What really ‘makes’ a weblog for me, in the sense that was makes it work for me, and keeps me going back, is none of the technical or structural features, but the passion of the weblogger. Passion not only for the subject(s) that they cover, but passion for logging them. It’s not difficult to see if a person really believes in what they are posting about and ones that simply report on a topic.
This is the difference I’ve seen on the political logs. Dean’s people seem to be as passionate the weblog medium as they are about getting him elected president. Other’s I’ve seen, those officially sanctioned by the candidates and parties, show passion only for their candidates and platforms, and only look at the weblogs as a new medium to spread the same messsage. You can be passionate about the subject of your blogging, but if you don’t have the same passion for the action of covering the subject in this medium, it doesn’t click.
Can you feign it? Maybe. Probably. Politicians feign a lot of things, and have mastered it in print and TV. Maybe they will learn to do it on blogs, and at that point blogs may become irrelevant, at least in the political arena.