and I wanted to be writing something. And part of it was that I'd occasionally feel I had something to contribute to the debate, and commenting on the blogs of other people just wasn't a very good way to make my contribution.