FOUR BLOGS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD? I think that Hugh Hewitt overstates InstaPundit's influence. I think, though, that he's right to spot the growing power of the blogosphere, and he's dead-on with this point:
Theodore White began his account of the 1964 presidential campaign this way: "Every man who writes of politics shapes unknowingly in his mind some fanciful metaphor to embrace all the wild, apparently erratic events and personalities in the process he tries to describe."
It is crazy to try and develop a metaphor for the new politics--a politics of a 24/7 news cycle, cable land, talk radio, FreeRepublic.com, and DemocraticUnderground.com , and thousands of blogs-- but the opening scene from "Gangs of New York" comes to mind. Campaigns would be well-advised to designate a team just to keep track of and respond to web-generated stories and opinion, starting with the Big Four.
Howard Dean seems ahead of the curve on this.
UPDATE: Thanks, Hugh -- for one more reader:
Brief demographics: 18 years old, female, Florida, headed come September to the University of Chicago. I was introduced to weeklystandard.com perhaps two months ago and have rejoiced daily since then in the discovery of a sort of news forum I had no idea existed.
Hugh Hewitt's article today is doing the same thing for me with blogs. I've just spent a good hour browsing through the four he mentions, and I just got a real kick after reading your entire TechCentralStation article, then returning to your site at precisely 11:45 to find a new posting. Thanks; this is fun.
In the Blogosphere, we naturally tend to forget how few people (in relation to the population as a whole, or even the population of Internet users) actually know about blogs. Given that most people still haven't heard about blogs at all, the kind of growth that John Dvorak is now predicting seems plausible.