If you’re interested in the history and culture of blogs, check out the in-depth treatise from Steven Den Beste.
He discusses the rise of the A-List bloggers, those first pioneers who form the original concept and the warbloggers who prefer to discuss current affairs.
An interesting note, is the comparison to blogging and Usenet. From my vantage point, Usenet ceased to be useful around 1995. I always preferred e-mail discussion lists where spam and flames could be more easily controled.
The advantage of NetNews was that it was a single stream; it was inclusive; you could post your message and know that pretty much everyone else participating would see it. But inclusiveness was also the disadvantage, because it meant that you’d soon be flooded with messages written by idiots and unpleasant people, and by trolls.
Blogging for me is more of an extension of these lists. It gives me the opportunity to more fully express myself on a wider range of topics and hopefully reach a wider audience.